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Retiring pastors pass mantle, spirit to newly ordained

(Photo by Matt Brodie)

The South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church recognized 35 retiring pastors during its 2017 Annual Conference Meeting in Greenville.

Led by Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, about 2,000 conference attendees helped celebrate the ministry and work of the retiring pastors.

“By God’s grace, you did many things that seemed beyond your power,” Bishop Holston told the retirees during the June 6, 2017, Service of Recognition and Celebration of Retiring Pastors. “Never think lightly of the great good that God has wrought through you. Continue to be true to your calling.

“May God’s love and power be with you always.”

In a tradition that marks the emotional capstone of the service for many, the Rev. Alice E. MacKeil, representing the class of retiring pastors, passed the ceremonial pastor’s mantle to the Rev. Tenny Hutchinson Rupnick, a representative of the newly ordained class of elders.

“I transfer this mantle from our generation to the young,” Rev. MacKeil said, “indicating thereby that the responsibilities and dedication of the older generation will be caught up and carried on by the young, and the spirit of today’s Elijahs will rest upon today’s Elishas.”

“We who come after you take up the mantle which falls upon us,” Rev. Rupnick said. “May we inherit a double share of your spirit.”

Retiring pastors recognized during the service were:

  • Kenneth William Barwick
  • Shirley Williams Dingle
  • Roger Russell Dodds
  • Ann Dease Everett
  • Eugene Lloyd Feagin III
  • Leslie Edwin Gardner
  • Jo Ann Armstrong Garrett
  • Douglas Wayne Gilliland
  • Richard Charles Goldie
  • Debra Elaine Griffis-Woodberry
  • William Edward Herlong
  • Jerry Mills Hill
  • Alice Elaine MacKeil
  • Deborah Holmes Miller
  • Sidney Wells Mims Ill
  • Marie Elaine Nuckles
  • Glenn Williams Ribelin
  • Leonard Clifford Ripley Ill
  • Carl Frederick Ritter
  • Augustus Rodgers
  • Bruce Evans Rucker
  • Caroline Adams Salmans
  • Frederick Johnson Shepard
  • Larry Glenn Smith
  • Richard Moses Smith
  • Keith Donald Sweat
  • Phillip Carlise Thrailkill
  • Gregg Scott Varner
  • Mary Kay Wood
  • Paul Ariel Wood Jr.

Ad interim

  • Thomas Richard Bailey
  • Michael Esley Bowers
  • Steven Davis Gillespie
  • Diane Amanda Moseley
  • Robert T. Williams


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