Select Page


June 7, 2016

The morning session

The morning began at 7:30 A.M. with a worship service led by the Reverend Geneva Stafford and her choir from St. Mark UMC in Sumter, SC.  This worship service included the celebration of Holy Communion.

The annual awards breakfast was led by the Reverend Jeffery Salley.  Awards were given to the following persons and churches:

Reverend Kenneth L. Nelson –


South Carolina Conference Laity or Clergy who have shown a strong commitment to Christian social justice for at least five years are eligible.

Reverend Angela Ford Nelson and Reverend Steven Patterson –


The Barbara Boultinghouse Bridge Builder award, named after a UMC deaconess, is given to a person or organization in the S.C. conference who has built bridge of understanding by promoting equity and inclusiveness without regard to race, gender, age, handicap or economic condition. It is sponsored by the Commission on Religion and Race.

Reverend George Olive and Dr. James Salley –


The Michael C. Watson Volunteer in Mission Award is an annual initiative which recognizes clergy and laypersons who exemplify extraordinary volunteer mission service within the S. C. Conference.

The Bishop’s Five Star Award –

Church Pastor District

_ Advent United Methodist Church Rev. Michael Turner GV

_ Bethel United Methodist Church-St. Stephen Rev. Cindy Shaw CH

_ Chapin United Methodist Church Rev. Joseph Flowers CO

_ Dickson Memorial United Methodist Church Rev. Judy Hames AN

_ Goose Creek United Methodist Church Rev. Debra Dowdle CH

_ First United Methodist Church-Clover Rev. Thomas Wilkes, III RH

_ Harmony United Methodist Church-Johnston Rev. Steven Keck GW

_ Lebanon United Methodist Church Rev. Drew Martin CO

_ Little River United Methodist Church Rev. J. Kevin Gorry MA

_ Martha’s Chapel United Methodist Church Rev. Wade Wyatt, Sr. GW

_ Mays Chapel United Methodist Church Rev. Mark Anthony Williams OR

_ Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church-Ninety Six Rev. Thessa Smith GW

_ North Charleston United Methodist Church Rev. Wendy Hudson-Jacoby CH

_ Reidville Road United Methodist Church Rev. Danny Wiley SP

_ St. John’s United Methodist Church- Rock Hill Rev. Debra Quilling Smith RH

_ St. Luke United Methodist Church-Hartsville Rev. Gene Feagin, III HA

_ St. Luke United Methodist Church-Walhalla Rev. Richard Reams AN

_ St. Paul United Methodist Church- Camden Rev. James Smith HA

_ Trinity United Methodist Church-Greenwood Rev. LaShelia Mack Wyatt GW

_ Union United Methodist Church-McBee Rev. Dr. Steven Todd HA

_ Wesley United Methodist Church- Aiken Rev. Pattie Gordon OR


Lexington UMC, Rev. Ken Owens, Pastor

Cub Scout Pack 507

James H. Gregory, Scouting Coordinator

Red Bank UMC, Rev. W. Russell Freeman, Sr., Pastor

Girl Scout Troop 2323

Cub Scout Pack 518

Boy Scout Troop 518

Robin O. Smith, Scouting Ministry Coordinator


The Bishop’s Award of Excellence is established for the purpose of recognizing congregations and units within the United Methodist Church that extend their ministry to children and youth by creating a faith based environment for children, youth, their families and their leaders who participate in Girl Scouts of the USA and Boy Scouts of America.


The Seminary Student Scholarship – Frances Taylor

T. Dennie Smith Scholarship – Carol Waters


The South Carolina Merit Scholarship – Loren Faulkner

The South Carolina Advocate Scholarship – Ashly Higgins


The Herbert Hucks Award for Preservation and Interpretation of Church History goes to four churches this year.

Green Pond UMC, Gray Court, SC

Ann Vaughn, Church Historian

Rev. Bob Keely, pastor

Livingston UMC, Livingston, SC

Martha M. Sligh, Church Historian

Rev. Brandon Fulmer, pastor

Pisgah UMC, Aynor, SC

Judy Floyd, Church Historian

Rev. Jane Pearce, pastor

Mountain View UMC, Taylors

Frieda Anne Liston, Church Historian

Rev. Chris Arries, pastor

Centennial Church Award

Bethlehem, Manning (Jordan) Newman Swamp, Lamar

Florence District Hartsville District

Bi-Centennial Church Award

Simpsonville, Simpsonville Lane, Lane (Greeleyville)

Greenville District Florence District

St. Paul, St. Matthews North Charleston, North Charleston

Orangeburg District Charleston District

Salem, Dorchester Brandon, Greenville

Walterboro District Greenville District

Students in Mission

David Larymore, student at Charleston Southern University and member of the Charleston Wesley Foundation will serve at Rural Mission, Inc.

Joshua Simon, student at Claflin University from St. Paul United Methodist Church (Kingstree) will serve at Rural Mission, Inc.

LaToya Charley, student at Claflin University from New Covenant United Methodist Church (Bowman) will serve at Rural Mission, Inc.

Miyosha Foster, student at Lander University from Central United Methodist Church (Central) will serve at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (Charleston).

Sarah Davis, student at Spartanburg Methodist College from Woodland United Methodist Church (Rock Hill) will serve at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (Charleston).

Following the presentation of the awards Bishop Holston commended all of the recipients and challenged the attendees to continue to dream God Sized Dreams and to do just one more thing in their communities to make a difference.

At 8:30 A.M. Bishop Holston opened the Annual Conference with the singing of “Standing on the Promises of God.”  After greeting the delegates he introduced Dr. Luther Smith who led us in Bible study.  The focus scripture for the morning was Luke 9.  Dr. Smith emphasized the importance of having power and authority as well as hospitality.  Jesus invited the disciples to give hospitality the opportunity to do its work.  Give yourself to the community – because we don’t bring it all.  God has provided all that we need if we give ourselves over to the hospitality that is found in community.  God is the source of sustenance. Dr. Smith challenged the participants not to sit around waiting for God to give them what He has already given. The homework assignment for tomorrow is: Luke 11:1 – 13. He invited the participants to make space for God to work by sitting with the text. 

Rev. Ken Nelson greeted the delegates and thanked the Annual Conference for the Sunday offering of $13,228.00 received for Disaster Response and the Monday offering of $10.956 to support theological education for persons attending Seminary and Course of Studies.

He also reminded the delegates of the ongoing blood drive.  Bishop Holston then led the Conference in a prayer for bereaved families.

Ms. Martha Thompson was featured in a video highlighting their ministries to children around the Conference.  John 10:10 – “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”  This is what we are called to share with the children of our communities.

Reverend Kathy James, Director of Connectional Ministries shared a video of their ministries throughout the Conference in 2015 – 2016 after the devastating flood of October.  Rev. James reported that over 7000 cleaning buckets and over 2,000 health kits were distributed.  The flood affected over 40 UM churches. She shared the diligent work of the Conference Disaster Response Team and asked this team to stand to be recognized. She asked the Emergency Response Teams and the churches that hosted ERT teams to stand to be recognized as well.  Mr. Derial Ogburn and the UMVIM team was also recognized. Rev. James then recognized the significant contributions of Rev. Greg Varner, Conference Disaster Coordinator, and presented him with a hammock so he and his family can rest and recover!  Rev. James reported that UMCOR has provided us with a $1,000 grant for staffing under the direction of Mr. Wade Smith, and have received over $500,000 in donations.  Rev. James introduced Mr. Greg Forrester, UMCOR Associate General Secretary, and Domestic Disaster Response to bring greetings.  Lastly, Rev. James shared a video highlighting the work of all of the servant leaders involved in Connectional Ministries, and she thanked her team. She thanked Ms. Cynthia Williams who has accepted a position to work on the Disaster Response team and has resigned from the position as Convener.  Rev. James asked Bishop Holston to receive the report and move it to record. Bishop Holston reminded the Conference that Advance Specials has been removed from the report.  Rev. Steven Gaither came forth to provide to the report of Conference Global Ministries.  He lifted up the work of the 14 Advance Special Ministries.  He encouraged the Conference to continue to support Advance Special Ministries through our apportionments and the annual offerings on Advance Special Ministries Sunday.  The best way to support these ministries is through involvement.  Rev. James again asked that the report be moved to record.  Bishop Holston asked for questions from the delegates.  Mr. Larry Fetterly of First UMC in Easley stood to give credit to Mr. Neil Van Derlinden “UMCOR Man”.  Mr. Van Derlinden passed away, however his inspiration to all of us continues. 

Following the singing of “How Great is Our God” in English and in Spanish, Rev. Enrique Gordon invited the Conference to stand if we understood his greeting – which he spoke to us in Spanish (no one stood).  Rev. Richard Reames then come forth to interpret Enrique’s greeting in English and he then provided the report for Hispanic and Latin Ministries.  He challenged us to reach beyond the boundaries of prejudice and racism – because we are better than that!  Rev. Elizabeth Murray challenged us to push past language as an excuse!  She directed the Conference to visit the Facebook page and website that have been established.   Pentecost Journey, UMC curriculum was rolled out in February, and more than 20 clergy and laity came and learned about the Latino population in our State. Rev. Emily Sutton invited the delegates to another Pentecost Journey will provided November18 – 19th at Aldersgate UMC in Greenville.  Everyone is encouraged to get involved!  Bishop Holston presented the report to the delegates for approval.  The report was approved unanimously.

Bishop Holston called for the tellers to distribute printed copies of upcoming resolutions.

Mr. Lyle Wazer, stood at microphone 6 asked if there is an English as second language program.  He encouraged us to have a Spanish as second language program so we can go out instead of having Spanish speaking brothers and sisters come to us.

A delegate (name not provided) stood at microphone 1 and asked for a point of personal privilege.  He remarked about comment he overheard at a local establishment.  He heard the staff remarking how kind ‘Those Methodists’ are!  He thanked us for being who we are.

Bishop Holston led the Conference in the singing of Happy Birthday to Rev. Tim Rogers. 

Rev. Ken Nelson then reminded the Conference to take part in the blood drive!

Rev. Dr. John Holler came forth to provide the report for the Epworth Children’s Home.  He shared that children who arrive at Epworth are hopeless.  Many of them may have never experienced an opportunity for a better life.  The Conference celebrated 100% graduation rate for students at Epworth as well as the attainment of an exemplary status with the regulatory agency monitors Children’s Homes such as Epworth.  Rev. Dr. Holler reported on the purchase of the former Carolina Children’s Home.  In the next few weeks programs will begin at the new site and continue at the existing site.  Epworth is starting the Center for Excellence in Foster Care.  This program will focus on training Foster Parents by leveraging the rich connections of our local churches.  This will enable children to remain in their communities.  Rev. Holler shared the story of a brother and sister who recently graduated from high school and how Epworth will continue to support them as they begin college studies.  Lastly, Rev. Holler shared two videos about the life saving ministries of Epworth.  Bishop Holston placed the report before the Conference for approval.  The report was unanimously approved. 

Rev. Ken Nelson asked the Conference to prepare for the retirement service by clearing their areas.  Bishop Holston invited Rev. Joe Long to come forth to offer prayer prior to the beginning of the retirement service. 

The retirement service began at 11:00 a.m. with the singing of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision.”  The retirees and their guests were recognized and honored by Bishop Holston on behalf of the SC Annual Conference.  Rev. Ernest Etheredge and Reverend Erik Grayson participated in the passing of the mantle service in remembrance of the passing of the mantle between Elijah and Elisha in 1 Kings.  The service concluded with a video featuring some of our retirees who shared reflections from their ministries and the benediction offered by Bishop Holston.

Rev. Ken Nelson asked the Conference to prepare for the retirement service by clearing their areas.  Bishop Holston invited Rev. Joe Long to come forth to offer prayer prior to the beginning of the retirement service. 

The retirement service began at 11:00 a.m. with the singing of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision.”  The retirees and their guests were recognized and honored by Bishop Holston on behalf of the SC Annual Conference.  Rev. Ernest Etheredge and Reverend Erik Grayson participated in the passing of the mantle service in remembrance of the passing of the mantle between Elijah and Elisha in 1 Kings.  The service concluded with a video featuring some of our retirees who shared reflections from their ministries and the benediction offered by Bishop Holston.

The retirees included:

Carol Dianne Allison

John Mayford Altman, Jr.

Lee Curtis Bines

Joethel Jeannetté Cooper

James Henry Counts, Jr.

Ernest Calvin Etheredge

Harry Kyle Gindhart, Jr.

James Kevin Gorry

Roger Michael Gramling

Mary E. Green

Michael Loyd Guffee

Robert Wayne Horne

Elizabeth McKay Hudson Timms

Robert Eugene Lee 

Stephen Ray Jordan

Pamela Gail Ledbetter

Bonnie Farias Miller

Jacki Sue Mitchel-Ratledge

Marie Elizabeth

Ray Jonathan Edward Smith

Deborah Ward Taylor

Jerry Eugene Temple

Tina Anderson Thomas

Mark Anthony Williams 

Ad Interim (effective January 1, 2016)

Robert Lee Allen

Franklin Elbert Copeland

June 7, 2016

The Afternoon Session

Following the lunch break the Conference reconvened at 2:00 p.m. for the Memorial Service wherein the clergy choir led us in the singing of “Total Praise” and other songs of celebration.  Rev. Patricia Parrish’s sermon: “Remarkable Words of Promise” based on John 14:1 – 3. She reminded us that while we may not have words to express our feelings during those moments of grief, God has words – remarkable words.  Words that bring us life even in the midst of death.  Words that challenge us to choose life!  Rev. Steven King led the service of Acts of Remembrance by ringing of the bell for each of our beloved clergy and lay members who passed away during the Conference year.  The benediction was offered by Bishop Holston.

We remember the following loved ones:

Active Ministers

Date of Birth Date of Death

Robert Christopher Barrett December 15, 1973 February 24, 2016

Edwina Juliette Williams May 25, 1949 February 14, 2016 

Retired Ministers

Eugene Holland Bedenbaugh June 4, 1935 February 16, 2016

Douglas Arthur Bowling November 10, 1943 August 19, 2015

George Raymond Cousar February 7, 1930 July 13, 2015

Harry Mulford Goewey September 21, 1924 June 15, 2015

Betty Sue Griffin August 22, 1932 August 16, 2015

Franklin Herman Johnson August 2, 1934 December 22, 2015

William Randolph Kinnett May 2, 1927 August 14, 2015

George Alfred McClenan June 22, 1947 April 30, 2016

Edward Donald McKinney May 9, 1923 December 4, 2015

Joseph Robert Nicholson, Sr. September 25, 1929 October 23, 2015

Lewis Carroll Pope, Jr. July 20, 1949 August 23, 2015

Fred Mortimer Reese, Jr. September 18, 1927 April 16, 2016

Dwight Moody Smith, Jr. November 20, 1931 May 10, 2016

Woodrow Marshall Smith April 7, 1937 January 5, 2016

Norris McDonald “Donnie” Swett December 5, 1936 December 8, 2015

William Joseph Vines October 11, 1931 October 12, 2015

Seth W. Williams March 25, 1944 September 7, 2015


Betty Wilson Alewine January 26, 1931 June 29, 2015

Judy Risinger Benton June 6, 1947 February 29, 2016

Iris Faye Cothran January 13, 1938 December 22, 2015

Patricia Jenkins Cross December 27, 1934 August 7, 2015

Barbara Rate Davis July 8, 1957 September 12, 2015

Jackie Jennings Morris October 23, 1953 November 18, 2015

Sherry Prater Murphy May 8, 1946 January 15, 2016

Alice Patricia “Patty” Padgett December 25, 1940 September 26, 2015

Hazel Marie Abercrombie Templeton March 3, 1930 January 1, 2016

Bernard Issac Timmons October 18, 1953 March 18, 2016

Surviving Spouses

Helen Hutto Brabham February 5, 1922 May 13, 2016

Carolyn Crenshaw  January 19, 2016

Olivia Rayfield Davis October 28, 1931 December 26, 2015

Mildred Kennerly Hendrix October 25, 1922 May 2, 2016

Agnes Dawsey Rogers April 30, 1927 April 17, 2016

Dorothy Coker Way January 22, 1922 August 24, 2015

Bernice Martin Wright January 17, 1931 February 27, 2016


Mary Jo Chreitzberg

Reese Brodie March 21, 1920 March 29, 2016

The Conference reconvened at 3:26 p.m. with the singing of a congregational hymn.

Rev. Jeremy Howell presented the report of Equitable Compensation.  He asked Bishop Holston to present report two A which requests apportionments in the amount of $550,000 to the delegates for approval.  The report was approved.  Report two B was also presented to the delegates and approved.  Rev. Howell requested to move report 2 to record.  This report was approved by the delegates.  Rev. Howell then requested to move report 3 to the record.  This report was also approved. Report 4 – pertaining to Renewed Vitality Situations was presented and unanimously approved.  Rev. Howell asked Bishop Holston to move the entire report to record.  The delegates unanimously approved the report.  Rev. Howell, who will be rolling off of the board thanked his team for their work.  He also thanked the District Secretaries and Ms. Beth Westbury.  He then thanked Rev. Sara White for her support.  Lastly, he thanked Mr. Skipper Brock, the Vice Chairperson for his work – and he invited Mr. Brock to introduce himself.   Mr. Brock thanked Rev. Howell for his faithful service.

Mr. Arthur Springs, Executive Director of Camps and Retreat Ministries presented their report.  He mentioned that the ministry has purchased a 15 passenger bus.  He highlighted the successful golf tournament which was won by the Marion District.  Rev. Tim Rogers came forth to accept the award.  Mr. Springs then showed a video highlighting the ministry’s accomplishments.  Mr. Springs introduced Mr. Jay Haar the Board Chair who presented a resolution requesting an extension of time to sell the Sewee property.  The motion was unanimously approved by the delegates.  Bishop Holston and the delegates thanked the ministry for their work.

Rev. Jeri Katherine Warden Sipes, Coordinator presented the report for Imagine No More Malaria.  She invited her team to join her on stage at which time Bishop Holston thanked each of them individually for their work.  Rev. Warden Sipes then presented a video about the Imagine No More Malaria ministry.  Ephesians 3:12 – our God is more than able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever hope for or imagine. This is certainly what we’ve seen in our Conference in light of the support that has been received thus far.  The SC Annual Conference has donated more than $400,000 to this cause so far! She introduced Rev. Jerry Henderson of the National No More Malaria Association who thanked the SC Annual Conference for our support.  Bishop Holston invited the delegates to come back this evening and to return with their pledge forms.

Bishop Holston asked Rev. Joseph James to come forth from the Nominations Committee

Page 85 line 18 – delete Lori Matthews and add Tara Start Jeffers

Page 92 Change Wyatt C. Minton to Paul Fry

Rev. James requested that Bishop Holston accept the motion to accept the report with corrections.  The delegates unanimously approved the report.

Rev. Ken Nelson announced that all attendees are asked to register for the delivery of ice cream by children from Epworth to one local church! 

Bishop Holston adjourned the Conference following a prayer offered by Dr. James Salley. 

At 7:30 p.m. the Conference attendees reconvened for a concert by the Digital Age.  The offering collected at this worship service will benefit the Imagine No More Malaria campaign. 

Share This