Annual Conference Worship

Worship services for Annual Conference were designed by the conference worship team, led by Bishop Steiner Ball.

Opening Worship with Holy Communion will begin following the Call to Order on Thursday afternoon at 1:30. We will celebrate the hope we have experienced following the devastating flooding that occurred last summer.  Pastors and congregation members from churches affected by the flood will lead us in worship and preaching.

Thursday evening’s 7:30 worship service
will celebrate the answering of Wesley’s Historic Questions by those who are to be commissioned and ordained and the celebration of the work and ministries of those who are retiring from active service.
On Friday morning at 11:00 will with join with family members of our remembered faithful servants of the church during the Memorial Service.  Bishop Holston will be our preacher.
Friday evening’s worship time will be a celebration in the African American worship tradition as we recognize the faithful work and ministries of our 16 historically African American congregations.  Bishop Holston will be preaching.
A Celebration of Ministry will be the theme of our Saturday evening worship time.  Bishop Holston will be preaching as we celebrate the various ways we share our gifts in ministry.  David Wells, a Grammy nominated flugelhorn player and jazz style musician will be our guest musician.
The Service of Ordination with Recognition of Membership and Commissioning will begin at 9:30 am on Sunday morning in Wesley Chapel.  Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball will be preaching.
We welcome Bishop Jonathan Holston as the guest preacher for the 2017 Annual Conference. Bishop Holston is the resident Bishop of the South Carolina Conference. He is married to Felecia Brown Holston and they have two adult children, Karlton Maurice and Brittany Jene’. Prior to his election and consecration in July of 2012, he served as the senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Atlanta.

Bishop Holston holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from The Interdenominational Theological Center, Gammon Theological Seminary, in Atlanta. He also has a bachelor’s degree in religion from the University of Georgia. Prior to his appointment to St. James UMC, he served as superintendent of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District (1997-2005); an associate director of the North Georgia Conference Council on Ministries (1992-1997); the senior pastor of Clifton UMC (1986-1992); and the senior pastor of Marietta Street UMC (1983-1986). In May of 2015, Bishop Holston received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoire-Rhyne University. In May of 2016, he was the recipient of the Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) degree from Gammon Theological Seminary and an honorary Doctor of Human Letter (D.H.L.) from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Bishop Holston has also served as a member of the General Council on Finance and Administration, chair of General Conference Finance and Administrative Legislative Committee and as a member of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the Southeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, Hinton Rural Life Center, Appalachian Development Committee and the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association for Native American Ministries. He has also traveled extensively as a specialist in missions to Ecuador, Uganda, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Kenya, India, China and Hong Kong. In his work as the Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator, he served on the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Catastrophic Disaster Response Team and as the Church World Service Disaster Consultant in Georgia. In January of 2013,

Bishop Holston was appointed by the Southeastern Jurisdiction to UMVIM Board of Directors (2013-2016) and to the Lake Junaluska Board of Trustees (2013-2016). He was elected to the Gammon Theological Seminary Board in January 2013 and the Board of Directors of the South Carolina United Methodist Foundation in April 2013. In 2016 he began a term on the Columbia College Board of Trustees. In September of 2016, Bishop Holston was pleased to accept an invitation to serve with the Board of Directors for the General Board of Global Ministries (2016-2020). The West Virginia Conference is honored to have Bishop Holston join us at Annual Conference.