New Greenbrier Wesleyan District Holds Its First Conference

By Jim Minutelli

Well, it’s official!

The lines were drawn months ago.  A transition team was formed.  Local churches shared their suggestions and concerns.  The process moved forward, and it all finally came to fruition on Sunday, August 28th

The new Greenbrier Wesleyan District became reality as the delegates at the District Conference voted unanimously to adopt the changes, and the name, that combine large parts of the former Wesleyan and Greenbrier districts into one.

Gathering at Gilgal United Methodist Church in Mt. Nebo, the 100+ delegates and pastors were blessed with music from the St. Luke’s UMC praise team, featuring Brandon, Amy, Bre & Elise  Moll, Jamie Jarvis, and Jared Hall, and opening prelude from Susie Bell.

Rev. Sue Lowther, host pastor from Gilgal, opened the Conference with introductions and greetings.  After an opening hymn, District Lay Leader Jim Minutelli invited the group to center themselves into an attitude of worship with a Call to Worship.

An offering was taken up to benefit Upshur Parish House and Tyrand Cooperative Ministries, the District’s two mission projects.

Conference Superintendent Rick Swearingen, in his message entitled “Forward, March,” challenged the local churches of this new district to “press forward, always,’ using the analogy that “while a vehicle has three gears; forward, reverse, and neutral, the Christian journey has only two, and neutral is not of them.”

As the worship ended with Holy Communion, led by Rev. Paul Rebelo from Chapel Hill UMC in Buckhannon, and benediction, the business session was called to order.  Becky Adkins from Gilgal UMC was nominated and elected to the position of secretary.

Rev. Barry Moll was surprised when he was honored by the District Transition team for his many years of service to the Celebration of Missions Event.  Belinda Toms presented him with a framed declaration of his service over the twenty-five years of the Celebration of Mission Event.

Each of the District’s mission projects were celebrated with a video and an update from their respective directors, Belinda Toms of Tyrand Cooperative Ministries and Kristi Wilkerson from the Upshur Parish House.

Thanking the Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, and Lay Ministers for their ministries and acknowledging the many hats that they wear, District Director of Lay Servant Ministries Jim Minutelli led those Lay Servants attending in a service of recognition and approval on behalf of the District Committee of Lay Servant Ministries.

After approvals of the recommended new name for the District, setting of the Fair Share Fund, and resolution for the payment of the 2023 World Service Fund, along with reports from the District Committee on Ministry and the Committee of Nominations, the business meeting was adjourned.