North Georgia Annual Conference 2017

North Georgia Annual Conference 2017 from Larry Carter, Lay Leader

The United Methodist Church is a Connectional Church and is a very large body of Believers Worldwide.  Globally, there are more than 11-million Methodists in the movement founded by John Wesley and early Methodists.  The UMC is organized much like our government and is divided into geographical areas each with their own boundaries and internal structure.  Cokes Chapel was “planted” in 1833 by Bishop Thomas Coke, sent to the New World by John Wesley.  Cokes Chapel UMC is situated in the LaGrange District of the North Georgia Conference.  The North Georgia Conference contains more than 800 churches, 1,300 clergy and 360,000 lay members.  We are a medium sized church and connected to the larger body.

Every year, the North Georgia Annual Conference gathers clergy and lay delegates together to worship, discusses and decides on policy issues, votes on prospective changes to the Book of Discipline (our votes are made known to the General Conference), hear various reports from the members of the body and enjoy fellowship.  We hear reports from the various ministries and the business of the church.  We honor those clergy and spouses who passed the previous year with a Service of Remembrance.  We hear the retiring clergy give their retirement speeches (and most continue to work for the Kingdom as long as they live).  We witness the Ordination and Commission of Clergy as they vow to serve wherever they are sent.  We witness the clergy assignments and send them off to their new charges.

The NGAC enjoys relationships with a number of organizations, such as the Candler School of Theology, the Gammon Theological Seminary and others including LaGrange College.  There is also an active camp and retreat ministry including Glisson Camp and Grow Day Camp (in which we participate locally).  There is just too much information to present in this blog so I hope and pray you will visit and learn what Methodism in North Georgia is all about.

The Annual Conferences are presided over by a Bishop and we are thrilled to have as our bishop the first female in the 151 year history of conferencing in North Georgia.  Bishop Sue Halpern-Johnson is a very real person who challenges all of us to Show Your Work (which was the theme of the conference).

I don’t want to ramble and am not a church historian.  I am simply honored and humbled to be chosen to be a lay delegate from Cokes Chapel to the Annual Conference.  From Cokes, we sent Pastor Lisa Dempsey, Deacon Kim Reindl, Lay Leader Larry Carter and Prayer Team Leader Debbie Carter (as guest).  There are around 3,000 United Methodist from all over North Georgia who descend on Athens every year, stay in the hotels, dine in the restaurants and spread the Love that God has for us.

I’ve visited the conference web site and picked a few pictures for a slideshow displayed below.  Enjoy.  Feel free to ask any question(s) you may have.


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