«REPORT NO. 1 Annual Report of the District Superintendent July 9, 2011 General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Pence, pastors, delegates and friends ...»
REPORT NO. 1
Annual Report of the District Superintendent
July 9, 2011
General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Pence, pastors, delegates and friends assembled for the 44th Annual Conference of the South Carolina
District of The Wesleyan Church: Greetings in the strong name of our Risen Lord! This is my seventh report to you as District
Superintendent. That simply does not seem possible. I continue to be amazed at our Lord’s faithfulness and empowering presence in
our lives. I am humbled as I consider the trust that He, you and the church have placed in us. I can, without hesitation, say that we have not taken that lightly. Thank you for your love, support, encouragement and prayers. All of it has been needed.
It is my goal to give you a different kind of report this year: less copy, more bullet points and visuals... and more heart.
The church was meant to be an unstoppable force in our world.
"I will build my church and the gates of hell will not stop it." Matt. 16:18 "If God is for us who could ever stop us?" Rom. 8:31 "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38, 39 That is what God designed the church to be! Does this actually reflect the present state of the church? our district? your church? I will let you decide as your examine the report.
I want to share with you a quote that you will see again in a video at the end of my presentation:
“Strictly speaking, one ought to say that the Church is always in a state of crisis and that its greatest shortcoming is that it is only occasionally aware of it. This ought to be the case because of the abiding tension between the church's essential nature and its empirical condition that there were so many centuries of crisis free existence, the Church was therefore an abnormality... And if the atmosphere of crisis lessness still lingers on in many parts of the West, this is simply the result of a dangerous delusion. Let us also know that to encounter crisis is to encounter the possibility of truly being the Church.” – David Bosch, Transforming Mission
DISTRICT TRENDSIf you’re not counting, you’re just practicing.
The following represent increases in these areas:
Total Number of Members – 86 (+ 2.1%) Number of Covenant Members – 35 (+.01%) Number of Community Members – 31 (+10%) Number of Student Members – 16 (+22.8%) Primary Worship Attendance – 3 (0%) Sunday School Attendance – 95 (+4.7%) Adults Enrolled in Discipleship – 911 (+56.7%) Youth Enrolled in Discipleship – 150 (+24.9%) Children Enrolled in Discipleship – 108 (+11.8%) Total Enrolled in Sunday School Discipleship, Small Groups – 1,169 (+37.2%) Salvations – 85 (+27.3%) Sanctifications – 2 (+2.5%) Baptisms – 14 (+7.7%) Called Into Ministry – 13 (+72.2%) Students at Wesleyan Colleges/Universities – 3 (+4%) Percentage of combined USF/EIF/District Assessments increased from 94.9% to 98.21%
Areas where we show decreases include:
Total Contribution Income – $29,535 (.006%) Total Assessable Income – $10,346 (.002%) Global Partners Offering – $119,778 ( 14.3%)
Other Extremely Important Facts:
Twenty eight of our congregations (51%) showed a gain in Primary Worship Attendance this past year. One church had the same attendance as one year ago and twenty six (47%) registered decreases in attendance.
Churches reporting “0” Conversions – 7 Churches reporting “0” Baptisms – 19 The Discipline 518 cites the requirements for an Established Church. Churches failing to meet requirement (2) – Effective evangelism and a record of new converts and/or believers baptisms incorporated into the church will be recommended by the District Superintendent to the DBA for review of status.
New Resources Rev. Tim Jones and Bryan Stepp have received the training and we are now in a position to offer the Natural Church Development (NCD) process to our SC District churches. This is another item that we added to district tool kit. Other helps include: the Conflict Response Team and local church refocusing.
This year was a strong year for the Table Rock Retreat and Conference Center. We are indebted to the leadership of Chairman Ken Whitener and an outstanding Board of Directors that continues to remain focused on a long range future while also dealing with the short term challenges. We are in the permitting/approval stages of building a six acre lake on the Mill Creek beginning just north of West Gate Road. It is felt that this could enhance our appeal as a destination and add to the activities offered. A significant undertaking was completed this year with the establishment of the water system as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).
Office Administrator Joan Rampey – Almost everyone knows that she is main reason for the effectiveness and efficiency in the administration of the district.
Our denominational leadership team, especially General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Pence. Everyone has been available, helpful and affirming.
Pastors – You are the ones on the “front lines” getting the job done day after day.
Leadership Team (Assistant DS’s) Tony Casey, Fred Andrews, and Tim Jones – your friendship and guidance is inexpressibly valued and appreciated.
DBA – You provide visionary leadership, wise counsel and support for the mission.
My family – My wife, children, grandchildren and parents are undeniably the most significant source of earthly love, affirmation and support.
Our amazing Father God – To Him belongs all the glory and gratitude!
General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Pence, District Superintendent Buddy Rampey, and delegates of the South Carolina District Conference of the Wesleyan Church.
It has been my privilege to serve the South Carolina District this past year in the capacity of Assistant District Superintendent in the area of pastoral care. My particular assignment is summed up in those two words: pastoral care. As I have envisioned how to provide pastoral care for pastors, the model of a pastor providing care for the people in his congregation has been my model.
However, my flock is scattered over an entire state and some in other states so some creative thinking has been required to minister to those in our “district flock.”
As I have sought to be the voice of comfort and encouragement, my ministry has included pastors in these categories of need:
those in days of transition of assignment, those in need of restoration because of personal failure, those facing challenging family issues, those facing a variety of crises and those simply retired. I have sought to be the voice for concern and encouragement on behalf of the district.
A special focus continues on those not presently actively engaged in ministry. For the third year, a Legacy Luncheon was provided in November at Central for all those age 60 and above who have served in ministry, past or present. This includes spouses as well as widows of pastors. This fellowship time included a meal provided without cost to all the pastors, their spouses and widows of pastors. The meal was followed by a program of encouragement. The goal of this gathering was to honor and bless those who have blessed us with their faithful service. Our plans are to provide another Legacy Luncheon this November on Thursday, November 3 at 12 Noon in Central.
My report would be incomplete without mentioning the special bond that exists among the assistant district superintendents and our district superintendent. On a monthly basis we meet for breakfast, study, prayer and accountability. This monthly time has proven to be not only a bond for all of us but also a mutually beneficial time. There is a unity of purpose among the four of us that has proven extremely helpful in our ministry to the district.
For what God has done, I remain extremely grateful for the ways He has poured grace upon me and in turn upon others. To God be the glory!
Respectfully submitted, Fred Andrews
General Superintendent Jerry Pence, District Superintendent Buddy Rampey, and delegates of the Annual Conference of the
South Carolina District of the Wesleyan Church:
It has been my privilege to serve the South Carolina District in the capacity of Assistant District Superintendent this past year.
The following is a chronicle of my official acts for the 2010 2011 district year.
District Board of Administration – 6 Camp Meeting Board – 1 District Board of Ministerial Development (DBMD) – 4 DBMD sub committee meetings – 1 Leadership Team meetings – 9 Public Morals and Social Concerns – 2 Budget Committee Meeting – 1 Denominational DBMD Task Force
Graduate Student Theological Seminar BOOST coaches' training “Divided by Faith” Conference at IWU
Had numerous phone conversations with District Superintendent Rampey Had numerous Personal Meeting with District Superintendent Rampey Had numerous phone conversations and emails pertaining to district business and/or concerns.
Taught “Social Ramifications of the Gospel Seminar” To the best of my ability, I have endeavored to support and assist District Superintendent Buddy Rampey As I close this report I would like to thank Rev. Buddy Rampey and the South Carolina District for the way they have worked with my schedule this past year. I appreciate every accommodation and adjustment along the way. A special thanks to Joan Rampey who is a tremendous help, especially when I am out of town. In addition, it has been a joy to work with Dr. Fred Andrews and Rev. Tim Jones. My respect for both men is tremendous. Finally, my deepest appreciation is reserved for my lovely wife, Sherri. I do what I do only because she whole heartedly supports my endeavors. She is the love of my life and I thank her.
Respectfully submitted, Anthony R. Casey, Assistant District Superintendent
General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Pence, District Superintendent Buddy Rampey, District Board of Administration members,
Pastors, Delegates and friends:
It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the South Carolina District, the DBA and to assist our good District Superintendent, Buddy Rampey, this past year. I have had the privilege to be a part of many discussions this year that included planning and implementing ideas and programs that will help guide the South Carolina district in the future. It is such a pleasure to serve in a district where there is vision and teamwork like we all see on our district.
I enjoy and look forward to our District Leadership meetings. We study together, pray together and plan together. I really believe that your district leadership has a godly vision for the South Carolina District.
My specific duties this year have been with the developing churches in our district. This year we have called our group the Church Development Team. Our goal is to find out what we must do to see healthy churches... churches that are able to reproduce. We believe every church needs to be healthy to produce disciples, daily followers of Christ.
Our discussions have centered mainly on Church Health. During every gathering we have invited key leaders around the district to come and share and lead a discussion in various areas of church ministry. This has been really effective and has already shown some great results. We really are blessed to have some good pastors in our district. One pastor has been a part of our Developing Church/Church Development group ever since its inception, even though his church is not in this category. That is commitment to grow and become all that God would have us to be.
I attended a wonderful training class in Chicago this year with Bryan Stepp. The program that we received training for is called Natural Church Development. We believe this program, along with God’s blessing, has the potential to help all of our churches turn a corner in their development. This will be our main focus this year... to study the 8 Characteristics of a Healthy Church.
In every meeting of the Church Development group–consisting of pastors and lay people–we will study one of these 8 characteristics. We invite you to watch the announcements of when we meet again. Our next gathering will be Tuesday, August 23rd at Greenville First Wesleyan @ 6:30 PM.
Other duties have included being a part of the Hispanic Leadership Committee. I plan to be more helpful to this committee this year.
I have also made myself available to our District Superintendent for meetings with other churches, leaders and pastors as needed.
My prayer for this year is that God will continue to use me in the ways that He chooses and that I will always remain willing to do my part in helping the Kingdom of God move forward with health and power.
Will the South Carolina District rise to challenge of:
Seeing 10,000 lives engaged in 80 healthy, growing and multiplying churches by 2025?
Believing for a catalyst of 5 "Jerusalem plant" projects in the next three years?
The call of the 3,500,000 unreached persons in our circle of accountability demands that we answer with a resounding “Yes.” If we will give our heart and soul to these goals, the district will be propelled into a position of missional momentum that it has not experienced for more than 80 years. We are already seeing evidence of God’s hand moving on our behalf as our prayer focus has become sharper. I call on us as a district to pray and make ourselves available for the great task of seeing salvation come to thousands and bringing light to the darkness. God is still calling, “Who will go for Me?” We know the answer has eternal consequences.