Meet the Ordination and Commissioning Candidates of 2016
Being commissioned, marked by the laying-on of hands in a special ceremony, is one of the highlights of each Annual Conference for both the individual elders and Bishop Janice Riggle Huie. It signifies that the church affirms and continues its ministry through these candidates who commit to living and proclaiming the gospel. Board of Ministry Candidacy Manager Deann Saxton says, “The commissioning class of 2016 is an amazing group of people who have a passion for ministry and hope to see change in the lives of those God puts in their path. I know each has grown in their ministry and will do great things for God.”
This annual milestone is an important role for the conference board of ordained ministry that recruits, nurtures, and supports those preparing for licensed or ordained ministry, and evaluates whether or not candidates have the gifts for ministry and are ready to serve.
Commissioned: Kelli Eldridge, Eddie Hilliard, LyAnna Smith Johnson, William S "Billy" McMahon, Eric Pugh, Tabitha Rankin, Silverio Sanchez, Jennifer Johnson Smith, Mark Sorensen, Virginia "Ginny" Tincher, Michael Whang, Alberto Williams, Alex Zeisig
Ordained: Benjamin Bagley, Kristopher Bagley, Emily Bankston, Kaitlyn Bowie Hankins, David Briggs, Eleanor Colvin, Carrie DeLeon, David Dorn II, Wesley Duncan , Emily Everett, Brandi Horton, David Horton, Jimmie Jackson, Michael Jarboe, Carrie Leader, Benjamin Lohmer, Adam Muckleroy, Erin Muckleroy, Jerico Pagdilao, Keith Somerville, Hannah Terry, Leo Tyler, Katherine "Kate" Walker, Cary Wilkins, Jeremy Woodley
Insight from Several Commissioning Candidates
Rev. Billy McMahon : “My wife, Tara, and I will soon be moving to Arkansas as she starts her residency with the University of Arkansas’ dermatology program. I’ll be on loan to the Arkansas Conference and serving a church just east of Little Rock. We are both sad to leave Houston and St. Luke’s UMC, but are incredibly excited for these great opportunities for both of our careers. I’m eager to be a solo pastor for a local church!”
Rev. Eddie Hilliard: “I am grateful for this gift from The Texas Annual Conference. The process of Residency is providing me with the opportunity to "sharpen my saw" for the worship and justice work in my future.”
Rev. Mark Sorensen: "2016 marks my 20-year anniversary working within the UMC in various roles (youth director, worship leader, college and young adult director, to name a few). I'm thankful for what I have learned, how the Lord has guided and provided for me, and I am greatly looking forward to what God has in store for my future in the United Methodist Church. To God be the glory!"
Behind the Scenes with Ordination Candidate Rev. Eleanor Colvin
When Rev. Eleanor Colvin shares the story of her calling, it begins when she was the TAC Communication Director. She sensed God asking her what she was going to do for the kingdom and her reply at that time was to “write Cross Connection stories, so that United Methodists can answer the call to lead and serve.” According to Eleanor, God said: “You’re United Methodist and a leader. What are you going to do?” She is thankful that God calls and keeps calling, and believes “it is a privilege to be a second-career pastor, who was also blessed to use her first career to glorify God.”
She has served St. Paul’s UMC Houston as the associate pastor for community and global ministries for two years, and has now been appointed to lead First UMC in College Station.
Shares Eleanor, “Because I’m a storyteller at heart, I’m most passionate about creative ministries that utilize the arts to help people explore and deepen their faith. I’m also radical enough to believe that God’s kingdom can come on earth as it is in heaven, and so, I’m passionate about engaging people and communities in ways that demonstrate we love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with our God.”