Dr. Jesse Brannen Appointed as Director of Congregational Excellence

Date Posted: 6/26/2014

On September 1, Dr. Jesse Brannen will bid the congregation of United Methodist Temple, Port Arthur, farewell and settle into his new desk in the TAC offices. He is excited about his new role as Director of Congregational Excellence and continuing the work of the Vibrant Church Initiative process launched by Dr. Don Waddleton.

“Rev. Jesse Brannen is an experienced coach in the Vibrant Church Initiative process and the pastor of a growing congregation in an area that is not high growth,” adds Bishop Janice Riggle Huie. “Jesse brings excellent leadership skills and a passion for congregational revitalization to his new position as a Conference Center Director.”

He is humbled by this opportunity but approaches it with his own brand of enthusiastic vigor. He says, “Being appointed as Center Director of Congregational Excellence is both surprising and humbling. Surprising because I never thought that I would be appointed to a director position and humbling because I am following one of the truly great leaders of the Texas Annual Conference, Dr. Don Waddleton. Don's willingness to share his experience, thoughts and ideas has been invaluable in the years that I have known him. I will undoubtedly be using much of what I have learned from him as I move to this new mission field.”

Jesse began his ministry in 1996 by attending licensing school in the Kentucky Annual Conference. Since that time he graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College with a Bachelors in Psychology, Southern Methodist University with a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership from Midwest University. He has served seven churches in two annual conferences.

Notes Jesse, “After completing the Pastoral Leadership Program this past year I was privileged to be trained through the Vibrant Church Initiative process as a Directive Coach and a Lead Consultant. I have enjoyed serving several churches in this process as a coach and lead consultant in our annual conference.”

 He is optimistic about the strengths around TAC's new church starts, expanding youth and young adult program, the results of VCI among the 30 churches involved in the process and what this holds for others to follow. “What I like best about VCI,” he adds, “is that it is a process not a program, as it has the ability to allow congregations to see themselves in a new and informative way by fully engaging them in a period of prayer, discernment and action. I believe that the VCI process is going to be critical for the future and vitality of congregations in the Texas Annual Conference and beyond.”

Dick White, Southeast District Superintendent says, "Jesse Brannen is a faithful and visionary leader.  He has a strong work ethic, knows how to organize systems and motivate people. He is passionate about church revitalization and expanding the presence of the United Methodist Church in new mission fields. I am confident that his gifts and graces are exactly what the Texas Annual Conference needs in a Director for the Center of Congregational Excellence."