Photo Gallery Spotlights Special Events

Date Posted: 6/26/2014

The sights and sounds of conference included eight-foot wooden trees covered in paper apples, special luncheons, meetings and celebrations for retirees, clergy and laity. Take a photographic tour. Highlight video clips are also available.
It would be impossible to attend all of the events at Annual Conference. More than 2,200 registered and an estimated 900 others attended specialized events during the week. In case you missed something, here are a few photos and fun facts to recap.
Devoted New Clergy: Delegates witnessed a special service recognizing 24 in the Commissioning Class and 15 in the Ordination Class. Rev. Andy Dill was one of the ordinands with a very special story. Andy, raised by deaf parents, was joined by his mother at the Tuesday night worship service. She was able to attend, and brought 11 friends who were also deaf in a touching show of support for Andy. They were able to fully participate in this memorable evening by sitting in special reserved seating near the conference sign language translators.



The retiree luncheon celebrated 25 retirees in style. Also, during conference, 39 clergy were memorialized in a special service of remembrance.


Resources galore: Eight-foot wooden “ministry trees” adorned the foyer near the main ballroom throughout conference, beckoning attendees to post paper apples with highlights about each church’s outreach mission activities. The trees represented nine areas of ministry ranging from clothing to recovery support and the apples were color coded by district, creating a colorful display of missional fruitfulness. The information provided is being summarized into a spreadsheet for use by all TAC churches seeking to start new ministry initiatives. Additionally, almost two dozen ministry partners set up resource tables geared to help congregations learn how to get more involved in a variety of outreach activities.

Laity Unite:
The Laity Session was interactive, thought provoking, and idea generating.  The Board of Laity’s vision for the laity session was to provide a fresh approach that would stimulate new ideas and opportunities that delegates could try in their local churches, so attendees experienced the power of social networking firsthand through a Twitter experiment and survey.
At large West district delegate Anthony Ormsbee from Wesley Memorial UMC in Huntsville was very excited to participate in the laity skit. “I thought the message of unity was much needed especially at this particular annual conference,” he shares. “People were very involved in the tweeting process and I had a large group of people around me. It was wonderful to learn about the different missions that other churches were doing. “
The return of the Laity Luncheon was a great success. Lay Leader Stephanie Griffin said the group of 160 enjoyed singing along with Hearts – A- Fire Praise Band from the Wesley Foundation at Stephen F. Austin State University. “ The music was a toe- tapping experience that energized us as we ate our meal and prepared us for an informative presentation by Reverend Diane McGehee. She challenged the laity to get involved in their mission fields and was joined by spokespersons including representatives from St. John’s Art Project and from the Wesley Center at Lamar.