Cabinet Appointments: New Faces in New Places
Read about the District Superintendents that are joining the Cabinet or exchanging places, and an exciting new position within the Center for Congregational Excellence.
Referencing change and progress, someone once said, “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” Opportunities during the appointment season are ample, and Bishop Scott Jones has announced several changes in the District Superintendent ranks – some that just require a physical move and some that will welcome new faces to the Conference Cabinet.
To recap, District Superintendent Kip Gilts is moving from South District to Central North District, since Rev. Morris Matthis is joining the TAC staff in the Center for Congregational Excellence as the Director of New Faith Communities this July. District Superintendent Tony Vinson is moving from the East District to lead the Southwest District, which makes a path for Dr. Richard P. White to step into the East District DS role, after serving Quitman UMC for the last seven years. Rev. Vincent Harris, pastor of Houston Journey of Faith, will become the District Superintendent in the South District. Additionally, conference leaders have created a new position in the Center for Congregational Excellence and Rev. Artie Cadar will step into that role as Coordinator of Mission Field Development this summer, having served several years as pastor of Houston CrossRoads.
Here are brief snapshots of the newest members of the Cabinet:
Meet the incoming South District DS: Rev. Vincent Harris
Rev. Vincent Harris uses the famous quote from Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress,” as a motivator for life. An elder in the Texas Annual Conference, he is serving his 13th year under appointment at Journey of Faith United Methodist Church. He is a life-long Methodist, born in Lebanon, Tennessee, who entered ministry at age 26. He is a graduate of Tennessee State University, Wesley Theological Seminary and Houston Graduate School of Theology. He is also a certified Christian educator in the United Methodist Church. He feels his 12 years collective service on the Little Rock Conference and Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry are on his “highlight reel” thus far. He has also served as a candidacy mentor and Dean of the Texas Annual Conference local pastor’s school, and eight years on the Texas Annual Conference Core Leadership Team. While at Wiley College, Vincent served as chaplain, associate dean of students and assistant professor of religion. Notes Vincent, “As chaplain I helped established the Young Scholars Program, the first Habitat for Humanity chapter at the college, RAPP (Rising above Peer Pressure) a rites of passage and civil rights education and mentoring program, reestablished the Wiley Student Leadership Forum, and helped in initial planning, project funding, and program initiatives of the current Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel.”
Additionally, he served as national vice-chairperson and national chairperson, respectively, of Black Methodists for Church Renewal from 2003-2006 and participated in the General Board of Discipleship High Potential Metro Church Project. As he steps into the role of South District Superintendent, the next phase of his personal journey, he says, “I hope to accomplish what Christ has called the church to be in every age, a beloved community, a people engaged in reaching, teaching, and empowering all of humankind. Most of all, I hope to accomplish what is central to the life of every disciple, feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the prisoner.”
Meet the new East District DS: Dr. Richard P. (Dick) White
Since Dr. Richard (Dick) White was born and raised in the East District and has served his entire ministry in this region, he is more than thrilled to become the next East District Superintendent. “I pray I can do more motivating, encouraging and uplifting at the district level than I did at the local church level,” he says, “and I am excited about that! I have a sincere love for the small member churches and this district has tons of them.” Dick became minister of the FUMC Quitman and Liberty UMC in June of 2009.
Prior to that, he served for six years as the spiritual leader of FUMC Jasper and earlier, has served in Madisonville, Linden, Shiloh, and St. Luke’s in Texarkana. Born in Nacogdoches, Dick received a history degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at TCU, and Doctor of Ministry from Houston Graduate School of Theology.
Conference Staff Welcomes Rev. Artie Cadar to the Center for Congregational Excellence
Rev. Cadar is no stranger to new church starts. He became the founding pastor of a Hispanic worship community at Friendswood UMC, which started with a small group of eight. In 2012, he became the founding pastor of ChristWay Community Church, a new multicultural church plant that thrived and grew to 120 in two worship services -- one in English and one in Spanish. Most recently, he has served as the founding pastor of CrossRoads UMC. God brought the world together at ChristWay and expanded it at CrossRoads. ChristWay Community Church and Cokesbury UMC merged to become what is now CrossRoads UMC a multicultural, multigenerational, singularly focused on Jesus church that worships 240 people from 24 different nationalities, in two languages and 3 services: one traditional, one contemporary, one in Spanish.
As the Coordinator of Mission Field Development, Rev. Cadar will be working with Congregational Excellence Center Director Dr. Jesse Brannen and Rev. Morris Matthis, director of New Faith Communities to help local churches effectively respond to the changing demographics in their local mission fields. He will assist congregations throughout the conference in outreach to and welcoming of diverse communities, particularly where there is a large Hispanic population covering multiple generations. “This will include helping launch new multi-cultural faith communities as well as helping existing congregations become missionally relevant,” Jesse explains, “so that their membership and attendance more fully represent the demographics in which God has placed them.”
Artie is looking forward to this new ministry adventure in the Center for Congregational Excellence. “I am most excited about the potential that we have as a conference to develop our mission field in collaboration with the local church and with community-centered organizations that can help us to better position the United Methodist Church as a destination point for people from all cultures who are seeking to fulfill their spiritual and social needs,” he shares. “Our mission field is rich in growth opportunities with specific segments of the population that have been growing significantly in the community and in some of our churches over the last 10 years. This means that we need to do some work to better align ourselves with the fast-paced transformational trends that our communities are experiencing. I look forward to working closely with pastors and lay leaders across the TAC to support their respective ministry plans and to help them identify additional growth opportunities with their communities.”
Rev. Diane McGehee, Director of the Center for Missional Excellence shares that, “Rev. Cadar along with the whole Hispanic Ministries Taskforce will be working with congregations throughout the Conference to help us all reach the multi-national and multi-cultural communities in our midst. I am proud to pass this responsibility on to Rev. Cadar and consider this appointment and shift a major accomplishment of the Center for Missional Excellence team and am deeply grateful to Bishop Jones and the Cabinet for this appointment. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next! I believe Artie will help us reach the nations that God has gathered in our midst, by helping us share the gospel in ways that are relevant and which take us out of our buildings and into our communities in life-giving, relationship-building ministry.”
Rev. Morris Matthis adds, “How exciting to be a part of the historic nature of this step and I can only yet imagine what it will mean for multicultural ministry in the TAC.”
See the latest appointments