Up Close Series: Meet Your General Conference Delegates

Date Posted: 3/10/2016

In this ongoing series, learn more about the delegates representing the Texas Conference at the mid-May General Conference. This edition spotlights longtime lay leader Sue Sullivan and Rev. Ben Trammell of Faith UMC in Richmond.
As the clock ticks closer to the 2016 General Conference, delegates are preparing by reading resolutions and other background material and praying for God’s special anointment on this historic event. Congregation members from across the conference elected a roster of lay and clergy leaders to represent them at this event, but might wonder what is going through the minds of their delegates. What motivates them to put in so much of their own time to be a part of this event? This issue shines the spotlight on longtime lay leader Sue Sullivan from Texarkana in the North District and also features a video interview with Rev. Ben Trammell, pastor of Faith UMC in Richmond in the Southwest District:

Sue Sullivan, Lay Delegate to the 2016 General Conference
Why did you want to participate in General Conference? 
I have served in the local church, district and annual conferences and General Conference committees, boards and agencies.  I have served as a Jurisdictional Delegate 2004, 2008 and 2012 and General Conference Delegate in 2012.  I feel I have the experience to bring the views of the laity of the UMC.  As a Certified Lay Minister, I also understand clergy perspective on many issues.  I want to participate in General Conference to engage in planning for the future of our denomination.
Why do you think General Conference is important?
 As a connectional church body, General Conference provides a time for us to come together to evaluate where we have been, where we are now, and where we hope to be in the near future.
What is your greatest hope for General conference? 
I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us and unite us in our Biblical understanding of what it means to be United Methodists.  My hope is that we will address the declining membership and worship attendance and seek strategies for spiritual and membership growth.
What is your greatest hope for the UMC? 
The theme for 2016 General Conference is Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." This scripture is my hope for the UMC.
How is being a delegate in General Conference part of your calling? 
My prayers include offering myself in service to God.  I trust that He provides opportunities for me to be obedient to His calling.  Being a delegate to General Conference is an honor and privilege, and it requires prayer, study, teamwork, and faithfulness to the Scriptures.