Wesleyan General Conference | Second Legislative Session

6.4.2012 — Leave a comment

Monday, June 4th, 2012 | 8:30 – 11:30AM

Dr. Gerry Pence, Chair, General Superintendent

Devotional Period: Dr. Clarence “Bud” Bence
“Who are the Wesleyans?”
01. “Wesleyans give top priority to salvation”
02. “Wesleyans have ‘big picture’ salvation.”
03. “Wesleyans can be unconventional in order to get the task done.”
04. Wesleyans are optimistic about the possibilities of grace.”

“God not only wants us to save the passengers, He wants us to fix the ship.” Dr. Bud Bence

Roll Call
(approximately half are laity delegates and half are ministerial delegates)
Session rules reminders:
Orange “attention card” to wave from audience if you want to be recognized from the chairperson.
Electronic voting devices will be used to vote. (practicing)

QUESTION: Which age group do you fit?
1. 20-35
2. 36-50
3. 51-65
4. 65-75
5. 75-100
51% – 3
26% – 2
4% – 4
15% – 4
4% – 5

QUESTION: How did you travel to Gen Con?
1. American-made vehicle
2. Japanese-made
3. German-made
4. Airplane
5. None of the above

1 – 42%
2 – 20%
3 – 4%
4 – 30%

Report of Dr. Jerry Pence:
Came to headquarters in 1990 (Dept of Evangelism and Church Growth), 7 years, then to Penn Jersey as District Superintendent, then back to be GS.
He is heading to Brooksville, FL as senior pastor of the Brooksville Wesleyan Church.

Report of Dr. Lyon, GS:
Nothing to add, open to questions. (no questions)

Report of General Secretary – Dr. Kelly
Quick Summary…(Dr. Kelly is retiring after General Conference)
From paper-reporting to ALL electronic reporting for the denomination (not without some pain)
Some archive material has moved off-site.
Open for questions: none.

Report of Kevin Batman, General Treasurer
God has blessed our denomination over the last 4-years – each year in the black.
Special thanks to local church treasurers and district treasurers.

Report of General Publisher, Don Cady

Report of General Director of Spiritual Formation, Dr. Jim Dunn

Report of General Director of Evangelism and Church Growth – Dr. Jerry Pence
(during pilot-program over last 2yrs, Dr. Pence’s responsibilities have been doubled-up and has been serving in this capacity as well)
1 out of 11 churches in the Wesleyan Church is a Spanish-speaking church

Report of Dr. Kerry Kind – director of Education and the Ministry

Report of Dr. H.C. Wilson – director of Global Partners
(completing 41-years of ministry within the Wesleyan church)

Report of Dr. Craig Dunn – CEO of Wesleyan Investment Foundation

Report of Dr. Craig Dunn – CEO of Wesleyan Pension Fund
(two hats)
3,000+ Wesleyan Pastors are investing in WPF

Report of General Director of Wesleyan Women – Martha Blackburn
(Wesleyan Women is being dissolved after this conference)

Report of Hephzibah Ministries CEO – Rev. CK Chitty

Report of Wesleyan Medical Fellowship – Dr. Storer W Emmett
(this department is being merged in with Global Partners)

Report of Rich Avery, director of Wesleyan Native Ministries
WNM – almost 70-years old

Report of Dr. Tom Armiger (former General Superintendent) [was not required to report, but rather given the opportunity]
“a delight to be here and not have any worries at all…”
14+yrs as a General Superintendent
current role: serving through World Hope International

(Memorials are legislation presented for action to be taken)
Link to memorial here.
On the floor for debate…
No debate heard.
1. YES
2. NO
CARRIED by audible vote.


MEMORIAL 345 – One General Superintendent Model
Memorial link here.
A full read-through of this memorial by Dr. Ronald Kelly, Secretary
Dr. H.C. Wilson is commenting on the memorial.
“in conclusion – this is not a matter of right and wrong” “it’s a matter of preference, of choice…”

Dr. Lee M. Haines is commenting on the memorial.
comments about how he appreciates how well-written the memorial is
“if we approve, we’ll have to disregard some events from our history”
“single leader – all that leaders gifts and strengths and faults and weaknesses”
“multiple leaders can hold each other accountable”
“i would speak against the resolution and in favor of keeping our current structure”

Dave Tippey is commenting on the memorial.
“how the single gs model would increase our missional intentionality?”
“how would it increase our accountability?”
“how would it increase our coverage?”

Harry Wood – member of GBA responding to the previous comments.
Three questions: FOCUS, Accountability, Connectional Coverage
“in terms of focus:”
yes, three can collaborate
however, it would be contrary to every other level of the church – singular leadership provides the focus of the church/institution
“perhaps with one GS there would be better focus”
“in terms of accountability”:
an impression that there would be limited accountablity, however there is OTHER legislation coming that would ‘ratchet UP’ accountability – especially missional accountability
“in terms of connectional coverage”
no question – one cannot do what three did in terms of being geographically present… however, an increase of gatherings where GS can be present
this model calls for greater empowerment – of districts, local leaders, shared service – while all the time focusing the missional leadership in greater precision

Kevin Goss(?) (Colorado/Nebraska) commenting IN FAVOR of the memorial
ONE GS becomes less “one who presides over ceremony” and more a “vision-casting leader” for the denomination.

Chad McCallum commenting
Asking, “if we were to draw the organizational structure…” how many lines would draw back to the General Superintendent?

Dr. Pence responding
Four ‘division heads’, 33 district superintendents, college presidents, heads of subsidiary corporations (WIF, WPF, Wes Native Min, Hephzibah), 2-3 persons in structure, Chief Financial Officer, Development Officer – each would respond directly to the ONE GS.

Ralph Kerr(?) – WNY District – commenting on the memorial
Which memorial speaks to the ‘accountability factor’?
What type of format of accountability will be in place and who will be responsible on an annual basis?
Secondly, speaking to availability… as a member of the DBA

Louise Carlton(?) – commenting on the memorial as an individual
Noting LESS connectivity as a denomination
Questioning how ONE GS can help with that fact
Involvement of the total body is required.
Not the PRINCIPAL or DIRECTOR who should make all the decisions.
One General hinders involvement…
One cannot communicate as it should be communicated to the body..

Rev. Isaac Smith – DS of the Dakota District – commenting in FAVOR of the memorial
Shared Leadership – “peoples trump structure almost always”
If we go to ONE GS – we will elect a person that will indeed seek collaboration and will see to the idea of shared leadership!
This structure will seek to flatten a system rather than seek a more hierarchal structure.
On accountability – the GBA has already put into process an ‘unprecidented’ accountability model of the current GSes
It is the thought that holding ONE GS accountability will be ‘easier’ to hold an entire staff accountable.
ONE GS would NOT be available/able to go to EVERY ordination service. (this is obvious)
Yes, a decrease in availability is obvious.

Rev. Dan LeRoy – GBA Member and DS of NC East in support for ONE GS
“I want be a part of a church that appreciates and values that the person who is asked to be the leader is asked to be ‘#1’, the Spiritual Leader of this church…”

Rev. Wayne Wager – DS Central NY District commenting on the memorial
“I’ve been told that nothing successful within the church has been proposed from the top-down…”

Rev. Greg Reynolds – Shenandoah District Superintendent commenting on the memorial (in support)
“any leader who has responsibilities that he/she are assigned find a way to get those done…” can’t do everything themselves (obviously)

VOTE to adopt the ONE GS MODEL:
1. YES
2. NO
61% YES
39% NO


Motion to immediately see the model implemented
VOTE (audible) CARRIES

Motion to suspend rule about voting YES/NO for incumbent GS to be re-elected
VOTE CARRIES (an open ballot will be used to elect)

Link to memorial here.
(functions of the ONE General Superintendent)

RECESS: will reconvene at 1PM