Five New Members Are Elected to Judicial Council
by Neill Caldwell
FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS)—The 2008 General Conference on April 28 elected five new members to the top court of The United Methodist Church.
The nine-member Judicial Council acts as the church’s top legal arbiter and will be made up of five clergy and four laity through 2016.
Angela Brown of California-Nevada and Ruben Reyes of the Philippines were elected to fill the two open slots for laity, while the Revs. Kathi Austin-Mahle of Minnesota, F. Belton Joyner of North Carolina and William B. Lawrence of North Texas were elected to fill the three clergy openings. All five elected were nominated by the Council of Bishops, which is made up of the top clergy leaders of the denomination.
The new Judicial Council members begin their eight-year terms at the closing of General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative meeting held once every four years and ending May 2.
Among the lay people elected:
Among the clergy elected:
General Conference also elected 12 alternates to serve through the end of 2012.
The six lay alternates, with their annual conferences, are Jay Arthur Garrison, Holston; William F. White, Wisconsin; Raymond Mande Mutombo, North Katanga; Deanell Tacha, Kansas East; and Mary Daffin, Texas.
The six clergy alternates are the Revs. Joe May, Mississippi; James D. Karblee, Liberia; John Harnish, Michigan; Rodney E. Wilmoth, Rocky Mountain; Vicki Woods, New England; and J. Montgomery Brown, West Virginia.
Among the first alternates, Garrison is an attorney and serves as chancellor of the Holston Annual Conference. May is pastor at Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson, Miss., and is a member of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.
Members of the council are eligible to serve two consecutive eight-year terms, according to the church’s Book of Discipline.
Current Judicial Council officers Daffin (vice president) and the Rev. Keith Boyette (secretary) of Virginia were nominated but not re-elected. The Rev. Shamwange P. Kyungu of the Northwest Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was eligible for re-election but not nominated. He was elected as first alternate in 2004 and became a full member later that year when the Rev. Larry Pickens resigned to become chief executive of the church’s Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns. Because of travel and other difficulties, Kyungu has been able to attend two of the eight Judicial Council meetings during the most recent four-year period.
Dr. James Holsinger, a physician from Kentucky who has served as Judicial Council president for 2004-2008, and Rudolfo Beltran, an attorney from the Philippines, are retiring.
Council members Jon Gray, Beth Capen, the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe and the Rev. Dennis Blackwell were elected in 2004 to eight-year terms.
*Caldwell is editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate and covers Judicial Council for United Methodist News Service.
Date posted: Apr 28, 2008