For the past several years (as far back as I can remember, that is), if you wanted to know which preachers were moving where you either had to get in the gossip line or wait until close to Annual Conference when they were announced.
That’s why I was surprised when I went to the Conference website today. The front page story: “Bishop Announces Key Appointments.” I suppose these appointments are being announced to help build momentum for the big changes coming our way. With the appointments of Karen Dorris and Rich Goodrich to Conference staff positions, it looks like at least 4 of the current 12 District Superintendents are accounted for (if you haven’t been following Texas Conference events, we’re realigning from 12 districts to 9 – and won’t need 12 DSs), since Howdy Dawson (my DS in Texarkana) is retiring, and I believe Keith Whitaker (Lufkin District) has served for the period allowed by the Discipline.
I’m also hoping that this early announcement is a sign of greater transparency in the Annual Conference. While it is good to keep some things secret, we seem to have gone overboard. Keep praying for our progress in becoming the Annual Conference God wants us to be.
UPDATE: Bishop Will Willimon blogs about realigning districts in his North Alabama Conference. Clearly the Texas Conference isn’t the only one making changes to reach more people and build stronger churches.