S: 2012 TENNESSEE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
BC: Top left: Strothers Meeting House, where Bishop Asbury conducted the 1802 Western Conference, now located on the campus of Scarritt-Bennett Center. Bottom left: Fountain Head marker in Portland near where Bishops Asbury & McKendree organized the first session of The Tennessee Conference in 1812. Top right: Hanging of signing banner in the Bicentennial Display Room at Conference.
FC: 2012 TENNESSEE ANNUAL CONFERENCE | June 10-13, 2012 Brentwood, Tennessee
1: CelebratingThe Bicentennial of Methodism in Middle Tennessee 1812-2012 We created this Photo Book especially for You to say THANK YOU for all you did to make The 2012 Tennessee Annual Conference memorable to all who attended. This is your personal copy of a very limited edition. We hope you will enjoy having it and knowing how much you are appreciated! May Our Lord continue to bless all you do! TNUMC Staff Made for: ___________________________________ No. ______________
2: Bishop William McKendree interrupted the opening session of the 200th Annual Conference 1812-2012 to present Bishop Chamness with a gavel used by John Crane (circa 1812). McKendree traveled with Bishop Asbury before accepting an appointment and eventually becoming Bishop in 1808. He helped organize the first session of the Tennessee Conference at Fountain Head near Portland. McKendree portrayed by Ray Newell was the first of twenty-five historic characters to appear throughout the four day Annual Conference at Brentwood United Methodist Church from June 10 - 13.
3: Willie Harding McGavock appeared sans her wedding diamonds to introduce the Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) report given by Dawn Yelverton who introduced a video and booklet commemorating COSROW's 40th Anniversary Celebration. McGavock portrayed by Patti van Eys also appeared during the Bicentennial Celebration “Uniting the Saints.” McGavock told the attendees "Helping others is much more important than things, even diamonds. I know, 'diamonds are a girl's best friend,' but the love for others is what we are called to do." McGavock then invited everyone to the Bicentennial Room to have their pictures taken with co-workers, friends, family, and their favorite historic character. McGavock promised to stay around as long as she needed to for photos. She added, "I am sure that my line will be the longest!"
4: Alexander Anderson portrayed by Richard Stewart introduced Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Connie Clark with Access to Justice and Rev. James Cole (not pictured) with Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON). Anderson was among the freedom riders who rode the bus from Montgomery, AL to Jackson, TN. In the 1960's Anderson became vice-president of the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference and was appointed to a committee to negotiate integration with local hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and the YMCA. His legacy continues with ministries such as JFON that help immigrants navigate the legal system. JFON Board member Paula Martinez interprets for Marianela Lopez Cabello who shares her story of being the victim of a violent crime and the assistance that she receives from JFON.
5: Rev. David “D.C.” Kelley portrayed by David Barton emceed “Uniting the Saints.” Leland Carden, Chair of The Commission on Archives & History, explained the formation of the first Tennessee Conference in 1812. Carden then invited everyone to visit the church history displays. Bishop Ernest W. Newman, played by Robert Churchwell, Jr, was the first African American elected bishop in the southeastern United States. Newman invited everyone to the Ice Cream Social later that evening. Grady Jones portrayed Cherokee leader Turtle Fields, the first Native American minister ordained by the Tennessee Conference. Fields encouraged the attendees to have their pictures taken by LifeTouch and enter to win a Kindle for their pastor. After the Conference ended a Christ UMC (Franklin) member's name was drawn and the coveted prize was presented to Carol Cavin-Dillon.
6: The Earthquake Survivor played by Savannah Hall shared her tale of people flocking to churches after the earthquake and then leaving when the danger had passed. Those names were lost, so she invited everyone to leave their signature on the Bicentennial Signing Wall and for all the "young-ins" to return in 25 years to circle their names during 225th year celebration. Lastly, D.C. Kelly read Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s Proclamation of The 200th Anniversary of Methodism in Middle Tennessee. Leland Carden and Chief Justice Clark carried the Proclamation through the Sanctuary to the Bicentennial Room where it remained on display during Conference. | Civil War Chaplain Learner Blackman, played by Jim Shadburne, led a rousing infomercial rendition of the William Tell Overture. Blackman belted out the rhyme to convince attendees to shop for mugs and medallions, certificates and clergy stoles, banners and books galore at the Bicentennial Room and Cokesbury Store.
7: Dressed in tabs, Bishop Joe Pennel, as himself, preached the sermon during the Sunday evening Service of Celebration and Commemoration, recognizing 200 Years of Tennessee Methodism. | Green Hill, portrayed by Fred Mindermann, took part in the opening of the Sunday Evening Worship Service. Hill shared his story of faith and liberty in following Christ and his friendship with Bishop Francis Asbury. | D.C. Kelley, portrayed by David Barton, appeared for a second time that evening to introduce the special offering - The Central Conference Pension Initiative. Director Dan O'Neill spoke on behalf of the fund.
8: After worship, attendees gathered in the Family Life Center for an Ice Cream Social. Along with their ice cream, the people called Methodists demolished a tasty version of the Strother’s Meeting House created by Pastry Chief Tom Huber. Green Hill, portrayed by Fred Mindermann, cut into the cake as Huber’s son, Alex, looked on. With sweet treats in hand, attendees visited the historical displays, including Joye Chamness who stopped by the McKendree presentation. In total, organizer Linda Collier brought together seventy churches to display their historical information.
9: Bishop Joshua Soule and his wife Sarah Soule, portrayed by Don and Joanna Bailey, arrived early to deliver Monday’s gavel. At 8:15 am, Soule handed Bishop Chamness the gavel made from a rafter of the Bethlehem Church, where Bishop Asbury held his last conference in 1815. Years later D.C. Kelly presented the gavel to the Tennessee Conference in 1897. (All historic gavels are now housed in the Archives Office)
10: "Bishop of the Cumberland" Robert Hershey Hall, portrayed by Michael Williams, introduced Dr. Doug Meeks, from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, who led the Bible Study: Extravagance of God’s Grace and Love. Hall's ministry exemplified God's extravagance among the people of the Cumberland Mountains. A traveling preacher serving an eight church circuit, Hall moved the Tennessee Conference to start the Cumberland Mountain School. The school remained in operation for seventeen years.
11: Mary Frances "Fannie" Battle, portrayed by Cinde Lucas, arrived with her umbrella and rain boots to introduce the Conference Recognitions, Awards & Presenters including the Foundation on Evangelism. Known as the "Angel of the Poor, " Battle organized a relief society for flood victims of 1881. Bishop Robert Paine, portrayed by Tommy Ward, was the first native Tennessean elected to the Episcopacy. Ward did a quick change from historic Giles County Bishop to present day Giles County Pastor to give the Board of Ordained Ministry report.
12: Fountain A. Pitts, portrayed by Joe Brennan, attended more General Conferences from Tennessee than any other person. Noting that the long tradition of General Conference delegates receiving cookies was broken in 2012, Pitts presented Rev. Harriet Bryan, Jim Allen, and the other delegates with a gift of cookies. Hungry for her long overdue treat, one delegate risked nibbling on her cookie in the Sanctuary.
13: Bishop Francis Asbury, portrayed by David Alford, arrived for the Tuesday morning session after traveling over 600 miles to the 200th Annual Conference. Asbury waved greetings to the conference attendees as he asked Bishop Chamness about those "shiny metal carriages" outside the church. Considering purchasing one himself, Asbury questioned Bishop Chamness, "Where do you hook up the horses?" Asbury presented Chamness with a gavel crafted from an oak stump at the Strothers Meeting House's original site. Bishop Paul B. Kern used the 1925 gavel at the Tennessee Annual Conference circa 1940.
14: Sallie Hill Sawyer, portrayed by Opal Ransom, led a Celebration of Connectional Ministries. Sawyer, who laid the ground work to open the Bethlehem Center, introduced a video illustrating examples of Extravagant Generosity throughout the Tennessee Conference. | Connie Clark and Anne Carty's hopes were dashed when John Berry McFerrin was unable to attend the Conference. McFerrin was credited with financially saving the Publishing House during the Great Depression, served as a missionary, a pastor and a historian. Carty stepped in to share about McFerrin’s contributions, the United Methodist Publishing House’s mission, and the Cokesbury products available at stores and online.
15: Sadie Wilson Tillman, portrayed by Miriam Seyler, (left) and Mary Means Drake, portrayed by Michelle Morton, (right) introduced Pat Freudenthal, who spoke about the Community Cares Fellowship. These fine Southern ladies sat together with linen gloves and church fans in hand showing the unity that had once been separation in the early lifetimes of Tillman and Drake. | William Robert Webb, portrayed by Harry Robinson, introduced the Laity Report. Webb founded the Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN. His legacy continues through his students and his sons, who followed him as principal and founded a Webb school in California.
16: Francis Asbury, portrayed by David Alford, presented the Francis Asbury Award to Ted Brown, President of Martin Methodist College. Brown, set to enter in character as Thomas Martin, founder of Martin Methodist College, removed his hat to step out of character and receive the award. Thomas Martin and his daughter Victoria Martin, portrayed by Kahle Reardon, followed with the Martin Methodist College Report. With chin on chest, Mr. Martin recounted the death of his twenty year old daughter. Victoria interrupted his melancholy with the gleeful tale of asking her father to open a girls school in Giles County. Martin founded the Martin Female College that incorporated in 1870 and is now Martin Methodist College.
17: Bishop Walter R. Lambuth, portrayed by Bill Lovell, mingled with attendees, sharing stories about his legendary missions in China, Africa, and Siberia. Lambuth introduced the Special Offering in support of the United Methodist Global HIV/AIDS Funds Advance during Tuesday evening's Worship Service. | Margaret Lavinia Kelley, portrayed by Tari Parkison Hughes, appeared prior to The Service of Covenant and Setting of Appointments, which was led by Rev. Dr. Karen Barrineau. Kelley was the founder of the first world missionary organization - The Women's Missionary Society.
18: On Wednesday, Rev. Hilary Key, portrayed by Roland Scruggs, presented Bishop Chamness with a historic gavel used during the Western Conference on October 02, 1802. Born into slavery, Key worked as a spy for the Union Army. Throughout his lifetime, Key served multiple black churches. Many, including Key Memorial in Murfreesboro, Key-Steward in Gallatin, and Key Church in Hartsville, bear his name today.
19: Bettye Lewis, Director of Connectional Ministries, recognized and thanked the twenty-five actors and actresses who portrayed historic characters over the four day conference. Lewis also presented plaques to the leaders who organized historical activities including: Bill Bowen, Leland Carden, Anne Carty, Connie Clark, David and Linda Collier, Bill Freeman, Ingram Howard, Tom Huber, Michele Ladd, Tom Nankervis, Cliff Steger, Susan Wilburn, and Merrilee Wineinger. On behalf of the Conference, Lewis presented Bishop Chamness with a Tennessee Conference 200th Anniversary Gavel. Bill Freeman, who coordinated the Bicentennial activities and presentations, surprised Leland Carden, Chair of Commission on Archives, with a 200th Anniversary Gavel laser engraved with his name on it.
20: Bishop Chamness noted the substantial contributions made by the Tennessee Conference to the history of The Methodist Church. Bill Freeman recognized Linda Collier for her leadership in organizing the church historic display and the Ice Cream Social. He also introduced David Collier, who crafted the Bicentennial Gavels from the timbers of the historic Asbury Babb House in Lebanon. David stated, “If we don’t know where we have been in our history, then we can’t know where we are going.” | Bill Freeman and Merrilee Wineinger
21: 2012 Tennessee Conference Photo Book Copyright 2012 © Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church All Rights Reserved 304 South Perimeter Park Drive Nashville, Tennessee 37211 Director of Connectional Ministries - Bettye Lewis Project Director & Book Design - Bill Freeman Still Photography & Scripts - Tom Nankervis Character Coordinator & Editorial - Merrilee Wineinger Special Thanks Creative Consultant - Cay Barton Church Historic Display Organizer - Linda Collier Bicentennial Gavels - David Collier Bicentennial Proclamation - Leland Carden, Susan Spieth, Von Unruh, Connie Clark 200th Logo - Kevin Sparkman The representatives of the 70 churches who shared their church's rich history at Conference