Rev. Amy Coles Selected as Episcopal Nominee


Amy-Coles-1Members of the 2016 Western North Carolina Conference delegation for the General and Jurisdictional Conferences have endorsed the Rev. Amy Coles as their episcopal nominee.

She will be considered as an official candidate for bishop at the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference scheduled for July 13-16, 2016 at Lake Junaluska, NC. Coles is currently serving as the Assistant to the Bishop and was appointed in July 2015. Bishop Goodpaster responded, “Serving as a very effective district superintendent for six years, Amy Coles demonstrated her skills at leading and motivating both clergy and laity to focus on the mission of the church in creative and faithful ways. Now serving as my Assistant, she continues to serve with a deep love for Christ and the church, and a commitment to advance the mission.” Prior to this appointment, she was the Smoky Mountain District Superintendent.  Before the conference realignment in 2012, she served as superintendent of the former Albemarle District and then she served briefly as the Appalachian District Superintendent before moving to the Smoky Mountain District after the election of Bishop Ken Carter in 2012. Her career includes serving Hopewell UMC in Trinity, NC after completing seminary, and as associate pastor at Covenant UMC in High Point, NC. Before moving to the cabinet in 2009, she served ten years as pastor of Fairview UMC in Shoals, NC. Coles completed her Bachelor of Science at UNC- Greensboro, worked for a period in business, and then responded to a call into ministry while attending Christ UMC in Greensboro.  She finished her Masters of Divinity at Duke Divinity School in 1992. She was ordained a deacon in 1991 and became a member in full connection of the Western North Carolina Conference when she was ordained elder in 1994. According to Rev. Kim Ingram, Conference Secretary and delegation member, the General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation has been in a two month process of discernment. This included prayer and listening, small group conversations, a time of Q&A with candidates, straw polls to gain clarity, and a vote by the delegation. Amy-Coles-2On Saturday, October 17, the delegation chose Amy Coles and offered their unanimous support as the episcopal nominee of the Western North Carolina Conference. “We are excited about what Amy offers the Church and look forward to the next steps of taking this journey together,” Ingram added. Jennifer Davis, a layperson from Gastonia, NC and the chair of the delegation remarked, “It was evident to me, as we engaged in this discernment process, that Amy Coles embodies the gifts and graces for the office of a bishop in the United Methodist Church.  Her passion for the church and its mission to make disciples is enthusiastic and contagious.  Western North Carolina is blessed to offer her as a candidate.” Coles’ service in the conference includes membership on district committees of ordained ministries and conference Board of Ordained Ministry.  She was a member of the board for Hinton Rural Life Center, Pfeiffer University and Givens Estates. She is currently the secretary and treasurer of the cabinet, a board member of Rural Faith Development CDC, is on the advisory committee of the Thriving Rural Communities Initiative through Duke Divinity School, and is on the design team for SEJ Cabinet Consultation. She was a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conference in 2012, and was a reserve delegate to Jurisdictional Conference in 2008. She became the legal guardian of her nephew Brandon Estrada after his mother’s death in 2010.   He is a recent high school graduate and plans to enter the military this fall. Coles reflected on being nominated, “I am deeply humbled that the delegation sees in me gifts for episcopal leadership.  My prayer through our discernment process has been that I might serve in the place of greatest usefulness for the Kingdom.  I will carry that prayer with me into the election process, asking that God’s will be done.”

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
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