Beth Crissman Named New District Superintendent


Crissman-BethBishop Goodpaster and the Cabinet announce that the Rev. Beth Crissman will become the new superintendent of the Blue Ridge District, effective July 1, 2016. She will replace the Rev. Dr. John Boggs who is the current superintendent. Bishop Goodpaster commented, “John has completed eight very effective years as a superintendent and it has been a joy to work with him. According to the Discipline he has reached the maximum number of years he can serve as a superintendent and will be receiving another appointment at Annual Conference. His vision for fresh new ways that God’s Spirit is leading us and his passion for reaching all people with the Good News of Jesus Christ have led to many exciting and creative initiatives in the Blue Ridge District and beyond.” Crissman is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. Along with her husband, Rev. Kelly Crissman, they serve as founders and executive directors of Plowpoint, a non-profit organization committed to transforming leaders and churches for the transformation of local communities. Through the ministry of Plowpoint, she has facilitated hundreds of congregations and trained thousands of leaders to make ministry decisions leading to re-vitalization, re-birth, and closure. Additionally, she has trained teams of clergy and laity to facilitate congregational revitalization in conferences throughout the denomination. “Beth brings unique gifts to the work of a superintendent and has invested herself in working with churches and clergy to move toward vitality and to becoming fully engaged in the mission of Christ in healthy and holy ways,” remarked Goodpaster. “Through her ministry with Plowpoint, Beth has been involved with hundreds of churches across our conference. In addition, she and Kelly have broadened the reach of Plowpoint beyond Western North Carolina into many other annual conferences, including work in Liberia.” In addition to Plowpoint, Crissman  has also served congregations in the Blue Ridge District (Covenant Community and Berry Temple) and Metro District (Light of Christ). She is the author of four books: Longing to Belong, How We Lead, Stepping in the Stream, and co-author, along with Rev. Dr. Nancy Rankin, of Choosing the Faithful Path. Crissman, a native of Graham, N.C., is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (BS Nursing), University of California-Los Angeles (MNursing-Family Nurse Practitioner), and Emory University (MDiv). She and Kelly have two grown children, James a graduate of Emory University who is living and working in Atlanta and Maddie who attends American University in Washington, D.C. “I am excited to appoint Beth to the Blue Ridge District and am confident that she will continue to build on and expand the work that the laity and clergy of that district have already started,” concluded Goodpaster.

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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