Bishop Carter to Lead Western NC


The Council of Bishops has announced that Bishop Ken Carter will serve as the resident bishop of Western North Carolina Conference (Charlotte Area), in addition to his role as resident bishop of Florida Conference (Florida Area) beginning on September 1, 2021 upon Bishop Leeland's retirement. We look forward to welcoming Bishop Carter home to Western NC and fruitful ministry together. 

Bishop Carter shares this message:

This weekend it was announced that I will begin to serve as bishop of two annual conferences, Florida and Western North Carolina, as of September 1, 2021.  This was the recommendation of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy, the SEJ College of Bishops, and the Council of Bishops.

I will begin my tenth year in Florida this fall. I have been blessed by you and sense there is important ministry before us:  supporting vital local churches, dismantling racism, clergy health and resilience, and proclaiming the message of the continuing United Methodist Church as our way of sharing the grace of Jesus Christ with the people of our communities and beyond.

I will begin serving the Western North Carolina Conference. This is my home conference, one that supported and confirmed my calling to the work of a bishop. At the same time, I have been away from the conference for nine years, and so I will enter into a time of deep and active listening to and sharing with leaders across the conference in the fall.   

To serve both annual conferences, Florida and Western North Carolina, will require a model of shared leadership, flexibility and residence in both areas. I thank Jennifer Davis, Kim Ingram, Molly McEntire and Alex Shanks, who serve on the SEJ Committee on Episcopacy. I am grateful for the faithful leadership of Bishop Paul Leeland.  I thank you all for your faith in me and for our partnership in the gospel (Philippians 1. 5). I will give myself wholly to this work, and I ask for your prayers; indeed, I depend on them. I am excited about the future and claim the promise:  “God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3. 20).  

Read Bishop Leeland's retirement announcement here.
The Annual Conference 2021 Offering is being collected in honor of Bishop Leeland and his wife, Janet, with gratitude for all they have done during their time of ministry with the Western North Carolina Conference. Visit the Annual Conference 2021 Offering Page to make a gift in their honor.

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