Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet Changes


Bishop Leeland announces new Cabinet appointments, effective July 1, 2020.
Rev. Michael F. Bailey has announced his retirement, effective July 1, 2020. Mike has served under appointment for 41 years, including the past three years as the District Superintendent for the Yadkin Valley District. He has served in a broad variety of settings: three rural church circuits, an urban transitional congregation, two suburban church "relaunches," the American Protestant Church of The Hague, The Netherlands as well as very large congregations in the annual conference.  Mike was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and raised in parsonages throughout the Memphis Annual Conference. He is married to Lauralee (née Davis) of Burlington. Lauralee and Mike have four children and are anticipating their ninth grandchild's birth in May. Join us in celebrating Mike’s years of faithful ministry and anticipating his new adventures in retirement. 
Rev. Angela Pleasants will succeed Mike as the Yadkin Valley District Superintendent. Angela has served as the District Superintendent of the Catawba Valley District since 2016. Prior to her appointment as a District Superintendent, she served First (Mount Holly), Wingate, Covenant (High Point), and St. Mary’s (Trinity). She is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing. She completed her Master of Divinity at Duke Divinity School. She has also served on conference worship committee, Conference Board of Ordained Ministry where she chaired the Call and Discipline Committee, District Committee of Ordained Ministry, trained Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist, Assistant Secretary to Annual Conference, Residency In Ordained Ministry facilitator, Board of Directors for Western North Carolina Conference Foundation, Duke Divinity School Board of Visitors, Board of Ministers at Wingate University, as well as a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Reverend Pleasants is also an active police chaplain trained in Critical Incident Stress Management, stress and trauma in Law Enforcement and Psychological Impact of Terrorism. And she serves on the Board of Directors for Strength for Service Inc.
Rev. David Christy will be appointed as District Superintendent of the Catawba Valley District. Since 2012, David has served as Senior Minister of First United Methodist Church in Gastonia. He is a graduate of Pfeiffer College (B.A., 1988) and Duke Divinity School (M.Div., 1991). He has served Franklinville - Rehobeth Charge (Randolph County), Fair View UMC (Mt. Mourne), Epworth UMC (Concord), and Central UMC (Canton). David has served on several boards and agencies in our conference and in communities where he has lived. Currently, he serves through: Gastonia Rotary Club member, Co-Chair of Gaston Citizens and Clergy Coalition, Gaston Together Board Member, Glenn Foundation Board Member, Greater Gaston Boys & Girls Club Board Member, Disciple Outreach Ministries Board Member, WNCC Board of Ordained Ministry Discernment Team Leader, Delegate to the 2019 called session of the United Methodist General Conference. David was born in Jefferson, NC, into a “parsonage family,” so he moved around Western North Carolina. His father (deceased) was a minister, and his sister and two brothers are all in ministry in Western NC, as are two nephews and his son. David is married to Pam, an elementary school teacher. They have two children: Luke, a United Methodist minister in Anson County (married to Kelly); and Maggie, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. 
All other appointments will be announced as usual later this year. 

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
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.