Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet Changes


Rev. Linda Kelly has announced her retirement effective July 1, 2021. Linda has served as the District Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District since 2018. Linda has served nine local churches in her 30+ years of ministry. “I will forever be grateful for the lessons of faith, grace, and love I learned from these church members and their children,” she said. Prior to her appointment as a District Superintendent, she served as pastor of First UMC in Lenoir, Weaverville UMC, Bradley Memorial UMC and as associate pastor of Matthews UMC and St. Stephen UMC in Charlotte. Linda was also the pastor of Trinity UMC in Gastonia, Asbury UMC in Huntersville and associate at Central UMC in Shelby after transferring from the North Carolina Conference where she had her first pastoral appointment as the associate pastor of Centenary UMC in New Bern. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University and earned a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from Duke Divinity School. We celebrate her faithful ministry and wish her well in retirement. She shares, “This is the right time for me to retire. My beach condo is beckoning and it is time for me to travel to Boston and beyond to spend time with my daughter, Kasey, and other family members and friends who have been waiting impatiently for me to retire from my “weekend job.” It has been an unexpected gift of grace to be in ministry with the clergy and laity of the churches in the Smoky Mountain District as their District Superintendent these three years. It is a gift of joy to know that as I am entering the season of retirement, the Rev. Dr. Jae Lee will be the newly appointed District Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District.”
Rev. Dr. Hyung Jae Lee will succeed Linda as District Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District. Most recently, Jae has served as pastor of Calvary UMC in Charlotte since 2013. Previously, he was pastor of Wesley UMC and Thrift UMC, both in Charlotte, and associate pastor at First UMC in Brevard.  Jae completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. He earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a Doctor of Ministry at Duke Divinity School. Jae is married to Kim, a registered pharmacist (PharmD) in North and South Carolinas. Jae and Kim have three children, Jung Woo, Joanna, and James.
“I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Rev. Linda Kelly for her faithful service. With her retirement, I’m pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Jae Lee as Smoky Mountain District Superintendent. We recognize the vital importance for our Cabinet to reflect the diverse voices of our conference,” Bishop Leeland said.  

Related Announcements: 
Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet, Staff Changes
Bishop Leeland Welcomes Rev. Dr. Bill White as Director of Equity and Justice Ministries

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.