With passing of gavel, Bishop Carter becomes president of UMC bishops


CHICAGO – (May 3, 2018) With a handshake and passing of a new, official Council of Bishops’ gavel, President Bruce R. Ough on Thursday night transferred leadership to Bishop Kenneth H. Carter as the next President of the Council of Bishops.

During a special evening celebration of leadership and passing of the gavel on May 3 at the Hilton Rosemont Hotel near Chicago, Bishop Ough said it brought him great pleasure to pass the mantel of presidency to Bishop Carter and said the Council of Bishops was in good hands.

“Ken has a keen mind, matched with a collaborative leadership style and a deep love for Jesus and the Church,” said Ough. “His intimate knowledge of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, as one of its moderators, will benefit this Council and the entire United Methodist Church as we move from this place to the Special Session of General Conference in February, 2019 and then on to the regular session of General Conference in May, 2020.”

A humble Bishop Carter said he was honored and grateful to serve in this new role in his ministry journey. “When I became a bishop, it was very clear to me that we really do this work for others,” said Carter. “We are all set aside by God for a particular season in our lives to do a very particular work and that is to be spiritual leaders of this church that we love. I am blessed to know Jesus Christ and I am blessed to be a part of The United Methodist Church.”

Bishop Carter thanked Bishop Ough for his spiritual leadership and gifts of preaching, shepherding, and administration over the last two years as president. “Bishop Ough was the face and voice of this council. He carried the stress of this council and the conflict of the whole church,” said Carter.

Ough thanked everyone for their abundant grace and support that he and his wife Char received during their walk leading the Council. “Specifically, I want to thank you for your trust, tireless labor and sacrifice as we have sought to find a way forward for our denomination,” Ough said to the bishops and spouses gathered.

The council also offered special thanks to Bishop Cynthia F. Harvey of the Louisiana Area for serving as the Council of Bishops secretary (2016-2018) and gave her blessings as the elected president-designate. Her two-year term begins at the conclusion of the 2020 General Conference.

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 hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
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