Tim Hallman, Robert Tobey, Mark Wilson, Marty Pennington, Roxton Spear (Chair).
The Nominating Committee (NC) met to put together the plan of action for the ballot for Bishop in 2017. Our process and timeline was as follows:
The Nominating Committee met and discussed all nominees for Bishop which had been submitted. Seven names had been submitted. All were contacted by January 30, with the request that they respond back to us by March 1st, 2016. Additionally, the process for receiving nominations for the ELT ballot was discussed.
A letter was drafted and sent to the National Office in September 2016 to be sent to all pastors over a two- or three-month period in the fall of 2016. The letter was mailed October 7 and a reminder via Community Church Builder was sent December 16.
The Nominating Committee met in Fowlerville, Mich. We discussed ELT nominees and brainstormed about how we could receive more names for ELT. Names were slow coming in.
Bishop Todd Fetters had been asked to present his vision for the UBIC. The Nominating Committee received it and asked that he provide a summary of that document for distribution at National Conference.
Over the course of the last almost two years, multiple emails have been exchanged to discuss process and nominees. We each took time to read the bios of all candidates who submitted them.
Twenty nominees for ELT (covering all four regions) were submitted and contacted and asked if they would be willing to allow their name to be considered for the 2017 ELT ballot.
A note concerning the Bishop ballot. Seven quality candidates were nominated for the ballot, and only one agreed to allow his name to be submitted. The NC discussed whether it would be appropriate to look outside the denomination in order to place a second name on the ballot. After discussion, it was determined that we would not pursue this avenue at this time.
The recommended ballot was completed the first part of April 2017.
I am grateful for all the work the team did in the nominating process. Our work was done with prayer and careful consideration. Frankly, it has been challenging to complete the ballot, as names were slow, and few, in coming in. Perhaps the ELT could consider and recommend a more effective process to receive nominations.
In conclusion, the Nominating Committee presents the following recommendations for the 2017 Bishop and ELT Ballot.
Roxton Spear, Chair
From Banner of Christ UB church (Byron Center, Mich.).
From Kilpatrick UB church (Woodland, Mich.).
From Mainstreet UB church (Walbridge, Ohio).
From Bethel UB church (Elmore, Ohio).
Senior pastor of Fountain UB church (Keyser, W. Va.).
Senior pastor of Jerusalem Chapel UB (Churchville, Va.).
Senior pastor of College Park (Huntington, Ind.).
Senior pastor of Monroe UB church (Monroe, Ind.).
Note: The laypersons from the West and East regions, and the clergy from the North and Central regions, will be elected in 2019. The current persons in those roles will complete their four-year terms in 2019. The persons continuing are:
Todd H. Fetters
Since my arrival at our National Office in 2013, I have imagined and prayed that the wind of the Holy Spirit would carry the United Brethren in Christ into a new season of fruitfulness where our churches become stronger and we are successful at starting new ones.
When asked to articulate my vision for the United Brethren in Christ, I offer this statement: To see the United Brethren in Christ successfully strengthen existing churches and start new churches under the superintending power of the Holy Spirit.
United Brethren history interests, informs, and inspires me. I am especially drawn to our Church’s earliest days. Our passion for Jesus was white hot. Our love for Christian brothers and sisters was genuine. We showed exceptional confidence in the Holy Spirit to superintend the spread of our Gospel movement.
A vision of “strong churches,” both existing and new, means that a United Brethren in Christ church embraces three enduring commitments and nurtures three inspiring realities.
1. Gospel. Through its commitment to the Gospel, a strong church will be spiritually alive in Christ.
2. Unity. With its commitment to unity, a strong church will be relationally connected to one another.
3. Mission. By committing itself to mission, a strong church will be missionally engaged in its local community and around the world.
Our history indicates that we are at our best when we commit to these same core values. If our past history is prologue to our future, we will be a movement that is committed to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission, empowered by our total reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
Personally, I am daily driven to see our denomination as a dynamic, Spirit-driven movement. Souls will be saved. Hearts will come alive. Churches will be planted. Individual lives and families will be transformed. Local neighborhoods and communities will be served. Pastors and missionaries will be called to give their time, influence, and energy to vocational ministry.
During this quadrennium, in addition to communicating regularly with the United Brethren in Christ family, my attention will be given to these five initiatives:
1. Organize a denomination-wide prayer network.
2. Facilitate a local church assessment and consultation program.
3. Recruit and train pastors who can strengthen and start churches.
4. Continue investing in cluster leaders as catalysts for strengthening and starting churches in their regions.
5. Appeal to the local churches to identify and invest in our next generation of pastors and missionaries.
Strengthening existing churches and starting new ones is necessary for the United Brethren in Christ. It is a step of obedience to the Lord’s Great Commission. Together, we must become preoccupied with the Lord’s track record and His potential. That’s faith! The Holy Spirit’s accomplishments in church development and multiplication are legendary and lasting, revealing that our Lord knows how to start and build a church that even the gates of Hell cannot defeat.