Annual Conference Report
Annual Conference of the Southern Michigan Conference (SMC) was held at Crossroads Free Methodist Church on June 15 and 16. Our pastors and elected delegates attended the event, which includes the business of the conference, along with leadership vision and inspiration. Here are insights from some who attended.
Tom Kilgore - Reserve Delegate
This was much more than a business meeting. The entire focus was on worship, having Spirit-filled churches, and multiplication of ourselves. We learned about SMC’s 10/36 Multiplication Initiative: to plant ten new churches in our conference in three years. This past year, ten of our churches added a total of 137 people. while twenty-six of our churches declined.
I learned more about the Arab ministry at the Dearborn church and the Detroit Dinner Church and how we can help them by preparing 300 main courses and freezing them so they can be taken to be share with people.
Not a lot of business took place on the floor of the conference, as it did years ago when I attended regularly. The focus was more on ministry and what we need to do as a Conference to reach people for Jesus, starting with prayer and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Judy Osborne, Delegate
SMC’s Superintendent Bruce Rhodes and Assistant Superintendent Michael Forney are giving us opportunities to grow as godly leaders through various means we are striving for excellence!! Our son, Scott, was ordained as an Elder at this year’s Annual Conference.
Dwight Weber, Pastor
I have been encouraged by the song, God is On the Move. After the Annual Conference, that song kept coming to mind. As I chatted with SMC pastors, they told stories of how God is at work in their churches. We also heard a new work is being planned for Detroit/Wayne County. All are evidence that God is on the move here in South Michigan.
Chris Newhouse, Delegate
We’re not alone. There is a coordinated, unified body of other Free Methodist churches all working toward the same goals.
Neal Warren, Conference Ministerial Candidate
The SMC and Free Methodist Church USA have a challenging but promising road to travel.
Mark Van Valin, Lead Pastor
I was encouraged by the vision shared by Bruce Rhodes and Michael Forney regarding church planting. We will be participating in that work.
Miriam Gin, Delegate
The most striking takeaway for me was Bishop David Kendall’s devotional from Ephesians 5 regarding sanctification and the Church. This idea of corporate sanctification was a new insight and I have been daily praying for our church body to not be a bunch of sanctified individuals but a unified body, more holy together than apart. Our culture seems to be moving toward individual spirituality and this call toward the importance of corporate sanctification was refreshing! I also appreciated his insight of the difference between a marriage of two Christians and a truly Christian marriage, where the couple seeks the Lord together.
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Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church is a Biblical community, in which people from all walks of life join together to worship our amazing God, grow in knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ, connect with one another to find acceptance and friendship in the Body of believers, and then scatter to serve the world and our community in order to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.…