Rev. Howard’s appointment to fill void left by Dr. Georgia Adamson’s planned July 1 retirement.
by J. Vance Morton*
Dr. Howard has been in ministry in the Central Texas Conference (CTC) for more than 30 years and currently serves as the South District Superintendent – a position he’s held since June 2013. During his three decades of service, he has led 12 different and diverse congregations in rural, urban and suburban settings, and served as DS for the South, Brownwood (now West from 2001-03) and Waco (now Central, 2003-09) Districts.
While being a cabinet member is something with which he is familiar and experienced, the position of Assistant to the Bishop is a new and exciting service opportunity for Dr. Howard. “It is the sort of role that seems quite different from most others in my ministry,” Clifton said. “What’s maybe most exciting of all, is the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the Assistant to Bishop role so well that it does in fact help us continue to energize and equip the local churches of CTCUMC for making disciples of Jesus Christ.”
In making the announcement of this appointment, Bishop Lowry revealed plans to evolve the Assistant to Bishop role and add aspects of a chief of staff for the CTCSC team. "An interpersonal style that is able to work with a wide variety of people and personalities, and help pull together a common consensus is critical as we transition some of the responsibilities of the Assistant to the Bishop into a position more akin to a Chief of Staff,” explained Bishop Lowry. “Clifton Howard possess and displays these abilities at an uncommonly high level. The diversity of his experiences in our conference is exciting for his future work in the conference, and his gracious wisdom strengthens our ministries and the work around our shared mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Though he has been in church and district leadership positions since 1982, Dr. Howard first and foremost understands himself as a disciple of Christ – a disciple that is continually learning and growing in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. Throughout his years of ministry, he has focused the efforts of those he was leading towards “making disciples of Jesus Christ – ever growing and moving forward in faithfulness to the one who died and rose for the world.” This missionally focused outlook on leadership is something that he plans to bring to the Assistant to the Bishop position.
“As I understand it,” Clifton explained, “our primary challenge continues to be keeping Christ and the mission to which he has called us as the center of our focus. Strengthening and developing leaders for ministry in the church—both lay and clergy, and growing all the local congregations in Central Texas to be as vital, healthy, fruitful, and effective as possible is paramount in addressing our mission.”
Dr. Howard and his wife, Barbara, have one son, Cory, one daughter-in-law, Lili, and four grandchildren—Daisy, Katelyn, Cristian and Matthew. He enjoys basketball, tennis, golf, watching television and movies.
*Vance is the director of Communications & IT for the CTC. firstname.lastname@example.org