It was with sadness that I released the following announcement to the clergy and lay leaders of the Central Texas Conference on Dec. 28, 2018.
I have received a complaint against Rev. Ben Disney, East District Superintendent based on ¶2702. 1 of the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2016. In processing this complaint, a Just Resolution has been reached between the complainant and the respondent. As a first step in the process of Just Resolution, Rev. Disney will be placed on Suspension as prescribed in ¶362. d of The Book of Discipline, effective January 1, 2019.
While under Suspension, Rev. Disney shall be relieved of all duties and responsibilities as East District Superintendent. Dr. Randy Wild shall function as Interim District Superintendent in the Tarrant County part of the East District of the Central Texas Conference. Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director of the Smith Center for Evangelism, Missions, and Church Growth, will actively assist Dr. Wild in the process of superintendency in the Tarrant County area of the East District. Rev. Travis Franklin, North District Superintendent, shall assume superintendency responsibility for the East District churches in Johnson County and Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, Central District Superintendent, shall assume superintendency responsibility for East District churches in Ellis County during the Suspension period.
A new District Superintendent shall be appointed no later than Annual Conference 2019.
I ask your continuing prayers for Rev. Disney and his entire family as he moves forward to a new and better future – Jeremiah 29:11.
In the midst of a difficult situation, I am deeply grateful for Dr. Randy Wild’s willingness to come out of retirement and serve during the suspension period. He has served with remarkable distinction as a pastor, District Superintendent and Executive Director of the Central Texas Conference Center for Missions.
An additional deep thank you to Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory and Rev. Travis Franklin for their willingness to assume additional duties during this time.
Sunday, Jan. 6 is Epiphany Sunday. It is the traditional day Christians celebrate the arrival of the “Wisemen” (or Magi). Together, we are reminded that the biblical promise of “God with us” – the incarnation of the Lord God in the person of the baby Jesus – is for all people. Quite probably the three (or more?) wisemen were religiously followers of Zoroasterism, yet the Bible tells us that upon seeing the Christ-child and his mother, these travelers responded by “falling to their knees, they honored him.” (Matthew 2:11) May this be our posture together as a people of Christ in this New Year of our Lord 2019.