New Church Start

Bishop Lowry Announces Retirement from Episcopacy Effective Jan. 1, 2022

Bishop Mike Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church has announced that he will retire from the episcopacy effective January 1, 2022. Bishop Lowry, who will enter into Vocational Retirement as defined in ¶408.2b in the 2016 UMC Book of Discipline, is the longest tenured episcopal leader in the history of the Fort Worth Episcopal Area having served as bishop of the Central Texas Conference since his election to the episcopacy in 2008.
Because a new or permanent bishop cannot be assigned to the Central Texas Conference until a duly held meeting of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference (SCJ) is convened, the Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church has the duty of providing episcopal coverage for the conference according to ¶407 of the UMC Book of Discipline. Though it is anticipated to be sometime this summer, currently there is no official timetable for when or who the Council of Bishops will announce as the bishop to cover the episcopal duties for the conference until a permanent bishop can be assigned. The 14th session of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference is tentatively scheduled to convene sometime in the fall/winter of 2022 following the announced Aug. 29 – Sept. 6, 2022 meeting of the Postponed-2020 General Conference. As such, it is anticipated that whomever the COB selects to provide episcopal coverage for the Central Texas Conference will do so until Jan. 1, 2023. Please visit for more details.

The New Church for a New World Webinar Series continues Wednesday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m.

Building a new church vision in this new world in which our churches are living out the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ is critical. Typically, the vision for the New Church in the New World cannot be the same vision the church had before the pandemic. A key component of building a successful vision is by doing a Ministry Audit - an objective analysis of budgets, ministries, buildings, staff and church teams.


Make your plans to join Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Bishop Lowry and Rev. Leslie Byrd, Asst. District Superintendent for the East District Area Aand Sr. Pastor of New World UMC in Arlington, starting at 11:30 a.m. next Wednesday, May 12, for part four of the five-part series. Bishop Lowry, Mike and Leslie will share their experiences and insights on building a successful vision and expound on how valuable is the Ministry Audit and how having a snapshot of all you are doing and your assets/liabilities, allows your church to take the next steps into where the defined or redefined vision leads.


If you’ve already registered and/or participated in one of the previous three New Church for a New World Webinars, you will use the same Zoom link to participate in the April 28 event. If you’ve previously registered but did not attend or if you never received your Zoom link, please send an email to either or to get your access link. If you’ve never registered for the seminar series, please click here to register.


Replays of the previous webinars in this series are available at the following:

Meet the District Discipleship Coaches

Making disciples of Jesus Christ is at the core of everything we do in the Central Texas Conference. The establishment of District Discipleship Coaches as part of the Forward to a New Spring initiative is designed to provide clergy and lay leadership with dedicated resources and work with each church’s unique character and mission field to develop, improve, implement and grow discipleship pathways that lead to a vibrant culture of discipleship in each of our local churches. Please view the video below featuring Revs. Joseph Nader, Sharon Reid and Gary White as they briefly touch on how they view their role as a District Discipleship Coach, some of the plans and visions they have in the short- and long-term for their district areas and how each is eagerly looking forward to contacting and beginning to work the clergy and lay leadership in each district as we together journey Forward to a New Spring in our wildly important goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


To view the full interviews with each of the District Discipleship Coaches, please go to

New Faith Community Grants - Phase II

As the CTC continues to move Forward to a New Spring and reimagine all the ways that our churches and people go about our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, the Center for Evangelism, Mission and Church Growth (CEMCG) has also reimagined its New Faith Communities Grant Initiative by adding two new levels of grants and changing the request process from an application to a proposal. Click on the graphic to the right to view a video from Rev. Mike Ramsdell, executive director of CEMCG, in which he highlights Phase II of the New Faith Community Grants. For more details, be sure to visit

Nomination Deadline for Morris Walker Award for Laity is May 15

Do you know a lay person who is an exemplary leader both within your church and in the wider connection? The conference laity team is seeking nominations for an individual to receive the 2021 Morris Walker Award. Nomination letters can be as elaborate as you wish, but only a single letter of recommendation (per person nominated) describing the “above and beyond” ministries of the nominee is required. Previous Walker Award recipients are not eligible for the award. Nomination letters, along with any accompanying support materials or other letters of recommendation, should be signed by at least one nominator and emailed to the Central Texas Conference Lay Leader Darlene Alfred at, or sent via snail mail to Central Texas Conference Service Center, Attn: Darlene Alfred, PO Box 50517, Fort Worth, TEXAS 76105. The deadline for 2021 nominations is May 15.

District Superintendent

Rev. Mike Ramsdell

District Administrator

Cindi Blackburn


Address: 3200 East Rosedale St., Fort Worth, TX 76105
Office Phone: (817) 877-5222