Clifton Howard has been appointed to serve as District Superintendent (DS) for the South District of the Central Texas Conference effective June 1. The district’s current superintendent, Rankin Koch, will complete his eighth and final year as DS this year and recently announced his retirement from active ministry as of June 1, creating the open position on the Central Texas Conference Cabinet and in the South District.
Dr. Howard has been in ministry in the Central Texas Conference (CTC) for more than 30 years and currently serves as the senior pastor of St. Andrew’s UMC in Arlington, Texas – a position he’s held since 2009. During his three decades of service, he has led 12 different and diverse congregations in rural, urban and suburban settings, and served as the Brownwood (now West) District Superintendent from 2001-03 and as the Waco (now Central) DS from 2003-09.
“We are delighted to be bringing Clifton back to the Cabinet,” Bishop Lowry replied when asked about the newest addition to the CTC Cabinet. “The diversity of his experiences in our conference is exciting for his future work with the people of the South District, 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.
“I am really counting on and trusting that God’s grace will be sufficient as I step out into this new ministry – into the mission fields of the South District,” Dr. Howard said when asked about his new appointment. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to be in ministry with our brothers and sisters throughout the South District, and experiencing first hand just how God is at work in the South District.”
Throughout his years of ministry, Dr. Howard 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 one of many attributes that has the South District’s current DS very excited about what his successor will bring to the district.
“I’ve known and served with Clifton for years and was so very pleased to learn that Bishop Lowry had selected him to be the leader and chief missional strategist for our district,” Rev. Koch said. “I’m eager to see how he’ll guide and mentor our churches in their ministries. And personally, since Billie and I will be living in the South District after I ‘retire,’ I look forward to working with him as my D.S.”
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. Please look for more on Dr. Howard and his appointment as South District Superintendent in the next few weeks here on ctcumc.org.