Bishop Lowry has announced that Dr. Randy Wild will remove the interim tag and permanently assume the role of East District Superintendent effective July 1. Dr. Wild has been serving as the East District’s interim DS since Jan. 1.
“Thank God for Dr. Randy Wild’s faithfulness!” exclaimed Bishop Lowry upon making the announcement of his return to the CTC Cabinet. “Randy’s administrative leadership is welded to a record of pastoral excellence at a number of settings and he has already provided stellar Cabinet leadership both as a District Superintendent and as the Executive Director of the Center for Mission Support and Conference Secretary. The entire conference is enhanced by his willingness to come fully out of retirement to serve again in the East District Superintendent.”
Dr. Randy Wild retired from active ministry during the 2018 CTC Annual Conference meeting and it was effective July 1, 2018. (Click here to view his retirement video
) While his willingness to serve is not surprising, ctcumc.org recently caught up with Randy to get his thoughts on coming back to the Cabinet and the East District after such a relatively short retirement and during a time of potentially dramatic changes to the United Methodist Church.
What about this opportunity enticed you to step out of retirement and back into full-time ministry?
I had been retired for six months, Katy (my wife) was already wondering “aloud” if I couldn’t find something to do to get out of her hair. Seriously, I bring a deep and abiding love for the United Methodist Church and the East District in particular.
Everyone knows that the UMC is embarking on unprecedented and unknown waters. It’s not that I view my role as some kind of hero of the church or anything, nor do I believe that I am the only one that the Bishop could have called (fact is, he probably did call several others before me…..lol), but I felt particularly honored to receive the call, especially when looking at the transitions that face our denomination and our conference over the next twp years with two General Conference meetings (special called GC in 2019 and quadrennial meeting in spring 2020), and a new Bishop in September of 2020.
After the call from Bishop Lowry and a couple of prayer filled sleepless nights I felt as though my experience in pastoral ministry, and district and conference responsibilities perhaps qualified me to offer my unique and sometimes quirky gifts in this time of transition. Plus my wife…..said YES you HAVE to take this!!
What are your plans for the East District? How do you plan to not only continue the momentum, but take it to the next level?
First, I want to remind everyone that we are in in this together! We are partners in ministry to the least, the last and the lost. I ask everyone one of the pastors, laity and every ministry in our churches to strive for excellence….not perfection but excellence. God deserves that of us.
Regardless of what happens in the next few weeks, the next few months and the next few years, we must continue to remember our mandate of making disciples of Jesus Christ is for the transformation of the world. And in and through this and any other unknown moments we need to breathe deeply and remember Jesus is still Lord and we still have a mandate from him to love one another. We serve a mighty and awesome God and we need to serve God at all times and places and to ALL people.
This appointment to the East District is kind of a homecoming for you, isn’t it?
Yes it is!! The East District is holy and sacred ground for me…it is family…it is home. In its churches, Katy and I were baptized, confirmed and married. In its churches, we have held funerals for Katy’s mom, my parents, grandparents, a sister and a daughter. In its churches, I began my ministry, have served over half of my years of ministry and have been appointed to four East District churches.
In the East District, as well as our entire conference, the more things have changed the more they have stayed the same. While the cultures and times are always changing, the hunger and need of people to know Jesus and grow in their love and discipleship is a constant theme we must carry out.
My ministry philosophy is simple, as is, I believe, the purpose of our churches. it is to meet people where they are, love ALL people unconditionally, and to share Jesus with them. This ministry mandate from God is for everyone, regardless of your theological, cultural, ethnicity, gender, progressive or traditional stance. In other words, the mandate to love others and share Jesus supersedes any and all other decisions.