Rev. Beverly Connelly was officially installed as the District Superintendent of the South and Central Districts during a powerful and moving service on Sunday, Aug. 22 at First Methodist Waco. While the service proceeded like a well-orchestrated event with fantastic music and wonderfully preaching, to say that the events which led to this day were part of anyone’s 2021 plans would be quite the stretch.
|Citing her experiences as a local church pastor across various locations, settings, situations and ethnic lines, Bishop Lowry says he's "excited about Beverly Connelly coming on to the Cabinet and thank God for her sacrificial willingness to serve on the Cabinet and in the South/Central District Area.”|
The surprising shifts and changes that resulted in Rev. Beverly Connelly being appointed as the South/Central District Superintendent began when a senior pastor was forced to go on emergency medical leave. To fill the senior pastor role, Bishop Lowry asked Rev. Mike Ramsdell to step away from his role as the Executive Director of the Smith Center for Evangelism, Mission and Church Growth (CEMCG) / DS of the New Church Start District. This, of course, left Bishop Lowry with needing to fill Mike’s Executive Director/DS role, which he did with the appointment of Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory to that position.
With Leah’s appointment to lead the CEMCG team, Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet were then challenged to identify the leader to succeed Leah as the South/Central District Superintendent. “In considering who to appoint to the DS role for the South and Central Districts, I submitted that what we need most is a leader who lives in the Gospel with the peace of God that literally passes all our understanding and that can only come from Christ,” recalled Bishop Lowry.
“As I prayerfully considered the possibilities, I recalled my first meeting with Beverly Connelly,” Bishop Lowry continued. “She had (and has) a graciousness that allows her to calm both sides of a contentious situation – a graciousness that calls back to Christ. I believe that Beverly is the right person for the church at this time of contentiousness and high seas.
“It is my honor and privilege to formally introduce this woman of God as the area District Superintendent for the South and Central Districts.”
“God is always shifting and sorting and changing and reordering things so that we might know salvation and fullness of life,” said Rev. Connelly during her sermon.
|Rev. Beverly Connelly who was at first surprised and humbled to be named as South Central DS, is looking forward to serving pastors and lay leadership and walking with them through their joys, trials, and sorrows|
“There are not many positions I have not held in the local church, and I know how thankful I have been by being supported by the bishop and cabinet members during some difficult times in the past.” recalled Rev. Connelly. “These experiences have helped me develop a deep passion for our Wildly Important Goal, our WIG of making disciples of Jesus Christ. I KNOW the difference Christ makes in the life of the believer. I shudder to think of where I would be without Jesus. and believe the responsibility of every believer is to make Him known.”
Click here to view a replay of Rev. Connolly’s installation service.
To hear more from Beverly about what has her excited about all that’s happening in the conference, but particularly the South/Central District Area, some of the challenges that need to be addressed, how she plans to partner with the local churches, clergy and lay leadership and much more, click on the player below or go to the CTC Vimeo page to view and/or download and share.