Conference gathers in Huntsville for Service of Commissioning

June 25, 2007

Click here to see photos from the Service of Commissioning


On Sunday, June 24, United Methodists from across North Alabama gathered at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville for the Service of Commissioning during which the Conference commissioned eight people as probationary elders or probationary deacons.  These eight people include those who will make up the first class of Residents in Ministry in North Alabama.


Bishop William H. Willimon preached the sermon titled “Sent” as well as led the examination and commissioning.  During the sermon Bishop Willimon noted how Jesus sent out those disciples he called into ministry.  He explained that this was the life of a United Methodist minister being sent.  “To be on a mission is to be sent,” he said.  “In fact that is the way every Christian gets anywhere – we’re sent.” 


He also reminded those being commissioned and the entire congregation that when God calls you and sends you out in ministry, “wherever you are, you are not there by yourself.”


The service featured music led by Camilla Pruitt, Director of Worship and Fine Arts at Trinity UMC; Becky Waters, organist at Trinity UMC;  the Northeast District choir (which includes choir members from Aldersgate UMC Bridgeport First, Huntsville First, Ford’s Chapel, Grace, Lakeside, Lakewood and Trinity United Methodist Churches) and a brass quartet and timpani.  The liturgists for the service were  Dr. Charles Gattis, senior pastor of Trinity UMC; Rev. Richard Stryker, District Superintendent of the Southeast District and Carrie Kramer Vasa, one of the newly commissioned Residents in Ministry and associate pastor of Pell City First UMC.


The eight new Conference members include

  • William Baxter Chism
  • Christopher Landrum Cone
  • Andrew Scott Dressler
  • James Michael Glasgow
  • John Melvin Hill
  • George Clifford Hollis
  • Malinda Leigh Jowers
  • Carrie Kramer Vasa

As the service concluded Bishop Willimon invited others in the congregation who were considering their call into ministry to come forward to the altar during the final hymn.  A number of people came forward and were greeted by the Bishop, their District Superintendent as well as other pastors.  Each person who came forward was also prayed over.

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