INDIANAPOLIS – Deceased clergy and deceased clergy spouses who have died since the last Annual Conference Session were remembered Friday, May 30, during a time of prayer, Scripture reading and Holy Communion during the Indiana Annual Conference Session. Bishop Mike Coyner was the celebrant.

The Rev. Andrew Payton, associate pastor of Methodist Temple United Methodist Church in Evansville and a third-generation clergyperson, preached the sermon at the Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion using a text from 1 John.

Payton is the son of the Rev. Dennis Payton, senior pastor of First UMC in Mooresville, and grandson of the Rev. L.D. Payton, a retired member of the Indiana Conference living in Mooresville. His brother, Daniel Lee Payton was ordained an Elder Saturday morning.

Here are a few thoughts Andrew Payton expressed to the conference:

  • Honoring a great cloud of witnesses, we are here to honor these clergy and families. I get it. I get the sacrifice they have made. I am a PK (preacher’s kid). My brother is going to be ordained tomorrow. I get it in terms of the sacrifices that have brought us to this place.
  • These are the ones who say, don’t talk about me or lift me up. Talk about Jesus. With Jesus there is always more. Life continues. Death is not the end – there is more in terms of life eternal. In 1 John we are called God’s children.
  • We need to invest ourselves in the brokenness of this world. There is more to this life. There is more to the question – if there is more, why so often do we settle for less?
  • The exciting thing is that we know we are going in the right direction when our passion for religion becomes our compassion for people. We have all known people and we know the spirit of God is within them. The good news is that we can grow into becoming the compassionate people God wants us to be.
  • We are here to honor people who have lived their faith. We are here to remember this great cloud of witnesses to honor and remember that they are fine. That’s my prayer tonight. We honor the faith they upheld. We have a compassion for people and radiate the love of Jesus.

Bishop Mike Coyner also lifted the names of churches whose ministries have been discontinued. They are: Pershing UMC in East District, Patronville UMC in the Southwest District, Fairview UMC in South District, Springfield UMC in East District and Liberty Mills UMC in Northwest District.

Here is a list of those deceased clergy and clergy spouses, who were remembered during the service.

Clergy included: Judith Adams, Howard Allen, Charles Ballard, James Beckley, Michael Beeman, Hilbert Berger, Robert Bickel, John Boggs, Charles Carroll, Richard Christopher, Ernest Cobbs, Charles Cook, Glen Dale Cottom, Susan Davis, George Dinwiddie, Ronald Dixon, Robert Dungy, Reuben Green, Robert Hansen, Oval Harden, Cletus Hirschy, Ivan Jenkins, John Kavich, Richard Lancaster, Carl Leth, John Calvin Louthain, David Low, James Mayfield, Elvin Miller, Mary Miller, Harold Morrical, James Nickles, Howard Pearson, Kennard Robinson, Jicelyn Thomas, Clyde Trumbauer, Linda VanHorn, Clyde Wake, Charles Jack Walls, L Michael Wilson and Lloyd Wright.

Spouses included: Waneda Baker, Berniece Bastain, Michael Beason, Evelyn Bennett, Patricia Burton, Beverly Coahran, Marian Dawson, Marcia Frazier, Jessie Gaus, Shirley Gotts, Dolores Haskins, Betty Hillenburg, Diana Lee Kehlhofer, Christina Kivett, Virginia Kraft, Ellen Louise Landrey, Marion Lutz, Iona Mayfield, Dave Mikesell, Theresa Miller, Idamae Nisley, Ruth Nolting, Doris Pflugh, Letah Simpson, Reba Stapp, Virginia Stirsman, Gladys Strong, Pauline Taggart, Delores Thomas, Brenda Wesler, Carmen Wilks, Amanda “Ruth” Willbanks, Marian Wiseman and Virginia Yates.

Andrew Payton