Kokomo District Superintendent endorsed as episcopal candidate

By United Methodist News Service

Both the North and South Indiana annual conferences recently joined the South Indiana Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR), North Indiana Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Black United Methodist Pastors (BUMP) of the Indiana Area and the North and South Indiana Cabinets endorsing the Rev. Dr. Frank Beard, Superintendent of the Kokomo District, as an episcopal candidate. Beard is one of 10 endorsed candidates in the North Central Jurisdiction.

Beard also has been endorsed by the two North Central Jurisdictional Conference delegations of Indiana.

With the annual conferences adjourned, United Methodist attention shifts to July gatherings of jurisdictional conferences at which nine new U.S. bishops are expected to be elected. Like General Conference, jurisdictional conferences meet once every four years. However, while General Conference handles denominational matters across the globe, each jurisdictional gathering covers business related to one of the church's five regional jurisdictions in the United States.

The two Indiana annual conferences will join the seven other annual conferences of the 12-state North Central Jurisdictional Conference July 15-19 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The North Central Jurisdiction, with 276 delegates, expects to elect one bishop to replace retiring Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher, currently Bishop of the Illinois Area (Illinois Great Rivers Conference). The North Indiana Conference will send 20 NCJ delegates. The South Indiana Conference will send 24 NCJ delegates. A list of delegates from each conference can be found by logging on to www.inareaumc.org. Click on 2008 Conferences and scroll down to delegates documents.

The primary business of jurisdictional conferences is the election and assignment of bishops.

The jurisdictional conferences will meet simultaneously July 16-19 in their respective regions, except for the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which meets July 13-18.

For the complete story and candidates' bios, log on to www.ncj2008.org.