FISHERS, Ind. – The 36-member Indiana delegation of the 2012 North Central Jurisdictional Conference endorsed the candidacy of the Rev. Dr. Cindy Reynolds for bishop during a delegation meeting Feb. 4 at Fishers United Methodist Church. Reynolds is currently superintendent of the North District based in LaPorte, Ind.
In The United Methodist Church, bishops are elected every four years during one of the five Jurisdictional Conferences of the church. The North Central Jurisdiction is scheduled to be held in Akron, Ohio, July 17-21, however, there may not be a vacancy for an election this summer. Not knowing for sure whether or not there will be an election, conference delegations are preparing to have a candidate ready in case there is need to elect a new bishop.
The Rev. Dr. Frank Beard, current superintendent of the North Central District based in Kokomo, and Ed Fenstermacher of Fort Wayne, co-heads of the Indiana General Conference-Jurisdictional Conference delegation, announced to the delegation that Reynolds had received, along with Beard, the most endorsements of the delegation at the Feb. 4 meeting.
Beard withdrew his name because he has just been appointed as senior pastor of the Castleton United Methodist Church effective July 1.
Beard told the delegates Reynolds would make an excellent bishop.
Members of the delegation present at the meeting unanimously endorsed Reynolds as the Indiana Conference delegation candidate for the episcopacy. Reynolds is a clergy delegate to both General Conference and the North Central Jurisdiction Conference.
Following the endorsement, delegates laid hands on Reynolds and prayed for her as she pursues God’s call to this candidacy.
Reynolds told the delegates she was deeply humbled to be endorsed. She said, “If God calls me to this ministry, I will accept the call. It’s only by the grace of God that I am here. I have always answered the call given to me to the highest way I can.”
She continued by saying, “We need to be solidly connected to God through prayer and spiritual direction. We need to be connected to other believers through a covenant group. We need to be connected to each other to discern God’s will. And, we need to be connected to the world around us and be part of that transformation.”
Reynolds said she grew up on a northern Indiana farm, where she learned as a youth to do all things with excellence and integrity. She was ordained an Elder in the former North Indiana Conference in 1979. She has served as an associate minister at First UMC in Hobart, as pastor and director of the Wesley Foundation at Ball State University in Muncie, as pastor of Woodmar UMC in Hammond, as superintendent of the Huntington District, as pastor of Good Shepherd UMC in Fort Wayne, as Conference Council Director, and as superintendent of the former Warsaw District, former Calumet District and now the North District.
Reynolds also was chairperson of the Imagine Indiana process, which united the former North and South Indiana conferences into the new Indiana Conference created in 2009.