North Georgia Delegation Endorses Sharma Lewis as Episcopal Nominee
The members of the North Georgia Conference Delegation have unanimously endorsed the Rev. Sharma D. Lewis as their episcopal nominee.
Rev. Lewis serves as District Superintendent of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District.
"She is a person of impeccable character. Likewise, she is a pastor, a preacher, an administrator who has exhibited extraordinary skill," said the Rev. Dr. K. Edward Tomlinson, who nominated Rev. Lewis at the September meeting of the North Georgia Delegation. "She has served on the Executive Committee of Church Development. She helped control unacceptable expenditures for equitable compensation through the effective leadership of that committee. She has been a member of the Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy. I am proud to nominate her as our nominee for the episcopacy from North Georgia." Tomlinson is a clergy member of the Delegation who is currently serving as a retired supply pastor at Lanier United Methodist Church; he has also previously served as assistant to the bishop in North Georgia.
A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Rev. Lewis is a life-long United Methodist. She is a graduate of Mercer University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and a graduate of the University of West Georgia, with a Master of Science degree in Biology. Prior to following her call to ministry, she was a biologist in the academic and corporate sectors. After answering God’s call to ministry, she entered Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta where she earned the Master of Divinity with honors.
"I am humbled and honored to be selected as the North Georgia Delegation’s Episcopal nominee," said Rev. Lewis. "I felt a strong sense of assurance and affirmation from the individuals which I have served with in this annual conference for the last 20 years."
Before being appointed District Superintendent, Rev. Lewis served at Wesley Chapel UMC in McDonough, Powers Ferry UMC in Marietta, and Ben Hill UMC in Atlanta.
Rev. Lewis is the recipient of the 2010 Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the G. Ross Freeman Leadership Award. She has served on numerous committees, boards and task forces representing The United Methodist Church, including leading the 2012 and 2016 North Georgia Clergy Delegations to General and Jurisdictional Conference.
“Sharma is a powerful and winsome preacher who communicates a hopeful Christian witness," said Mathew Pinson, conference lay leader and chair of the delegation. "She is an attentive pastor, and a strong leader with a dedicated prayer life. She has a spiritual depth that is inspiring, and she is a person of great discipline and integrity."
Pinson, as chair of delegation, will recommend to the 2016 North Georgia Annual Conference at its meeting in June that the Annual Conference affirm the endorsement, at which time Lewis would be the nominee of the North Georgia Conference.
"I feel called and compelled to Episcopal Leadership within the UMC because I believe I can offer a hopeful perspective to our denomination; to be a unified and thriving denomination that is committed to the renewal and recapturing of the Wesleyan spirit!" said Rev. Lewis.
In The United Methodist Church, bishops are elected and assigned by the Jurisdictions. In July of 2016, Rev. Lewis will be considered for election as bishop by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.