Special Session of General Conference 2019


The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body met in St. Louis, Missouri, for a Special General Conference February 23-26, 2019.

General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church which typically meets once every four years. The Council of Bishops called a Special Session of the General Conference to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. Find more on the General Conference at www.umc.org.

Judicial Council Rules on Actions of General Conference 2019

On April 26, the United Methodist Judicial Council ruled that certain parts of the Traditional Plan passed by the 2019 Special General Conference are constitutional and will become church law. Other portions of the plan were ruled unconstitutional and are null and void.

The Judicial Council ruled that the exit strategy passed by the General Conference is constitutional.

New legislation will take effect on January 1, 2020. 

United Methodist News Service provides a full summary at "Court OKs Part of Traditional Plan, Exit Plan"

The next session of the General Conference meets May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Judicial Council decision numbers:

  • Judicial Council Decision 1378
  • Judicial Council Decision 1379

News and Daily Updates

Summary of Actions: General Conference 2019
Find a brief summary of the actions taken by General Conference at the link below.

Special General Conference Adjourns with Uncertainty
As United Methodists leave St. Louis and the 2019 Special General Conference, there is much we don't know. After a day of debate and discussion, the majority voted in favor of the Traditional Plan (438 to 384) in today's plenary session. However, a portion of the plan is known to be unconstitutional. The plan was referred to the Judicial Council for review. 

General Conference Daily Newsletter 

Photo File



North Georgia Delegation

Mathew Pinson is chair of the North Georgia Annual Conference Delegation to the special General Conference. Rev. Dr. Phil Schroeder is vice chair. Keith Cox is secretary of the delegation.

North Georgia's delegation has been gathering since August of 2017 in preparation for the 2019 Special Session. 


Lay Delegates:
Mathew A. Pinson  
Jane Finley  
Keith Cox  
Jeff Jernigan  
Bill Stikes  
Randy Brown  
Lathem Postell  
Rachel Fullerton  
Joe Wesley Kilpatrick  
Tonya Murphy  
Gary Fuller  

Clergy Delegates:
Philip Daniel Schroeder 
Jane Newman Brooks 
P. Alice Rogers 
James Carlton Cantrell III 
Steven Wood Sr. 
Richard Don Winn Sr. 
Charles Walter Savage II 
Kyle Edward Tomlinson 
Herzen De Vega Andone 
Byron Eric Thomas 
Nora Elizabeth Colmenares 
Dalton Troy Rushing 

Alternates to the Special Session
Lay Alternates:
Leon Jourolmon III 
Tom Cook 
Lee D. Highsmith 
Bill Martin 
Elizabeth Corrie 
Sue Raymond 
Janet Sligar 
Dianne Andrews Spencer 
Linda Culpepper  
Lily del C. Berrios   
Deloris F. Carhee 
Kathryn Schroeder 
Bob Fincher 
Richard L. Williamson 
Debby Stikes 

Clergy Alternates:
Bridgette Denise Young-Ross 
David Cochran Walters 
Bernice Williams Kirkland 
Olujimi Wesley Brown 
Rodrigo Cruz 
Elizabeth Camak LaRocca-Pitts 
Michael Lee Cash 
Juan A. Quintanilla 
Howard Davidson Allen Grady   
Leon Edward Matthews Jr. 
James Hughes Lowry Jr. 
Kate Hurst Floyd 
John Arthur Beyers 
Hugh Bentley Cathey Sr.

Please join us in praying daily for our delegates and all delegates to General Conference 2019. Find contact information at www.ngumc.org/2019-delegation.

General Conference 2016

Review the happenings of General Conference 2016 at www.ngumc.org/GC2016

Pre-Conference Resources 

Local Church General Conference Communication Toolkit
Adapted from United Methodist Communications, this toolkit offers suggestions for local churches communicating about General Conference 2019.

"One With" Worship Resource
Based on our United Methodist communion liturgy, this worship resource is designed for use February 3 to March 3 -- spanning both Black History Month and the Special Session of General Conference.

Daily General Conference e-Newsletter
Be sure to subscribe to North Georgia's General Conference e-newsletter which will be sent daily during the Special Session.

"One" Page for North Georgia United Methodists 
Tools and information that remind us we are "One with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world."

Pre-Special Session Overview

Since 1972, when the church set parameters in the Book of Discipline for ministry to, with, and by homosexual people, The United Methodist Church has struggled with this matter. 

The 2016 General Conference took a major step toward trying to resolve the struggle when it approved a Commission on a Way Forward to be appointed by and make recommendations to the Council of Bishops.

The Commission was charged with finding a way forward for our church that maximizes the presence of a United Methodist witness in as many places in the world as possible, that allows for as much contextual differentiation as possible, and that balances an approach to different theological understandings of human sexuality with a desire for as much unity as possible.

In February 2019, a called General Conference will consider legislation growing out of the Commission’s work.

The hope is that decisions made in 2019 will allow the 2020 General Conference to focus on our mission and shared ministry.

General Conference Primer |

Special Session of General Conference Q&A | READ Q&A

General Conference Day By Day

Day of Prayer | Saturday, Feb. 23
General Conference will begin with a Day of Prayer, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST in the St. Louis America’s Center Convention Complex. Delegates, bishops, volunteers, staff, and guests will spend a full day in prayer for God to lead us forward as a United Methodist Church.

Day 1 | Sunday, Feb. 24
The first official day of the session will be Sunday, Feb. 24. The session will begin with worship. Delegates will hear a presentation from the Commission on Way Forward — whose formation General Conference authorized in 2016 to help find ways to keep the church together. They will then spend the day in plenary discussion seeking to discern which of the multiple plans the majority of delegates want to refine.

This is not a day for amending legislation but instead determining what general direction the delegates want to go in. Bishops, who have no vote at General Conference, will preside over the day’s discussions.

Day 2 | Monday, Feb. 25
On Monday, Feb. 25, the delegates will meet in a legislative committee of the whole to amend and vote on petitions. Delegates will elect the chair of the committee from a pool of delegates who have been trained and served as committee chairs in 2016.

Day 3 | Tuesday, Feb. 26
The delegates will return to plenary on Tuesday, Feb. 26, for final voting and to consider what their actions mean for the future, including the next regularly scheduled General Conference in 2020. Again, bishops will preside. The session will adjourn on Tuesday.

Pre-Conference News

Way Forward Report

The final report of the Commission on a Way Forward will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. The report is printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA).

What should you know about the report? United Methodist Communication provides the following helpful information.

Offering insight to delegates, the UMC Judicial Council ruled on the Constitutionality of the three reports from The Way Forward in advance of the Special General Conference. Delegates can use this information to amend the petitions during the Special Session.