North Georgia Conference Licensed Local Pastors Travel to the Holy Land


Pictured from back row to front row are: James Hannah (LP), Darrell McGinnis (LP), LouAnn Harris, Keith Harris (LP), Eugene Wright, Brenda Wright (LP), Sandra Skinner (LP), Dan Skinner, Pam Townsend, Sam Townsend (LP), Jim Elder (LP), Marvin Mason (LP), Mattylin Hubbard (LP), Peggy Martin, Tom Martin, Eric Dallas, Paula Dallas (LP), Kristen Vincent, Max Vincent (Elder), Vanessa Warner, Julian Warner (LP), G (tour guide), Chuck Beattie (LP), Elaine Beattie, Henrietta Sutton, Bonnette Woods, Oliver Woods(LP), Michelle Levan, Elaine Gilbert (LP), Marquis Ratliff, Jacquelin Ratliff (LP)

North Georgia Conference licensed local pastors journeyed to the Holy Land this month on a trip organized by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry Committee on Local Pastors. The 8-day trip included visits to Jericho, Bethlehem, Galilee, and Jerusalem. 

"The trip was amazing," said Rev. Sandra Skinner, Assistant Pastor at Gainesville First UMC. "It was such a blessing to travel with other Local Pastors from our Conference. I only knew a few of the individuals before the trip, and now have made great connections with many more. The trip has given us a wonderful shared experience that will forever connect us. I am also grateful for the affordability of this opportunity that the Conference and EO provided to us. We had quality accommodations, an extremely knowledgeable guide, and an itinerary that packed as many locations as possible in the time that we had. The exposure to the history that I experienced in Israel will have a meaningful impact on my personal faith and ministry."

The group was joined by Rev. Max Vincent of the Board of Ordained Ministry and Michelle Levan of the Center for Clergy Excellence as well as spouses and family members. 

"The trip to the Holy Land was beyond what I could have ever imagined," said Rev. Sam Townsend, pastor of Laster Chapel UMC in College Park. "The Holy Land is something that can’t be totally explained, because it has to be experienced. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go with other local pastors. It generated new relationships and a time of bonding as we learned together."

The trip was arranged through EO (Educational Opportunities Tours).

"Our tour guide was amazing and I felt like l was in Bible study every day," said Townsend. "I have a deep passion for learning and l absolutely loved what l experienced. It was my first time to the Holy Land, but l am looking forward to returning."