Bishop Announces Mid-Year Moves, New Director of Community Discipleship and Development Role


Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the North Georgia Conference Appointive Cabinet announce mid-year appointment changes effective January 1, 2022. Among them is a new position.
On January 1, 2022, Rev. Dr. Bernice Kirkland will become the North Georgia Conference’s first Director of Community Discipleship and Development. Dr. Kirkland was the natural choice for this position because, as a district superintendent, Dr. Kirkland’s leadership and vision led Atlanta First UMC and College Park UMC to dream big and enter into major developments that will renew and reinvigorate these churches and the communities that surround them.

The Cabinet and many churches are seeking new ways to connect with and serve our communities, especially in the post-Covid world. Now is the time to explore and establish best practices for “a new normal” for doing church, discipleship, and developing community. Several churches are already involved in such planning. Dr. Kirkland will begin her new role working closely with College Park UMC laity, their pastor, Rev. Jeanette Dickens, and their development team to cultivate disciples in that church, to document their learnings, and to explore innovative ideas in many communities.

Please let your superintendent know if your church would like to join in this movement. Dr. Kirkland moves from the Directorship of the Center for Clergy Excellence, which will now be under the direction of the Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Dr. Terry Walton.
January 2022 Appointment Changes
Director of Community Discipleship and Development
Bernice Kirkland
Interim Director, Center for Clergy Excellence (Remains also Executive Assistant to the Bishop)
Terry Walton
Central East District

Mt Carmel UMC, Norcross
Lynn Smith, Interim Pastor in Charge
Central North District

Cascade UMC
Agnes Harvey, Associate Pastor
Central South District

Lithonia First UMC
Jeffrey O’Neil, Pastor in Charge
University Heights UMC
Briggs Smith, Pastor in Charge
Central West District

Acworth UMC
Tommy Green, Interim Pastor in Charge
North East District

Gainesville First UMC
Jamey Prickett, Interim Pastor in Charge