NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 18, 2015) – The “Family Reunion” in which the Southeast and Midsouth Conferences held their Annual Meetings at Canal Street Church here went so well that the two superintendents say similar events are a strong possibility.
It was the first time anyone could remember two conferences holding their meetings together. The event not only brought the conferences together, but also joined the past and the present, as each conference welcomed church plants in a service in the building that is home to a congregation that dated back to 1842.
Robert Owens, superintendent of the Southeast Conference, suggested the idea of combining the meetings last summer, and his Midsouth counterpart, Garth Bolinder, thought it was a “brilliant idea.”
“I was thinking about being in it together,” Owens said. “It’s also in keeping with the SEC slogan, “Better Together.”
Attendees heard speakers that included Meagan Gillan, women ministries leader in the Make and Deepen Disciples ministry area; Mark DeYmaz, pastor of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas in Little Rock, a congregation attended by people from 30 nations; and longtime civil rights leader John Perkins.
During their business meeting, Southeast Conference delegates re-elected Owens to be superintendent.
Bolinder said delegates already had requested that the two conferences hold meetings together again.
“It was the best conference annual meeting I have ever attended,” Bolinder said. “Beginning with service projects on Wednesday and a powerful concert of prayer that evening led by the two conference board chairs, friendship and unity were built from the start. We ended the reunion at the Lord’s Table on Friday morning. It was a powerful and moving experience. Starting in concerted prayer. Ending at the Lord’s Table. No wonder it was such a special time.”