LAKELAND – Bishop Ken Carter announced today two new conference staff appointments in the Office of Congregational Vitality and the Center for Clergy Excellence. They will be effective July 1.
“Two critical areas in our mission going forward are the identification, nurturing and retention of younger clergy and the cultivation and development of new congregations and missions,” Bishop Carter said.
“I am grateful for the gifts of Rwth Ashton and Dan Jackson. Rwth has experience as a pastor and campus minister, and will continue the important ministry that has begun with Emily Oliver in Clergy Excellence.
“Dan Jackson has been instrumental in the establishment of New Covenant UMC in The Villages, which is already one of our most vital churches, and indeed one of the fastest growing churches in the United States,” Bishop Carter said.
“Mont Duncan has left a significant legacy in new church development, and I am grateful for Dan’s willingness to lead us into the future.”
|Rev. Dan Jackson|
Rev. Dan Jackson will join the Congregational Vitality team as its interim director of new church development. He currently serves as the executive pastor of New Covenant UMC in The Villages.
“Dan Jackson is a gifted leader and passionate follower of Jesus Christ,” said Rev. Annette Pendergrass, North Central District Superintendent.
“As the pastor at New Covenant UMC, Dan has gained invaluable experience in the development of a healthy and thriving new church start. More recently, he has been a key leader in the upcoming launch of a new extension campus of New Covenant.”
Jackson has served as the executive pastor of New Covenant UMC since 2006. Prior to that, he was the senior pastor of five churches in a variety of settings in the West Ohio Conference, and he transferred into the Florida Annual Conference in 2008.
While serving at New Covenant, Jackson has been part of developing a transitional housing ministry, a jail ministry, programs in leadership and spiritual development, fundraising for a $5.5 million facility expansion and planning for a second campus. He serves the North Central district as chairman of the Committee on Ministry and as a member of the District Leadership and Nominating Teams.
Rev. Rwth Ashton will serve as associate director of the Center for Clergy Excellence. She currently serves as senior pastor at Trinity UMC in Lakeland.
|Rev. Rwth Ashton|
“I am extremely excited to have Rwth Ashton joining me in the office of Clergy Excellence,” Rev. Wayne Wiatt, current superintendent of the East Central District, said. He moves to lead Clergy Excellence in July.
“She brings a wealth of experience including gifts in leadership, spiritual formation, and mentoring. Her former appointment as chaplain of Millsaps College has given her a great foundation to assist me in guiding and supporting our clergy in the Florida Conference.”
Ashton has been pastor of Trinity UMC since 2012. Prior to that appointment, she served as chaplain at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.
Ordained as an elder in the New England Conference in 2002 and currently a member of the Mississippi Conference, she has served in urban, suburban and rural churches in Massachusetts and Mississippi, including appointments as associate pastor, co-pastor and lead pastor. Rwth is an experienced retreat leader and pilgrimage guide and considers spiritual formation and the nurture of gifts and vocation among her passions in ministry.