LAKELAND – Bishop Ken Carter and the appointive cabinet of the Florida Conference announced new assignments today, and they will become effective July 1.
Rev. Sara McKinley is appointed as director for the Office of Clergy Excellence, and Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin, the Director of Connectional Ministries, will add Justice and Multicultural Ministries to her portfolio.
Rev. Sara McKinley, Director of the Office of Clergy Excellence
“Sara McKinley is a respected and very effective pastor in our annual conference,” Bishop Ken Carter said. “She is also a highly gifted administrator and leader.”
Rev. McKinley served as associate pastor for nine years at Plantation UMC, senior pastor for five years at First UMC Coral Springs and has served First UMC Gainesville since 2012, where she is now senior pastor. Rev. McKinley has served on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for 12 years. She has also served as chair of the Southeast District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM) and currently serves on the DCOM for the North Central District.
Sara has a bachelor’s degree in social psychology from the University of Bristol, England; an MBA in organizational development and human resource planning from Clark University, Worcester, MA; and a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin, Director of Connectional and Justice Ministries
“Sharon Austin has a history of engagement with the church’s call to seek justice in our world,” Bishop Carter said. “She also has significant leadership in multicultural settings.”
Rev. Austin has served as the director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) since 2013, and she will add the areas of Justice and Multicultural Ministries to her portfolio. Prior to her appointment as DCM, she served as the superintendent of the South Central District.
Rev. Austin was the first woman and first cross-racial/cross-cultural appointment to all of the churches that she served in the Florida Conference.
Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis and Rev. Dr. Wayne Wiatt will be appointed to serve local churches.
“Harold Lewis and Wayne Wiatt are gifted pastors, leaders and joyful proclaimers of the gospel. They will be a blessing to the local churches where they are being sent to serve. Dr. Wiatt has served with distinction in local churches, as a district superintendent and as director of Clergy Excellence. And, Dr. Lewis will also lead us in attending to the vitality and growth of our historic African-American churches, work that he began upon his arrival in Florida in 2009,” Bishop Carter noted.
Announcements regarding clergy being sent to new assignments and local churches who will be receiving them will be made on April 17.