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Bishop appoints new director of Connectional Ministries

Bishop appoints new director of Connectional Ministries

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Bishop appoints new director of Connectional Ministries

April 20, 2008     News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0834}

NOTE: Headshots of the Revs. Dr. Anne Burkholder and Elizabeth (Beth) A. Fogle-Miller are available at
An e-Review Feature
By Erik J. Alsgaard**

LAKELAND — Florida Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker has announced that the Rev. Dr. Anne Burkholder, director of Connectional Ministries for the Florida Conference, will be appointed associate dean of Methodist studies and professor in the practice of ecclesiology and church leadership at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., effective Aug. 1.

Rev. Dr. Anne Burkholder

The Rev. Elizabeth (Beth) A. Fogle-Miller will be appointed incoming director of Connectional Ministries effective July 1.
In making the announcement Whitaker said Burkholder’s position at Candler is a new one “developed for the purpose of building and sustaining relationships between the school and annual conferences, overseeing the relationships between and the work of the Wesleyan-related students who are preparing for ministry and ordination, teaching, and writing for the church.”

Burkholder’s responsibilities will include building relationships with annual conferences and regions, mentoring students seeking commissioning, and working with faculty on the formation of curriculum.
Burkholder, who has served as director of Connectional Ministries since 2003, will maintain her membership with the Florida Conference. She was ordained an elder in 1985 and has served churches in St. Petersburg and Fernandina Beach. Burkholder has also served as superintendent of the former Melbourne District and director of Community Outreach Ministries in St. Petersburg and Miami Urban Ministries.

Rev. Beth Fogle-Miller

“It has been a tremendous privilege to offer leadership and to serve the churches and ministries of our great conference in such a wide variety of settings,” Burkholder said. “And while it has been hard to imagine leaving, I have the opportunity to share our lessons learned with a new generation of United Methodist leaders. I am a ‘child’ of this conference and will always remain connected to my spiritual family.”
Fogle-Miller also has strong ties to the Florida Conference. A native of DeLand, Fogle-Miller first attended the Florida annual conference session as a youth observer in 1973. Two years later, as president of the Florida Conference youth department, she was elected a General Conference delegate, the first youth from Florida to serve in that capacity. 
In 1982 Fogle-Miller was ordained a probationary member and married the Rev. Dr. Jim Fogle-Miller. She graduated from Candler School of Theology in 1983. Transferring to the Tennessee Conference upon graduation, she served rural and county seat appointments and was the conference youth coordinator. She was ordained an elder in 1985. Three years later she and Jim transferred to the Florida Conference, where she served as associate pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee. During that time, their daughter, Carlene, who is now a junior in high school, was born. 
In 1991 Fogle-Miller and her husband became the first clergy couple in the Florida Conference appointed as co-pastors, serving at Arlington United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Fogle-Miller then served three years as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sanford, followed by a co-pastoral appointment with Jim in 2000 at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Winter Haven. Jim’s service in the Army National Guard interrupted that collaborative ministry when Jim was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003. Fogle-Miller served an additional year and a half at St. John’s United Methodist Church before going on leave of absence when Jim received his second deployment, to Afghanistan. During leave of absence Fogle-Miller relocated the family’s household to DeLand and began a Mary Kay business, eventually becoming an independent sales director. 
“Connectional Ministries provides essential and enriching opportunities and services that individual churches realistically can’t create or provide on their own,” Fogle-Miller said. “The conference organization fascinated me in 1973, and it still fascinates me today. I’m deeply blessed to have this opportunity to serve on the staff.”
The persistent theme in Fogle-Miller’s ministry has been finding new ways for people to come together for encouragement and growth. These have ranged from helping coordinate coffeehouses at annual conference sessions in the ’70s and regional clergywomen’s gatherings to facilitating clergy interpersonal relations groups and parsonage socials. Even as a Mary Kay consultant she said she found herself in the business of personal hope and transformation, but with a different product.


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Alsgaard is director of communications for the Florida Conference.