Four local church pastors who are experienced leaders have been named as new Cabinet members by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter. The appointments include three district superintendents and the Assistant to the Bishop.
Additionally, the current superintendent of the North Central District will assume the leadership for the Gulf Central District.
The appointments are effective July 1.
Rev. June Edwards is appointed to the North Central District; Rev. Durwood Foshee to the Northwest District; Rev. Jay Therrell to the Northeast District; Rev. Alex Shanks will serve as the Assistant to the Bishop, and Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson will move from the North Central District to the Gulf Central District.
Rev. June Edwards, North Central District
|Rev. June Edwards|
“June Edwards is a highly respected pastor in our conference,” Bishop Carter said. “She has strong gifts in administration and teaching, and has given remarkable leadership most recently at First UMC in Lakeland and on the Board of Ordained Ministry. She is also a significant mentor to many clergy in our conference.”
A sixth generation Floridian and life-long Methodist, Rev. Edwards has served three appointments over the last 20 years in the Florida Conference—Forest UMC (Silver Springs), Druid Hills UMC (Ocala) and most recently as one of the Associate Pastors at First UMC, Lakeland. She and her husband, Steve Edwards, have been married for 39 years and have three daughters—Margie (Greg) Kurtz, Rachel (Johnny) Gibbs and Emily Edwards and three grandchildren—Johnny, Waylon and Ellie.
She is a graduate of the University of Florida (BA Education) and Asbury Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) where she was part of the first graduating class of the Florida campus. June has served the church at both District and Conference levels: North Central District Mission and Church Extension, North Central District Committee on Ministry, Conference Standing Rules Committee, the Advisory Board of Shade and Fresh Water, Board of Ordained Ministry and the Conference Congregational Vitality Committee.
Rev. Durwood Foshee, Northwest District
|Rev. Durwood Foshee|
“Durwood Foshee has a history of effective and faithful pastoral leadership in diverse settings across our conference,” Bishop Carter said. “As a native of north Florida, he will develop strong connections with the churches and ministries of the Northwest District, and will help them to engage more deeply with their communities.” Rev. Foshee was a very effective member of the executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Bishop Carter added.
Rev. Foshee was appointed senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables on July 1, 2011. Prior to coming to Coral Gables, he served churches in Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Coast, Marco Island, St. Petersburg, DeLand and Clarkston, Georgia.
He graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in music and religion and received his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University. He has been married to Anne for 31 years, and they have three grown children, 3 grandchildren and one more on the way.
Rev. Jay Therrell, Northeast District
|Rev. Jay Therrell|
Jay Therrell has given excellent leadership as senior pastor of First UMC in Cape Coral and as a member of the operational strategy team of the Southwest District,” Bishop Carter said. “These gifts and experiences, along with his extraordinary administrative capacities, will be a great blessing to the Northeast District.”
Rev. Therrell was appointed the senior pastor of Cape Coral First on July 1, 2008. Prior to becoming a pastor, Jay practiced law for a large firm in the Orlando area. He has also served as both a congressional aide and an aide to a member of the British House of Commons. Jay’s undergraduate degrees are in political science and accounting from Presbyterian College. His law degree is from the University of Florida. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Jay is married to Kendra Therrell, a partner in a law firm in Fort Myers. Together they have one son. Jay was appointed a guest chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives by former Congressman Connie Mack and is a Hansard Scholar through the London School of Economics.
Rev. Alex Shanks, Assistant to the Bishop
|Rev. Alex Shanks|
Alex Shanks has been a very effective pastor in two vital congregations--First Coral Springs and Christ Church in Fort Lauderdale,” Bishop Carter said. “In addition, he has been a key member in the work of the Strategic Leadership Team of the Florida Conference. He will assist me in implementing the strategic objectives of the annual conference, particularly in helping us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Rev. Shanks has served as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Coral Springs since 2012, and he has served as a member of the Florida Annual Conference Strategic Leadership Team since 2012 (and vice-chair since 2014).
He is a clergy delegate to 2016 General Conference, and was a delegate to the 2012 Jurisdictional Conference. Shanks has served in several leadership positions, including chair of the Board of Camps and Retreat Ministries from 2008 to 2012, and secretary from 2004 to 2008; chair of Southeast District Committee on Ordained Ministry from 2010 to 2013 (and a member of DCOM from 2009 to present); a member of the Conference Table since 2008, and a member of the Southeast District Leadership Team from 2008 to 2013.
Shanks earned his Bachelor's Degree from Florida Southern College and his Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in North Carolina.
While at Florida Southern College, he served on the staff of First United Methodist Church of Lakeland and on the team at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp, including two summers as the assistant director.
He is married to Angela Shanks, an elementary school teacher, and they have two children, Jack and Lily Kate.
Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson, Gulf Central District
|Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson|
Rev. Haupert-Johnson has served as the superintendent of the North Central District since 2013, and prior to that she served as co-pastor of First UMC Ocala with her husband, Allen. She is the Florida Conference 2016 episcopal nominee. Previous pastoral appointments include Hillsborough UMC, Tampa; First UMC, Cape Coral, and First UMC, Lakeland.
She also has served on several conference boards and committees, including stints as chairperson of the Order of Elders and Standing Rules and Resolutions committees. She has represented the Florida Conference at the quadrennial Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference three times and the General Conference in 2008 and 2012. She also was chairperson of the Judicial Administration Legislative Committee the 2012 General Conference in Tampa.
She and her husband have a daughter, Samantha.
The Reverends David Dodge, John Powers and Bob Gibbs will retire this year; Rev. Tim Smiley will be appointed to serve a local church.
Bishop Carter praised the ministries of those who will be leaving the Cabinet.
“David, John, Bob and Tim are respected leaders in our Annual Conference, and I will always be grateful for their gifts, service and friendship,” Bishop Carter said. Each will be recognized at the 2016 Annual Conference session in Orlando.
In The United Methodist Church, a district superintendent is an ordained elder who supervises clergy and congregations in a geographical area and collaborates with the bishop in assigning elders, deacons and local pastors to specific ministries. The 2012 Book of Discipline further defined the role of the district superintendent as a “missional strategist” in support of making disciples for the transformation of the world.