|2012 United Methodist General Conference to be in Virginia|
Nov. 22, 2005
|Web-only photo by Tom Kojcsich
The Greater Richmond Convention Center will host the 2012 General Conference.
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS)—The 2012 international gathering of the
United Methodist General Conference will be held in Richmond, Va., the
denomination’s Commission on the General Conference announced Nov. 22.
The gathering of 1,000 delegates from the U.S., Europe, Africa and
Asia will be held at the Richmond Convention Center, April 25-May 4,
2012. In addition to delegates, about 4,000 additional persons are
expected to attend and participate in the conference.
The General Conference is the United Methodist Church’s top
legislative gathering. The conference meets every four years to consider
changes to church law and to take positions on theological and social
issues related to the church’s work around the globe. The next
conference will be April 23-May 2, 2008, in Forth Worth, Texas.
Richmond, Orlando and Tampa, Fla. were the three finalists considered
by the Commission on the General Conference during the site selection
process. The commission’s site selection team visited the sites before
“It will be a great pleasure to welcome the global body of United
Methodist delegates and friends to the city of Richmond, capital of the
Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Bishop Charlene Kammerer, who leads the
church in most of the state.
“We lift up our earnest prayers to serve the United Methodist Church with Christian and southern hospitality,” she added.
With more than 340,000 members, the Virginia Annual (regional)
Conference is the largest in the U.S. There are more than 1,200 local
churches served by nearly 1,800 clergy. It covers the entire state
except for the southwestern corner, which is part of the Holston Annual
Gail Murphy-Geiss of Centennial, Colo., chair of the Commission on
the General Conference, said Richmond was chosen because of the strong
United Methodist presence in the region, its convenient location for
many U.S. travelers, and the city’s easy-to-use convention facility.
One of the benefits of the 600,000 square foot convention center, she
said, is the potential for holding worship in the nearby arena while
plenary sessions take place in the large convention hall. There is a
United Methodist church nearby, and all hotels for delegates and
visitors should be within an eight-block radius.
Richmond is a popular site for religious organizations to hold their
national gatherings. In 2004, three denominations, Presbyterian Church
USA, Pentecostal Church International, and American Baptist Churches USA
held their national meetings in Richmond. In 2008, the Church of the
Brethren is scheduled to hold its national gathering in the convention
Janene Charbeneau, spokesperson for the Richmond Metropolitan
Convention Center and Visitors Bureau, said the bureau has
conservatively estimated the 2012 General Conference will add at least
$12 million to the region’s economy.
The site of the General Conference traditionally has rotated between
each of the five U.S. jurisdictions of the church. The 2004 General
Conference was held in Pittsburgh in the church’s Northeastern
Jurisdiction. In 2000, it was held in Cleveland in the North Central
Jurisdiction; 1996 Denver, Western Jurisdiction; and in 1992,
Louisville, Ken., Southeastern Jurisdiction.
News media contact: Stephen Drachler, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5411 or email@example.com
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