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Church's finance agency hires associate general counsel


By United Methodist News Service

Jim Allen of Columbia, S.C., has accepted the position of associate general counsel at the United Methodist Church's finance and administration agency.

He will begin his duties with the General Council on Finance and Administration in early February. The agency is based in Evanston, Ill.

Allen will be filling one of two positions for associate general counsel that will become vacant in February. Dave Ullrich is leaving the agency to work for his own denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as associate general counsel in Chicago. In addition, Michele Thorne has resigned to work part-time with her husband in his law practice and to have more time with her child.

An active member of his local United Methodist church, Allen has served the denomination as chancellor of the South Carolina Annual Conference since 1995, as a delegate to the 2000 General Conference and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, and as a member of the Fair Process Task Force.

He has provided leadership at the legal forums held for conference chancellors by the general council's Legal Department. He also has conducted training for laity, clergy, conference and local church officers, and seminarians on various topics. He has served as assistant counsel in church trials for five annual conferences.

"We are pleased to have Jim as a colleague on the Legal Department staff," stated Irene Howard, general counsel. "His strong legal background and experience in the United Methodist Church are extraordinary assets, especially as we seek to increase our direct support to annual conference chancellors. I look forward to his contributions to our work on behalf of the denomination."

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