May 4, 2004
By Neill Caldwell
(UMNS) –– Two lay and two clergy members of the United Methodist Church
are elected to the denomination’s highest court.
A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.
United Methodist Bishop Bruce P. Blake (center) presides over Judicial Council elections at General Conference.
The May 4 election of Judicial Council members was delayed one day due to difficulties with electronic voting machines.
typical term of office for those serving on the nine-member council is
eight years. Council members may serve two consecutive eight-year terms.
elected and their annual (regional) conferences are Jon R. Gray,
Missouri, and Beth Capen, New York, were elected as lay members. The
Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, South Carolina, and the Rev. Dennis L.
Blackwell, Greater New Jersey, were elected as clergy members.
is a family court judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit in Kansas City,
Mo. He has served as a delegate to five General Conferences and was
elected as an alternate member of the Judicial Council in 1996 and 2000.
He also served as chair of the Judicial Administration Legislative
Committee at the 2004 General Conference.
is an attorney in private practice in Kingston, N.Y. She was a youth
delegate to General Conference in 1976 and has been elected six
additional times. Capen is the leader of the New York Annual Conference
delegation to this year’s assembly.
is dean of the chapel and religious life at Emory University, Atlanta,
Ga., and teaches polity at Candler School of Theology. She previously
served on the Judicial Council from 1992 to 2000.
currently serves as senior pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in
Merchantville, N.J. He has twice been elected to General Conference.
Conference also elected six lay and six clergy reserves to the Judicial
Council. In order of their election, lay alternates and their
annual conferences are: Solomon Christian, Memphis; Edwin P. Gausi,
Liberia; Daniel Ivey-Soto, New Mexico; David L. Beckley, Mississippi;
Daniel F. Evans, South Indiana; and Raymundo Annang, Middle
Philippines. In order of their election, reserve clergy are: Paul
Shamwange Kyungu, North-West Katanga; C. Rex Bevins, Nebraska; Rodney E.
Wilmoth, Minnesota; Frank E. Trotter Jr., Baltimore-Washington; John E. Harnish, Detroit; and Gloria Brooks, West Ohio.
Rotating off the Judicial Council this year are Sally Curtis AsKew, Sally Brown Geis, the Rev. Larry D. Pickens and Bevins.
and Capen were first elected the morning of May 3 before a protest was
raised regarding the voting keypads that General Conference delegates
use to make selections on all votes in the full assembly.
Vorhees, a member of the General Conference staff, told the assembly
that the machines were not set up in accordance with the rules adopted
last week by the delegates.
members worked through the evening of May 3 to repair the software
problem. All earlier voting results were voided and voting for the
Judicial Council members was restarted on the morning of May 4.
must be certain that this body and the church believe that the Judicial
Council election be proper and valid,” said Bishop Bruce P. Blake of
the Oklahoma Area, who presided over the May 4 morning session.
*Caldwell is a correspondent for United Methodist News Service.
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After May 10: (615) 742-5470.