In continuation of the 181st Annual Session’s activities, members attending the conference have elected their official representatives to the West Africa Central Conference (WACC) and the General Conference (GC) scheduled for 2016. The 12-member delegation was elected following rigorous measures that were put into place by members at the conference and announced by Bishop Innis during the opening session. The process was presided over by Rev. Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue, Jr., Pastor of the Second Grace United Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan, Rev. George Warner, and Rev. Armah Jaiah, guests to the 181st Annual Session of the LAC/UMC from the Laity side, while Bishop Innis presided over the elections of the Ministerial delegates.
According to Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Presiding Bishop over the ongoing Liberia Annual Conference Session, the conference was not going to allow observers, unduly registered participants, and absentees to be voted for as representative of the church to any conference. “Only registered and accredited members will be allowed voting rights at this conference,” the Bishop declared. The issue of electing became one of the controversial issues among the Laity, when some delegates who where elected to attend the WACC and the GC in 2012 were left out without due notice. “No one informed me that I was being replaced as an alternate delegate to the West Africa Central Conference,” one delegate lamented.
As part of the rigorous measures, delegates declared that church leaders, especially staff
persons who are in the direct employ of the LAC and who live in urban areas should now make way to allow rural church leaders the opportunity to participate in some of the conferences. However, those elected by the Laity include all the Conference Presidents (Youth, Young Adult, Women, and Men) among others, while the Alternate Delegates were elected from among accredited members from the various local churches attending the conference.
Similarly, the Ministerial members in their session elected Rev. George D. Wilson, Jr., Director of Connectional Ministries, Rev. Isaac C. Padmore, Conference Secretary, and Rev. Samuel Quire, Administrative Assistant to the Office of Bishop Innis.
At most gatherings of the LAC/UMC in the past, elections to the WACC and GC are always conducted during the Laity Session and with less rigorousness than what we have seen during this conference.