July 2020


South Georgia Annual Conference to Meet Virtually in August


Bishop Lawson Bryan, in collaboration with the officers of the Annual Conference and the Cabinet, has announced that the 2020 South Georgia Annual Conference session will be held virtually.

The clergy session is set for Sunday, August 2, 2020, from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, and the one-day annual conference session is set for Saturday, August 15, 2020, from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. 

In addition to the business sessions, two special online services are being planned. A Retiree Recognition Service will be held Tuesday, August 11 at 7:00 pm to honor and recognize retiring clergy. A Memorial Service to remember clergy and clergy spouses who have passed away this past year is set for August 13 at 7:00 pm.  

Those approved for provisional membership or full connection at the clergy session will be commissioned or ordained in a local church setting. Plans will be announced for these services.

The move to a virtual session was informed by a strong response to a survey sent out in May as well as a paper ballot vote in June to amend the Conference’s standing rules to provide for a virtual conference session under certain conditions, which was approved 650 to 43.

“The overwhelming response to the survey and the ballot confirmed our need to plan a virtual session of Annual Conference rather than risking the uncertainties involved in an in-person gathering of hundreds of people,” Bishop Bryan said. “A lot of thought and care is going into what a virtual Annual Conference looks like.”

Bishop Bryan has been in communication with conference leadership as well as various stakeholders - those being commissioned and ordained, retirees, Board of Ministry, Board of Laity, and Memoirs Committee - to make sure all are being heard and cared for. 

We are making every effort to continue and strengthen our shared ministry while protecting the health and well-being of all based on
information that is rapidly changing,” he said. 

The August 2 clergy session and the August 15 business session will utilize an online meeting and voting platform that will allow members to securely participate using an internet-connected device. Several training dates have been set prior to the sessions for individuals to practice voting and become comfortable with the technology (see FAQs below for dates). A non-voting live stream option will be available on the conference website for any guests who wish to view the sessions. The Retiree Recognition and Memorial Services will also be streamed on the conference website.

A condensed agenda is being developed and will be published in July, along with the Book of Recommendations and Reports. The agenda will include only items that are essential at this time so that the session can be conducted in one day. 

Instructions for members, details of the session, an outline of the credentialing and voting process, and more information will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. Find updates as they are available at

“Thank you for your support and flexibility as we navigate planning for the 2020 Annual Conference session,” Bishop Bryan said. “Although this year’s session will be different than any we’ve ever experienced, I look forward to being Alive Together with each of you in new and exciting ways.”

The 2020 South Georgia Annual Conference was originally scheduled for June and postponed until August 14-15, before the decision to hold a virtual gathering. 



Specific Needs Your Church May Encounter

If there are specific issues affecting your church, please contact the office at 229-273-3119 or with these general questions. For technology questions (email, online worship options, website, Facebook, etc), please email Mandy at

Please continue to watch our Facebook page, calendar, and emails from us as information is constantly being modified based on new guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Magnolia Manor

Please click here to read some important information regarding Magnolia Manor and COVID-19.


Upcoming Events

Jul 4-5 July 4th Weekend Getaway Special, Epworth by the Sea
Aug 22 UMM Men's Rally, Cordele First UMC (click to view full flyer)
Aug 24 9am-4pm, Lake Blackshear Charge Conf Consultations, Ashburn First
Aug 26 9am-4pm, WoCo Connection Charge Conf Consultations, Moultrie First
Aug 30 3pm, Lake Blackshear/WoCo Connection Charge Conf, Cordele First
Sep 8 9am-4pm, Cornerstone Charge Conf Consultations, Quitman
Sep 9 9am-4pm, Ochlockonee River Charge Conf Consultations, T'ville First
Sep 13 3pm, Cornerstone/Ochlockonee River Charge Conference, Cairo First
Sep 15 9am-4pm, Sowega Flint River Charge Conf Consultations, Friendship
Sep 16 9am-4pm, Kolomoki Charge Conf Consultations, Westview
Sep 17 Sexual Ethics Training - moved from April
Sep 20 3pm, Sowega Flint River/Kolomoki Cluster Charge Conf, Bainbridge 1st
Sep 22 9am-4pm, Flint River Flock Charge Conf Consultations, Hand Mem
Sep 24 9am-4pm, Albany Cluster Charge Conf Consultations, The Pointe
Sep 27 3pm, Flint River Flock/Albany Cluster Charge Conf, Avalon UMC
Oct 9-10 Basic Lay Speaking Training, Vidalia First
Oct 12-15 Autumn Adventures, Epworth by the Sea
Oct 16-17 Basic Lay Speaking Training, College Place UMC
Oct 23-24 Advanced Lay Speaking Training, Vidalia First
Nov 6-7 Advanced Lay Speaking Training, College Place UMC

2021 Dates

Jan 24-27 Winter Conference, Epworth by the Sea

You can also find our calendar on the District website:

Charge Conference Consultations

Check the website here to sign up!



Jul 2 Tammy Purnell, spouse of Steve Purnell - Warwick
  Peggy Goodlett, spouse of Keith Goodlett - Camilla
Jul 3 Cassandra Fuller, spouse of Jonathan Fuller - Ashburn/Sycamore
  Sheri Grantham, spouse of Stephen Grantham - Moultrie FUMC
Jul 4 Tucker Lewis - Blakely FUMC
Jul 5 Kate Greene, spouse of Robert Greene, Porterfield Memorial UMC
Jul 12 Stephanie Hibberts, spouse of David Hibberts - Whigham/Springhill
  Marty McLeod, spouse of Kathy Israel McLeod - Hand Memorial/Bethany
Jul 15 Shelia Oliver, spouse of Mark Oliver - Sumner/Ty Ty
Jul 17 Jodi Kindred, spouse of Lance Kindred - Metcalfe Charge
Jul 21 Jami Harper, spouse of Dan Harper - Poulan
  W.A. Parrish - Boston/Oak Grove
Jul 22 Judy Hancock, spouse of Gary Hancock - Trinity (Donalsonville)
Jul 27 Laverne Walker, spouse of Charles Walker - Weeks Chapel
Jul 28 Donna Sue Roberts, spouse of Lynn Roberts - Branchville/Sutton's Chapel
Jul 29 Al Lewis - Norman Park
  Laura Haygood, spouse of Thad Haygood - Albany FUMC


How Can We Pray for YOU?

The world has been shaken by the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone has been affected and some face dire circumstances. In times like this, our faith becomes paramount. One of the blessings of Epworth is the Wright Prayer Chapel, open 24/7/365, where people come to pray and leave prayer requests. I am privileged to read and pray for those prayer requests. At this time, you may not be able to leave a prayer request on campus. But we still want to pray for YOU. Send me an email ( with your prayer request, and every Thursday at 10 AM, our staff and I will gather in the Wright Prayer Chapel to pray for you and your needs. I look forward to hearing from you.


Jesus said, “[I]f two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” [Mt. 18.19-20 NIV]


We will get through this together in faith!



Autumn Adventures

Experience the Magic: Cumberland Island National Seashore and Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

An Event for Older Adults

October 12-15, 2020


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UMM Vice President

The position of Vice President-South Central District and South West District for South Georgia United Methodist Men is available and the Executive Leadership Team of UMM is seeking interested candidates to fill this volunteer role.

The candidate for the position of Vice President should live in one of the Districts that he serves to assist the District Presidents in those areas.  The desire to serve in Men’s Ministry leadership, active work in the local church and experience at the district level are characteristics that will lead to success in this role.

Interested candidates should contact the UMM Conference President, Donald Rhodes, via email  or by telephone 478-397-0440.

Please remember to check out the conference page for a full list of classifieds.

Director of Music Ministries at Colquitt UMC
Director of Youth Ministries at Bainbridge FUMC


Georgia United Methodist Foundation Newsletter

Check out the latest edition here: newsletter.

Sign up at to have Growing Generosity delivered right to your inbox. For more information, please contact GUMF at 770-449-6726877-220-5664 or

Sexual Ethics Training

Click here to go to the District website page to see a list of who is due for training and register for an upcoming training.

Helpful Links

View a list of Certified Lay Servants on our website.

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Share with us on the Southwest District Facebook group. This group should be used to share pictures, church events, or information on studies and materials. 

If you have technology questions...

Please email Mandy ( with questions. She can provide ongoing support for your Facebook page/group and/or website, setting up new computers, or updating old ones!

Rev. Doreen Smalls Cindy Rollins Martha Walls Mandy Fill
District Superintendent


Information Technology
Southwest District Office | 1602 Goff Circle Cordele, GA 31015 | (229) 273-3119