We were pleased to have District Superintendent Randy Martin preside over the 2019 Annual Charge Conference on Sunday, November 17. He discussed “being under conviction” and acknowledged that “the cost of discipleship is high” encouraging us to remain dedicated, not distracted, in our work on behalf of Jesus Christ.

This year’s Pastors Report, “Healing Hands,” was presented by Rev. Josh Kilbourne and highlighted Signal Crest’s many ministries— Firewood, Howard High, Signal Mountain Social Services, Missions, Stewardship, Elevated Warmth and the Hospitality Team. Rev. Kilbourne also mentioned several notable events in this season—our upcoming church-wide family Advent Night and the recent Harvest Hymn Sing. In conclusion, Rev. Bill Thornton acknowledged the level to which our church family has been re-strengthened this year, and said we are all “dreaming bigger” here at Signal Crest.

The Nominations Committee ( Rev. Josh Kilbourne ) presented Lay Leadership Nominations for 2020. The Council approved the slate of lay leaders which can be downloaded by clicking  here .

The Staff-Parish Relations (SPR) Committee ( Penny Selman ) received approval for:
  • the compensation plan for the Senior Pastor (Rev. Josh Kilbourne) including salary, accountable reimbursements and tax-excludable income;
  • the compensation plan for the Associate Pastor (Rev. Bill Thornton);
  • the continuation of the appointment of Associate Pastor (Rev. Bill Thornton) and of certified Lay Ministers (Mitchell Johnson and Jan McCool); and
  • the continuation of candidates for ordained ministry (Rev. Bill Thornton) and deacon (Drew Barton).

In other brief reports, Rev. Kilbourne : requested the Stewardship Team ( Anne Pitts ) update the District Superintendent on the “In His Steps” campaign currently underway for 2020; commended the Finance Committee and SPR Committee on their progress this year; mentioned Director of Discipleship Rebekah Ducote’s leadership as a Lay Member to our District Committee and Registrar; thanked District Superintendent Randy Martin for his help through this year’s transitions at Signal Crest, including his assistance in recruiting Rev. Doug Fairbanks out of retirement to serve as interim Senior Pastor.

As the 2019 Charge Conference adjourned, District Superintendent Randy Martin mentioned that he will be retiring in June of 2020, as will Holston Conference Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor.  Rev. Martin requested Signal Crest’s support and prayer to help identify their replacements and for the upcoming 2020 General Conference.

Immediately following the Charge Conference, Church Council held a brief meeting to address two issues.

The Staff-Parish Relations (SPR) Committee ( Penny Selman ) received approval for the proposed tuition reimbursement policy. This policy will govern budgeted funds available to assist full time staff with tuition assistance in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, or Master’s Degree. The full, approved tuition policy can be downloaded by clicking here .

The Finance Committee ( Tina Close ) presented options for the allocation of gifts received during the upcoming Christmas Eve Offering. The Church Council voted for the special offering to benefit Signal Crest’s Outreach Fund, a fund made available previously to unbudgeted but approved missions such as Rise Against Hunger.

In conclusion, I expressed deep appreciation on behalf of the whole church for all of the committee chairs, especially those whose terms of service are coming to a close at the end of this calendar year.

Mark A. Smith
Chair, Church Council

P.S. The approved minutes from the November 3 Church Council meeting may be found by clicking here .

P.P.S. There will be no Church Council meeting in December. Stay tuned for news on when the January 2020 meeting take place.

Church Council is the governing board for Signal Crest business and is made up of representatives from all ministry areas of the church, lay leaders, committee chairs, and at-large members. Your 2019 Church Council representatives can be found by clicking here .

To better understand the governance of both the United Methodist Church and Signal Crest UMC, please click here for more information.