For Immediate Release
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Cincinnati’s Duke Energy Center will be the site of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s 39th Quadrennial Session and 40th General Conference, June 25-July 1, 2022.
The Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church or the CME Church as it is commonly called, came into existence out of the context of American slavery, the tumultuous aftermath of the Civil War, and the problems of the Reconstruction Era. The CME Church was organized December 16, 1870, as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. By 1930 the “in America” had dropped from the name, and in May 1954, the name was changed to Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Since its founding the church has expanded to include Jamaica, Haiti, and the continent of Africa.
The General Conference is a delegated meeting composed of the church’s active and retired bishops (known as the College of Bishops), its department heads (General Officers), Judicial Council, laity and clergy delegates and alternates, and visitors. The General Conference meets every four years, and the presiding officers are the bishops of the church who take turns each day in their order of seniority. Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III is the Senior Bishop of the Church and the Chief Executive Officer of the denomination. Bishop James B. Walker is the Chair of the College of Bishops, and Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas, Sr. is the host bishop.
Like the U.S. government, the CME Church has three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The legislative function belongs to the General Conference. It is in this setting that the laws and policies that govern the church are passed. In addition, the General Conference elects Bishops, General Officers, and the Judicial Council. At this Conference four bishops are scheduled to be elected as well as the General Officers (who are elected at each General Conference), and the Judicial Council members who are retiring.
General Conference Highlights
The conference opens on Saturday morning, June 25 with the Service of Holy Communion followed by the presentation of the Episcopal Address. It will be a historic occasion as the first woman to be elected a CME bishop, Bishop Teresa Jefferson Snorton will be delivering the address. The Episcopal Address unveils the denomination’s theme and vision that will guide the church for the next four years.
Sunday, June 26, the Bishops, and General Officers will give their reports of their work over the previous four years. Monday, June 27 is the Memorial Service to remember the active and retired bishops who died during the previous four years and the reports of the church’s respective connectional commissions and committees. Tuesday, June 28 is the day that all bishops, general officers, and judicial council members who have reached retirement age are officially retired, followed by the reports of the denomination’s college presidents. Wednesday, June 29 is the ecumenical service. The guest preacher is Bishop Adam W. Richardson, the Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Also, on that day the much-anticipated elections of bishops and general officers will take place. Thursday, June 30 is the election of the judicial council officers and the reports of the standing committees. Friday, July 1 is closing day and features the consecration of the newly elected bishops and the reading of the episcopal assignments.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, attendance is limited to those who have previously registered for the conference and who have submitted their vaccination status. Checking of vaccination status and other Covid protocols will happen every day of the Conference. For further information, please refer to the General Conference website cmegeneralconference.com of contact the Office of the Executive Secretary.