The CME Church

General Departments Of The CME Church

The structure of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church includes general or connectional ministries and operations to promote the needs and interests of the denomination. These ministries and operations are known as Departments and are headed by General Secretaries.

During the interim of the General Conference, each department reports annually to the General Connectional Board regarding the conduct and administration of their respective offices.

Each connectional department is designed to administer to local congregations and the church and has a standing committee which consists of both lay and clergy representatives from the respective Episcopal Districts.

The departments are divided into Connectional Ministries and Connectional Operations. Connectional Ministries are those departments that are designed to minister directly to the local congregations, district conferences, and annual conferences. Thus, these ministries exist on all levels of the Church. The Connectional Ministries Programmatic Departments are Christian Education, Lay, Evangelism and Missions, and Communication and Information Technology.

The Connectional Operations departments are designed to serve the Church at the Connectional level and keep the denomination operational. These departments are Finance, Publications and Personnel Services.

CME Church General and Administrative Officers

Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield
General Secretary, Department of Christian Education and Formation
4466 Elvis Presley Blvd., Suite 300
Memphis, TN 38116-7181
Phone: 901-345-4100
Fax: 901-261-3289

Episcopal Chair: Bishop Denise Anders-Modest

The Department of Christian Education provides “cradle to the grave” nurture in the Christian faith for the members of the CME Church. In addition to those activities normally associated with Christian, this department prepares, selects and recommends all literature and materials to be used in CME churches especially for Sunday Church schools, membership training classes and children, youth and young adults. The Department also prepares, selects and recommends leadership training and promotional literature for ALL the areas of the life and witness of the CME Church. It promotes programs of Christian nurture by keeping the CME Church informed about such activities as Christian Education Week and National Youth and Young Adult Week.

The Department promotes Sunday Schools, Christian Youth and Young Adult Fellowships, Vacation Bible Schools, adult education courses, Bible Study Courses, and so forth.

Through the General Secretary, Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield, the Department serves as the official liaison between the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the colleges and the theological school which are under the auspices of the CME Church.

Dr. Roderick D. Lewis, Sr.
General Secretary of Publications
P.O. Box 161212
Memphis, TN 38186-1212
Phone: 901-396-5400
Fax: 901-396-5406

Episcopal Chair: 

The General Department of Publications comprises the publishing interests of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. It operates the Miles Bookstore, publishes Sunday School literature, The Christian Index, and other specialty items. The General Secretary is Rev. Dr. Roderick Lewis.  The Publishing Department is the oldest Department of the CME Church.

The function of the Publishing Department is:
1. To disseminate official proclamations.
2. Publish and distribute denominational literature.
3. To act as literary mind of the church.
4. To increase loyalty through a fuller knowledge and appreciation of the history and progress of the denomination.

A record of the faithful should be among the chief historical documents in the publishing house of the church. The Publishing House has the never-ending task of safeguarding the doctrine and indoctrination of the church through the printed page. The cultivation of the church’s program is also a part of the work of the Publishing Department.

Dr. Ore L. Spragin
Editor, The Christian Index
4466 Elvis Presley Blvd, Suite 300
Memphis, TN 38116
Phone: 901-515-6510

Episcopal Chair: Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr.

THE CHRISTIAN INDEX is the official publication of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. THE CHRISTIAN INDEX was established in 1867 and has been in continuous publication.
THE CHRISTIAN INDEX is a member magazine of the Associated Church Press, and a subscriber to Religious News Service. is published monthly by the CME Publishing House. Members and friends of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church are encouraged to submit articles for possible publication in The Christian Index.

The Christian Index publishes all official announcements, notices, communications and decisions of the church as directed by the General Connectional Board and/or College of Bishops.

Although The Christian Index is published on a regular schedule, special publications may be authorized, as the General Connectional Board deems advisable. The edition and publication of The Christian Index is under the supervision of the General Connectional Board’s Standing Committee on The Christian Index and is constituted as provided by the Discipline of the CME Church.

The preparation, edition, promotion and publication of The Christian Index is the responsibility of the Editor who: prepares the manuscripts for publications, including format, selection of materials and editing of materials; manages the circulation of the paper, including promotion, securing and processing subscriptions; supervises all details related to the publication, including printing and mailing as directed by the Standing Committee on The Christian Index; distributes news and informational public relations materials to promote The Christian Index and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dr. Victor Taylor
Chief Financial Officer (CFO and
General Secretary of the Department of Finance & Investments (DFI)
1101 Davis St. – Suite 5224
Evanston, IL 60204

Episcopal Chair: Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr.

The Department of Finance of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is headed by a General Secretary who administers the General Funds of the Church in accordance with the Connectional Budget approved by the General Conference and the provisions of The Book of Discipline. The General Secretary of the Department of Finance & Investments (DFI) & CFO is Dr. Victor Taylor.

All connectional funds, including the apportionments to the several Annual Conferences, approved by the General Conference, are forwarded to the General Secretary of the Department of Finance with the exception of the 12% Pastor’s Salaries and funds derived from the CME Fire and Casualty Program, the income of the Department of Publications, and subscriptions income from The Christian Index and The Missionary Messenger.

The General Secretary of Finance expends the connectional funds in accordance with the Connectional Budget. The schedule for expenditures is established by the General Connectional Board based on the budgetary needs and expected schedule of income.

The Department of Finance, in consultation with the College of Bishops, explores alternate sources of revenue to aid in underwriting the operational costs of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and presents these costs annually to the General Connectional Board for action.

Rev. Dr. Leon C. Moore, Jr.
General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions
Telephone: 678-362-7549

Episcopal Chair: Bishop Ricky D. Helton

Purpose of the Department:
The Department of Evangelism and Missions develops and promotes programs that help local congregations become engaged in awareness and ministry of Evangelism and Missions in the local church. It shall be the purpose of the Department of Evangelism and Missions to keep before the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church its evangelistic and social ministries, as these concerns are expressive of the mission of the church.

Reference: Chapter 49, pg. 226 The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Book of Discipline.

Aims and Definitions:
1. Evangelism. The aim of evangelism is to bring all persons into living active fellowship with God through Jesus Christ as the Divine Savior and through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit; to gather them into the fellowship of the Church; to lead them to express their Christian discipleship in every area of human life that the kingdom of God may be realized.

2. Missions. The objective of the Missions ministry shall be evangelical and educational, designed to promote Christian missions, Church extension, Missionary education, and interest throughout the Connection in the United States and in other countries in which the CME Church conducts missionary activity.

3. Church Planting. The aim of church planting is to remain faithful to the aggressive church growth efforts of our founders and expanders in starting new congregations. The objective of the church planting ministry is to continue to fulfill our evangelism mission by reaching out and forming new Christian congregations, thus expanding the kingdom of God.

Brief History
The 1922 General Conference gave the authorization to establish an Evangelistic Department. The bishops recommended to the general conference of 1922 authorized the establishment of an evangelistic department for the CME Church, Rev. R.O. Langford a native of Huntsville Alabama while selected. Prior to the 1922 General Conference Pastors as they do now have the responsibility to lead Evangelism in the local Church. The evangelistic department offered the local church creative programs on the connectional level. As we look at the Missions aspect of the Department prior to the General Conference 1982 and 1986 restructure/strategic plan the General Secretary over the Missions work had full supervision. However, after the 1986 General Conference, the work of Missions was assigned to a Bishop and conducted in conjunction with the General Secretary.

The department directs workshops, seminars, and conferences, at annual, district, and local congregational levels under the leadership of the Bishop. The focus is on the meaning and strategies for evangelism and missions in the social ministry of the church. It also prepares position papers and statements on vital social, political, and moral issues before the church and the world and represents the CME Church, when necessary, at conferences and seminars when these issues are discussed and debated.

This department serves as the focal point of the ecumenical witness and involvement of the CME Church in evangelistic and missional settings.

Dr. Jacqueline I. Scott
International President, Women’s Missionary Council
7255 Richmond Road, Memphis, TN 38125
Phone: 901-737-7675

Patron Bishop: Bishop Charley Hames

The Women’s Missionary Council of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is one of nine programmatic departments.

The Council was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, in September, 1918 and celebrated its 100th year in ministry in 2018!

Historically, women had been denied leadership roles in the church – they sang, prayed, shouted and raised money. Mrs. Carolyn Poe, President of the Women’s Missionary South of the East Texas Conference, started a movement toward a larger and official role for women in 1882. In 1890, the Women’s Missionary Society became official.

The Connectional Woman’s Society was formally organized on September 3, 1918 at Capers Memorial Church in Nashville. Dr. Mattie E. Coleman was its first president. This organization is known as the Women’s Missionary Council. It is a Connectional Ministry. Thus, Missionary Societies are a part of all local congregations, District Conference, and Annual Conferences.

Dr. Princess A. Pegues is the International President of the Women’s Missionary Council.

The Missionary Messenger is a monthly publication by and for missionaries. White and royal blue are the missionary colors.

…In the Ministry:
In 1918, the General Conference gave authority to license women as local preachers. Today, women serve as pastors, associate pastors, presiding elders and exhorters.

…In the Church:
Women hold various positions in the CME Church among which are stewardesses, trustees, ushers, Sunday School superintendents, Directors of Board of Christian Education and musicians, just to name a few.

…As Delegates:
The 1930 General Conference granted women the right to be delegates, though they did not have full rights equal to those of men. Today, women comprise an apportionate share of the delegates to the General Conference.

Rev. Reginald Barnes Sr.

Rev. Reginald Barnes, Sr.
General Secretary of Personnel Services
PO. Box 74
Memphis TN 38101-0074
Phone: 901-345-4100 / Fax: 901-345-4107

Episcopal Chair: Senior Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III

The Department known as the General Board of Personnel Services was formerly known as the General Board of Pensions of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The Department addresses the general welfare and needs of ministers and full-time lay personnel of the CME Church, covering such areas as retirement benefits, ministerial care and insurance (life, health, fire and casualty, homeowners, auto and business). The General Secretary is Rev. Reginald G. Barnes, Sr. 

This Department has developed an expanded program which included concerns of and for the ministry in terms of support and maintenance, counseling, welfare relief, pre-retirement assistance, retirement and survivors benefits of CME ministers.

In addition to the aforementioned concerns, this Department oversees and coordinates all pension funds, insurance programs, health services, retirement plans and other related personnel services for ordained ministers in full connection and lay personnel working full-time for the Church. It keeps records and vital statistics of all clerical personnel in full connection.

The Department administers those programs of the CME Church that are related to the Department of Superannuated Preachers, Widows and Orphans (SPWO), Department of Personnel Services, the Ministerial Salary Supplement Program, the CME Fire and Casualty Program and any other programs of pensions and insurance that may be established by the Church.

Mr. Anthony Smoaks
General Secretary, Ministry To Men

Episcopal Chair: Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr.

The Department of Ministry to Men is responsible for developing and promoting throughout the church an effective Christian ministry to by men. The General Secretary is Mr. Anthony Smoaks.

Ministry to Men PresentationPowerPoint  PDF

The purpose of this Department to the following:
§1. In the name of Jesus Christ help the C.M.E. Church minister to the needs and concerns of men in the church and communities in which the church is located.

§2. In wholistic ways address the chronic and systemic problems perpetrated upon African American men by unjust, racist and unequal social, economic and political conditions.

§3. In light of the Bible as God’s Word, provide guidance, hope and inspiration to men to become more sensitive to God’s will for their lives, better members of the church, and more responsible fathers, husbands and participants in the life of the community.

The Department of Ministry of Men shall provide programs, strategies, curricula and resource that shall include emphases such as the following:
§1. Systematic study of the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
§2. Effective worship through participation and study.
§3. Opportunities of Christian fellowship of men with other men.
§4. Service projects within the church and community.
§5. Bonding with other men in Jesus Christ.
§6. Mutual support groups to meet the varied challenges of life.
§7. Developing leadership potential.
§8. Facing issues of male health and wholeness.
§9. Responsible stewardship, personal finances and use of credit.
§10. Community and political involvement and participation.
§11. Mentoring & tutoring boys.
§12. Transition ng boys to men.
§13. Legacy and heritage appreciation.
§14. Growth in understanding and appreciation for CME church.
§15. Discovering and utilizing spiritual gifts.

Mr. Shannon Faulk
General Secretary, Lay Ministries

Episcopal Chair: Bishop Marvin F. Thomas, Sr.

The Department of Lay Ministry, one of ten (10) General Departments within the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, is led by General Secretary, Mr. Shannon Faulk.

The Department aids the CME Church in equipping and enabling her members to engage in effective ministry in the Name of Jesus Christ by focusing on The Laos (the whole people of God). The Department, thus, develops information and promotes initiatives that will strengthen and empower “God’s People” to provide meaningful and effective ministry, particularly at the local level of the church. By promoting the Lay Ministry Beliefs of Studying, Seeking, Sharing, and Serving, the Department of Lay Ministry seeks to live out its mission to “Reach, Teach, and Minister to All of God’s People, – Equipping Them For Greater Works and Service For Him.”

The Department utilizes the efforts of the Connectional Lay Ministry Council, Connectional Stewards, Connectional Stewardesses, and Connectional Ushers to further assist God’s people enhance and develop their service capacities. The General Secretary provides oversight and leadership for the President of the: Connectional Lay Ministry Council; Connectional Steward Ministry; Connectional Stewardess Ministry; and Connectional Usher Ministry.

Dr. Theresa Duhart (CIO)
General Secretary of Communication and Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Phone: 253-376-6361
The CIT Department

Episcopal Chair: Bishop James B. Walker

The purpose of the Department of Communication and Information Technology (CIT) is to oversee communication and information technology for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and to connect, unite and share information within and beyond the walls of the Connectional Church.

The General Secretary and Chief Information Officer (CIO) oversees the Department and staff, processes, communications and technologies to ensure deliverable outcomes that support the goals of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

As the department of the church with focus primarily on communication and information technology and through the General Secretary of the department, the specific function of this department shall be to:

  • Oversee mission-critical communication and information technology for all functional purposes in the denomination to meet the needs at all levels of the church, having responsibility for communication and information technology components of the CME Church at the Connectional level.
  • To empower the Church with standardized technology services, tools and platforms to build and enhance ministries and generate revenue services including standardized email and information communications; establish and maintain operational technology platforms; develop, secure and store electronic data that belong to the Church; and assist in the use of software and data management to all functional areas of the Church.
  • To maintain and further develop the official Web site of the CME Church format for all connectional Departments and Episcopal Districts; maintain the General Church’s social media sites and other technology platforms that c can connect members of the General Church internally and externally.
  • Broaden the role and scope of communications and technology for the General Church and recommend solutions that will enhance the ability of each Department to deliver and amplify its message to the CME Church and outside organizations.
  • Implement communication strategies using state of the art communication and technology tools and resources to connect, unite and share the mission and message of the CME Church within and beyond the walls of the church. The Department shall oversee a comprehensive communication system for the Church, providing a total view of communication structure and practices. It shall unify and coordinate public media messages and programs of CME departments.
  • Oversee the public relations strategy and activities including branding for the General Church. The Department shall be responsible for setting the official brand guidelines of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and preserve and protect the integrity of the denomination’s intellectual property, copyrights and royalties.
  • Develop information, resources, databases, apps and services that provide channels of communication to and from all levels of the Church. Represent the General Church interests in new technological developments in the fields of communication and information technology, including research, the evaluation of new devices, apps and methods, and the application of technological developments to the communication and IT services of the Church.
  • Operate a CME Technology portal that provides discounted computer hardware and software from major vendors.
  • To plan, create, produce or cause to be produced, and distribute or cause to be distributed resources that are informative and vital to the life of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. It shall work with all CME agencies in coordinating resources produced for strategic Church initiatives. The Department shall provide digital content spaces for clergy and laity in local congregations in a variety of accessible formats to promote understanding and appreciation of the connectional Church, to develop support for and encourage participation in initiatives, ministries, and missions of the general Church and its departments, and to provide such resources and information to assist local congregations and their leaders in carrying out their ministries.
  • Provide online registration support services for all connectional meetings, and assist Episcopal Districts with their online registration efforts, with each event financially accountable to compensate the Department for this work.
  • Publish digital or e-books, e-journals and other online material for distribution by the CME Church.
  • Provide for appropriate translations of materials to the greatest extend possible, in languages designated by the General Conference of the CME Church; provide for appropriate translation of materials to the greatest extend possible of the Discipline in electronic format in languages designated by the General Conference of the CME Church.
  • Create and participate in partnerships with other General Departments, and national, international, interdenominational, interfaith, and other organizations working in communications and information technology as deemed relevant to the mission and ministry of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • To educate and train at all connectional levels in communication and technology principles and skills, including workshops and training experiences in communication and technology skills related to various media.
  • To suggest and collaborate on creative funding sources and opportunities for alternative streams of income for the CME Church using technology platforms
  • In collaboration with the College of Bishops, establish CIT teams at all levels in all Episcopal Districts with persons knowledgeable in the fields of communications and technology, to include periodic consultations for such purposes as idea exchange, information sharing, joint planning and monitoring and evaluation of the General Church’s communication and technology components.
  • Implement a “green” strategy for connectional meetings and assist annual conferences in developing a paperless strategy for the purpose of cost savings and ecological conservation efforts.

Dr. Pene’ Woods
Chief Administrative Officer and former Executive Secretary
Post Office Box 1536
Cordova, TN 38088
Phone: (901) 489-9253

The office of the Executive Secretary serves as the conduit of the CME Church by providing centralized and efficient execution, coordination and follow up of denominational programs. It also handles correspondence, questions and concerns either for referral or for action.

A native of Jefferson Davis County, Carson, Mississippi, Dr. Pene’ Carol Gray Woods was the first born and only daughter of a civil rights activist and educator, the late Wardell Gray and the late Mrs. Quillie Ross Gray, and the great-niece of the late Bishop Roy L. Young, 24th Bishop of the C.M.E. Church. She attended the public schools of Jefferson Davis County and graduated the top of her class from Prentiss High School.

Dr. Pene’ Woods was baptized at the Blackmon Temple CME Church of Carson, MS where she served as President of the Youth and pianist starting at the age of 13. She was active on the district and annual conference level. Bishop Joseph Johnson, Jr. and the late Mrs. Katie Johnson were her mentors during her teenage years. In 1976 in Memphis, Tennessee, she was elected President of the National Youth Conference. She represented the denomination at the World Methodist Council in Dublin, Ireland, and other Youth and Young Adult ecumenical meetings in Canada and other parts of the United States. She presented the resolution to the General Conference to start the Young Adult Division under the direction of the late Dr. William R. Johnson, General Secretary of Christian Education at that time. She has been the speaker for various Annual Conference Lay Day and Missionary programs along with conducting workshops on church development and financing.

Pene’ is a graduate of St. Dominic School of Nursing with a degree in Registered Nursing and the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. In May of 2016, Texas College presented her the Doctorate of Humane Letters. Her previous work experience includes Emory University Department of Plastic Surgery, Cadet Schools (School Nurse), Delta Airlines (Marketing Director, Memphis); U.S. Airways (Director of Automated Marketing-East Coast Region, Boston, MA); Harvey Hotels (Manager of Executive Sales for 3 properties in Jackson, MS); Lane College (Interim Director of Title III Programs and Director of Freshman Studies). She is the founder and President of Equitable Wisdom LLC where she finances new church construction, renovations, and refinancing along with church development and capital fundraising.

She is married to Curtis E. Woods, Sr. They have four sons; Christopher George, Dominic Sadat, Curtis Jr., Jason, and three grandchildren; Caitlyn, Chris II, and Dominic II.