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Holston AC Elect Solid Evangelical Delegation To GC - Stands Firm On Church Homosexuality Prohibitions

From: Boo Hankins <
Date: Thursday, June 17, 1999 8:39 PM
Subject: Report from Holston Conference

We in Holston met at Lake Junaluska, NC June 13-16. It was an awesome time and God was in control.

Bishop Ray Chamberlain said before we came that "John Wesley, chief architect of our way of conferencing, longed for it to be a time in which the Holy Spirit would come into the lives of God's people and renewal of church and state would be achieved." We have experienced the Spirit's work in many wonderful ways.

1) A few short years ago, Dr. Eddie Fox told us about the Methodist Church in Estonia. Last year Rev. Olav Parnamets spoke at our AC and the people of Holston brought an offering of almost $250,000. We had been challenged to raise $500,000 over a three year period. This year we surpassed the goal. With the exception of a $1 million gift from one Korean Church, Holston has given more than any other AC. Praise God! Last year, after hearing Rev. Parnamets give his testimony of how God preserved him and the Methodist Church under the Communists, we felt that we were in the presence of a living martyr. My youngest daughter Bethany, who has a most wonderful spirit of compassion and humility, sought out the Parnamets after the service, knelt down on her knees, kissed their feet and prayed a blessing over them.

2) In addition to the offering for the Baltic Mission Center, our people brought food buckets and health kits valued at @$264,759, plus an offering for Children's ministries of $98,674, for a total of over $617,900. God is so good! After the totals were announced Bill Skeen, our Spirit-filled Conference Lay Leader, shared a prophecy given to a pastor's wife. It said,"Because you have been faithful to give unselfishly to My precious people, I will pour out upon you My blessings. This Conference's people will see the outpouring of My Spirit in the coming year. Will you open your hearts and receive Me?"

3) On Tuesday morning, Dr. Billy Abraham was the speaker at our Wesley Evangelical Society breakfast. He did a fantastic job of sharing about how God is moving in other Conferences and challenging us to be faithful to "contend for the faith". Again Dr. Eddie Fox spoke about what God is doing to raise up Methodist Christians in unlikely places like Pakistan (there are now 10,000), Egypt and Kosovo. Worldwide, Methodists are growing at a rate of a million a year!

4) We have elected a solidly evangelical delegation to Gen. Conf. led by my D. S., Dr. J. N. Howard and including Eddie Fox and Dr. Jerry Russell a Board member of MSUM. The lay delegation is also solid, led by Jean Henderson and including Dr. Evelyn Laycock of The Confessing Movement.

5) Petitions to GC will uphold the present stance concerning homosexuality in the Discipline and one seeks to make participation in a same-sex ceremony a chargable offence. A resolution to delete all references to homosexuality and a resolution to oppose capital punishment were defeated . 6) We are so blessed to have Bishop Chamberlain as our episcopal leader. He leads from the heart, fired by the Spirit. Our closing service of Sending Forth was bathed in the Spirit. Many of us were in tears through most of it as we felt God's Hand upon us.

Boo Hankins

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