Updated: Nov 16
After years of planning and preparation we are excited to announce that we have officially changed our name to Central Appalachian Missionary Conference. This name change started as an unplanned conversation during a pastors meeting and flourished as we began to define our identity. Below, you'll read what the name change means to the staff and delegates of CAMC. As we celebrate our new name and our commitment to serving beyond the red bird valley, we hope you will support us through prayers, gifts and service.
Karen Stigall - District Superintendent
After the historic vote to approve the name change to Central Appalachian Missionary Conference at the SEJ Conference, we met Thursday morning with the Conference pastors for our regular monthly meeting. Once again, I was amazed at how God showed up in a way that affirmed that we were following the direction God was leading us. Pastors shared stories of new members who had joined the church, a baptism of a young person and an infant, a growing food ministry, and a new community partnership for youth, just to name a few. A suggestion from one of the pastors to hang a banner with the new logo and conference vision in all the churches, was a blessing to my heart. The suggestion came from the clergy leadership and it was enthusiastically embraced by all.
Whitley Henson - Director of Communications
From someone who was born and raised in the Appalachian mountains, I love the name change. The inclusion the name brings allows people in the central Appalachian area to feel listened to and seen. I had the honor and privilege to document the moment when they voted and approved our name change. To see every single hand raise high in the auditorium was heartwarming and inspiring. It makes me very proud to be from Central Appalachia and to continue to work for an amazing ministry. I am excited to see what the future holds for our Central Appalachian Missionary Conference.
Rev. Daniel Henson As an observer to Jurisdictional Conference, I was able to see what was happening from a bird's eye view. I was not in the voting area, but watching from the back of the room. As I handed out chip clips to people, they were so excited, not just got a clip but to see what kind of ministry we were doing as we move forward. They were excited to see that we are missionally focused and looking forward to how we can best make disciples.
Marylin Osborne - Lay Delegate from CAMC
I have been honored to be a part of the delegates of Red Bird Missionary Conference to the General Conference and South Eastern Jurisdiction since 2016. While I hate to lose our beloved Red Bird name and symbol, I am pleased to see the vision that Central Appalachian Missionary Conference invokes for mission in our Appalachian area. It was my privilege to be a part of the delegates present to vote for the change in name to better represent the scope of our ministry service area.
Rev. Robert Amundsen - Pastor/Thousandsticks UMC - Conference Secretary
As I have reflected on what took place with the name change from Red Bird Missionary Conference to Central Appalachian Missionary Conference I share these thoughts. As I sat there that day, hearing the presentation, my mind wondered if people would ask why? Why change the name if there is no change to the borders of the Conference and why change history, as has been asked to me. As I looked around historic Stuart Auditorium during the vote, I began to cry because people from across the Jurisdiction were affirming the work that we have put in. Being one of the longer serving clergy in the Conference, being here over half my life now, I reflected back to how this Conference received a young teacher, who thought he was following God's calling to this region to teach but instead met God in a holler and quit running from the call to ministry. Being the historian that I am, I love the history of our past but I look forward to the future of our Conference and the ministry that lies before us. The change in name is not just a name change but it allows the entire conference - churches and mission institutions to expand their ideas for ministry and not be limited. I'm excited for our future and I look forward to seeing where God is going to lead and what He has in store for us next here in the Central Appalachian Missionary Conference.