Annual Conference

Annual Conference 2015 - June 5 - 8, 2015

Discipleship: Growing in Grace


Expo Center

635 E St Louis St, Springfield, MO 65806 



Final Agenda

Final agenda available here (pdf)

Workbook and Resolutions

Final Workbook here (pdf)

Resolutions available here (pdf)


Click here for workshop information

Core Practices Building a Discipleship Plan

Combining theory with practice, the goal of this two-hour workshop is to begin building a discipleship pathway for your local church. Churches will walk away with the beginning of a plan to continue their work at home.

Registration is now closed.

The Core Practices team is planning on taking "Building a Discipleship Pathway" on the road, please contact if you would like more information about a team coming to your congregation for an intensive day-long workshop.


Speakers at Annual Conference

Sue Nilson Kibbey - West Ohio Conference, Director of Missional Church Initiatives.

Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, and currently serves on the West Ohio Conference's executive staff as the Director of Missional Church Initiatives. Sue leads the Missional Church Consultation Initiative (MCCI), a rigorous 360-degree coaching and training effort for select congregations and their pastors who have been invited to participate as a way to jumpstart a new life cycle of ministry fruitfulness. In the four-plus years of its development, more than 50 congregations across three different United Methodist Conferences have moved off plateau/decline and forged forward through the intensive work of the MCCI.

Sue's local church ministry service has included ten years as the Executive Pastor of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio, partnering with lead pastor Mike Slaughter to engage and expand the congregation's missional involvement to include deep discipleship and global impact.

Sue is the creator of "Ministry by Strengths," which utilizes the Gallup StrengthsFinder to help unleash and deploy church members to actively serve out of their strengths and unique areas of passion. She has authored four books, including "Ultimately Responsible: When You're In Charge of Igniting a Ministry" which is used in seminaries, United Methodist Conferences and congregations across the country. Sue's speaking, training, coaching and consulting includes pastors, churches, bishops, and United Methodist conferences. She is an adjunct faculty member at United Theological Seminary, and teaches the master of divinity "Leadership for Ministry" course each year.

Sue’s greatest passion is “Breakthrough Prayer,” which has been the heartbeat of the Missional Church Consultation Initiative and beyond. Her newest book published by Abingdon Press, “Flood Gates,” is scheduled for release in fall 2015 – and will feature detailed content on this theme.

David Gilmore - Centennial UMC, Kansas City

Pastor David Anthony Gilmore is one of four children born to the late Reverend Donald Gilmore and Elizabeth (Texeira) Gilmore. Rev. Gilmore committed 20 years of distinguished service to the US Navy and retired with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 02. Some of his military duties included: Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Advisor; Master Training Specialist; and Deputy Information Warfare Officer. While serving in the capacity of Deputy Information Officer, he had the responsibility of training and evaluating over 7,000 Navy and Marine personnel. Prior to retiring, he was stationed in New Orleans, Louisiana as Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Telecommunications Station, where he was responsible for managing a 15,000 user Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) and a 6.7 million dollar annual budget.

Rev. Gilmore earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a major in Management of Computer Services from Ottawa University at Kansas City; his Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology, in Kansas City, MO, with specializations in Black Church Studies and Wesleyan Studies; and, is currently enrolled at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, in Rochester, NY, pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Transformative Leadership with concentration in Wesleyan / Methodist Studies.

An ordained Elder of the United Methodist Church, Pastor Gilmore answered the call to ministry in 1998 where he began serving as Ministries Assistant at Bethany UMC, New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2000, Pastor Gilmore was appointed to Swope Park UMC, Kansas City, MO. At the time of his appointment, the church reported a membership of 47. Under Pastor Gilmore’s spiritual guidance and able leadership, the church’s membership increased to 270 and included a music ministry that expanded to include five choirs and three praise groups. Since his appointment to Centennial UMC in 2008, the church has received more than 300 new members and currently has 3 worship celebrations, five Bible study classes, five choirs/ensembles, and two praise dance troupes.

This dynamic clergyman is a member of the Missouri Conference Social Justice Team; the Heartland District Superintendency Committee; the Heartland District Committee on Ordained Ministry; and, is a Lewis Community Leadership Fellow. Additionally, he is Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Commission, a member of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Chancellor’s African American Leaders Council and a Board Member of The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of HIV/AIDS in Greater Kansas City. He also formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Zoo and Kansas City Neighborhood and Tourism Development Fund Committee. Pastor Gilmore is husband to the former Kimiko Capri Black and father of four: Victor (Dallas, TX.), Kenneth and Latesha (Jacksonville, FL.); and Lauryn Desireé (Kansas City, MO) and the grandfather of one special little girl named Charitye Rose.

The recipient of the 2009 Harry Denman Evangelism Award for the Missouri Conference, Pastor Gilmore is willing to try ANY evangelistic or outreach effort to spread the “Good News”! In his own words: “Taking Jesus to the streets and positively impacting lives should cause us to believe there is no missional idea that is too farfetched and if we do not feel God “stretching” us something is wrong!”


Alice Fowler - Trinity UMC, Bloomfield

Alice Fowler grew up in a UM pastor's family, then married a UM pastor, and then became a UM pastor herself. She's married to Rev. David Fowler and they have three children. Alice received a Bachelor of Music at Nebraska Wesleyan University, graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2011 with a Master of Divinity, and was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 2014. She is passionate about following Jesus, loving her family, cheering the Nebraska Cornhusker football team, and eating chocolate.


Jeff Brinkman - Woods Chapel, Lees Summit

Rev. Jeff Brinkman is an ordained elder in the Missouri Conference. Over the years he has served churches in Lebanon, Princeton, and Mercer Missouri. Jeff has been the Sr. Pastor at Woods Chapel United Methodist Church for 21 years during which time the church has grown from 100 to over 1300 in average attendance. Woods Chapel is known for its deep commitment to mission and service. Almost every member is involved in one or more of 40 missional projects. A slogan often spoken at Woods Chapel is “we show our love for God by caring for others.” Jeff enjoys gardening, time with family, traveling to the redwoods in Northern California, and watching Royals Baseball.


Listen: Praying in a Noisy World

In light of the importance of deepening the spiritual life of local church leaders and inviting the Annual Conference to be a part of Holy Conferencing, the Sessions committee determined that it would be helpful for all the members attending this year’s Annual Conference to have a devotional resource as part of their preparation for Annual Conference. This resource would offer delegates a time for reflection, silence, practical and spiritual disciplines, and a guide for being in the position to hear and follow God’s lead in the decisions at the 2015 Missouri Annual Conference.

The resource that will be provided is Listen: Praying in a Noisy World, by Reuben Job. This invaluable spiritual resource invites Conference leaders to a 40-day journey of praying and listening to God in the midst of a noisy, distracting and complicated world. The desire to listen is indeed a reflection of our desire for this year’s Annual Conference to be a time of preparing our inner heart, mind and soul to reflect our love of God and our neighbors instead of listening to competing voices and making quick decisions that could draw us away from our core values and mission of the church. It is the hope of the Sessions Team and Missouri Annual Conference that delegates and local churches may use this resource prior to and after Annual Conference. Positioning is critical to growth in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Frequently asked questions

Wondering why the Annual Conference meets in Springfield? Curious about any procedure changes for reserving rooms? Check out the Annual Conference FAQ for answers!

2015 Annual Conference Offerings

The Church in Ferguson (Service of Commissioning and Retirement)
How can we help? Many times this question has been asked around the country regarding the situation in Ferguson. Rev. Willis Johnson and Wellspring UMC have been pillars in the Ferguson community providing a home for peace, respite, and leadership while tension and emotions ran high. It is through the work of Rev. Johnson and the congregation at Wellspring that the United Methodist Church has had an ongoing presence in this community. We want to make sure they can continue to share hope and peace in these challenging times.

The Mozambique Initiative (Serve of Ordination)
The Mozambique Initiative is a holistic ministry based on partnership with the church in Mozambique. We focus on enabling the sustainability of United Methodist communities in Mozambique, so that they might be the catalyst for growth and development in their region. The past year, with the help of teams of volunteers, we developed resources to tell our story in new ways through congregations here in Missouri. These new ways of telling the story of this ministry include video material, curriculum guides, and recorded original Mozambican music, all of which will be available at Annual Conference for telling the story in your own congregation. When you give to the MI in this year's offering, you become part of the story and help us write a new chapter on ministry both here in Missouri and in Mozambique.

Haiti Clean Water Project (Sunday Morning Worship)
For the last four years, congregations and individuals have continued to support communties in Haiti with access to clean water through distribution of bio-sand and Sawyer water filters. In 2014, we sent fourteen teams to Haiti as part of this ongoing project. These teams were able to provide nearly 1,600 filters or 8,400 individuals with a way of eating, drinking, and cleaning without fear of becoming ill from the water they were using. With your support, we can continue this amazing ministry opportunity distributing filter for clean water and developing the many relationships as teams continue to serve.