Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor announces staff changes

Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor announces staff changes

Rev. Stella Roberts (above, left) and Rev. Rev. Rusty Taylor (above, right) will join the extended cabinet.

Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor has announced changes in the 2012-2013 Holston Conference Extended Cabinet.

The Rev. Stella Roberts will serve as director of connectional ministries effective June 26. Anne Travis, who held that position for 13 years, will retire.

Effective June 1, the Rev. Rusty Taylor was appointed director of congregational development and revitalization. He succeeds the Rev. Richard Edwards, projected for appointment in a local church. Edwards served as director of congregational development and revitalization since 2006. 

The Rev. Don Nation will retire as steward of clergy concerns/director of the Wesley Leadership Institute, a position he has held since 2010. His successor will be announced at a later date.

Roberts, age 63, is currently completing her appointment as senior pastor at First Oak Ridge United Methodist Church since 2006. She has also served as Knoxville District superintendent (2002-2006) and pastor at Keith Memorial UMC (senior, 1997-2002; associate, 1994-1996).

"I'm looking forward to it, although it's totally unexpected," Roberts said of her new appointment. "The Holston Conference has been such a source of joy in my ministry, and if I can be of help to the conference through connectional ministries, I'm honored to do that. I'm honored to work with such a wonderful connectional ministries staff and the conference staff in general."  

Taylor, age 63, served as director of congregational development for the South Carolina Conference from 2005 to 2012. He previously served as pastor at First Cleveland UMC (1999-2004) and Second Knoxville UMC (1996-1999). 

"I'm thrilled to be back in Holston Conference," Taylor said of his new appointment. "I hope all of our churches can be all that God wants them to be. That's what I'm going to focus on."