Say what? 29 quotes reveal the year we had in Holston

Say what? 29 quotes reveal the year we had in Holston

2022 has been gone two weeks now. Do you miss it yet?

Before we say goodbye for good, here a last glance with 29 quotes extracted from a year full of stories related to Holston Conference or our people. All stories are from The Call unless otherwise indicated.

“Local churches are not here to support the Annual Conference. The Annual Conference is here to support the local church.”
-- Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, Productive start with new bishop launches Holston into new year

 “We wanted to use our gifts to help people today settle into a new home. How could we not reach out?”
-- Rev. Charla Sherbakoff, Holston churches give away Christmas offerings to help others


“Everybody and their mamma wants to sit on the porch and wait for the cobbler. But there are very few people who want to put their ‘yes’ and their willingness and all they have on the table with Jesus and join him out in the fields and the patches of people’s lives.”
-- Paul Epperson, Resurrection 'keeps pressing on' with smaller crowd, pandemic rules

“In anticipating the inevitable, if we want to find healing after 48 years of trying to play God by deciding who we can exclude from the denomination, churches and pulpits that were never ours to begin with, we need to stop practicing the sin of monthly communion and look back to the unity that can only be produced by that ‘Holy Mystery’ at the Lord’s Table.”

– Rev. Chase Crickenberger, A call to constant communion (UM News)

“When I was conscious, my mom was staying with me, and she was crying. I had an oxygen mask on, so I couldn’t say anything. But what I wanted to say was, ‘If am going, I know where I am going.’”

-- Evan McCrady, Resurrection musician shares Gospel while fighting illness


“When we have churches in this country who say ‘we no longer want to be United Methodist,’ it’s joyful to see churches in North Africa who want to be United Methodist.”

-- Rev. Buzz Trexler, Holston pastor aims to help Sudanese join denomination


“We need to support Ukraine because their struggle is actually ours."

-- Rev. Jana Krizova, Mission trips provide avenue to aid Ukraine

“It’s very difficult because war brings out so many views and everybody speaks their views. My view is if you’re a Christian, you should love and help all people. Let’s just feed people and talk politics tomorrow.”

-- Pastor Petr Fesyuk, Ukrainian food sale on April 9 will raise funds to aid war victims

“I can’t believe it. We just shot for the moon.”

-- Whitney Winston, $124,000 in grants will launch Holston camps into the future

MAY 13
“After gatherings that have refreshments, no one wants to stay long enough to wash dishes, although they are available and we have a commercial dishwasher. The name of the game is convenience.” 

-- Jane Willis, Digging through the trash: The struggle to get churches to recycle


MAY 27
“We’re going to suffer, there’s no doubt about it. But our suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of the people in Ukraine.”

-- Steve Wheeler, Bicyclists will climb mountains to raise money for Ukraine


"It is always the right season to make disciples.”

-- Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, Bishop opens Annual Conference


“The world needs us to be the church. Some of us want to win more than we want to please God.”

-- Bishop James Swanson, Swanson returns to Stuart Auditorium for night of mission, memories

​“I am deeply saddened that some churches and clergy will be leaving our denomination. I have literally cried tears over this because I believe with every fiber of my being that we are more together than we are separate.”

-- Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, Holston prays together, stays together during Annual Conference

“I look around and visit, and the majority of all the churches are faithful elderly members. They are lonely, sickly. Many of them lack nutritious food because they are not able to cook. They need special care.”

-- Rev. Annette Warren, Discipleship dreams: What would you do if you could? 

"We’re going to take care of cleaning up the church, and then we are going to turn right around and help the people in the community with the help we are receiving.”

-- Rev. Daniel Bradley, Help on the way for Virginia pastors in flooded areas


 JULY 29
“We have been the place where people come for help, and now we won’t have it to give.”

-- Rev. Mark Huffine, Flooding in SW Virginia: Another church damaged, help needed

“When I came up from the water, a white bird flew down from the trees.”

-- Madison Lilly, Walking where Jesus walked: Holstonians experience Holy Land


“We’re working hard to close the back door so that no one is leaving, but also to open the front door for new people to come in.”

-- Rev. Michael Lester, New members encourage Holston churches during tense times

“Then near around dusk, when the last lid is screwed on the last jar, a matriarch or patriarch of the church gives a rousing ‘this is the last year we’re doing this’ speech to which I always respond, 'I bet that speech was as good as the one you gave 10 years ago.'"

-- Rev. Clayton Farmer, Methodist manna: The enduring tradition of apple butter


“At a time when our conversations are not necessarily about the hope of our connectionalism, it was beautiful to see the hope and abundance and generosity poured out from our churches.”

-- Rev. Susan Arnold, Holston pastors speed to Florida with supplies for hurricane towns

"Congratulations to us."

-- The Call's headline after Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett was reassigned to Holston Conference at Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference

“There was this gorgeous antique pump organ. I stood there and there was no sign of it. I guess the fire was so hot. It hurt my heart, in a way.”

-- Rev. Judy Keller, Fire destroys Claiborne County church


“... Going through different items in the collection has illustrated to me that there were many people in Methodism who saw combating social inequality and injustice as inseparable from their faith.”

-- Daniel Ferkin, Holston archives revived, ready to help Methodists tell their stories


“I am sitting in class because someone has donated and provided funding for me to be here.”

-- Taylor Hines, Here’s why you should support United Methodist Student Day

"We were used to a very large place, keeping everything in separate rooms. But Pastor Bill said, ‘I don’t need an office, we’ll use that area for the food bank.’ And we said, ‘We don’t need Sunday school rooms, we can just use all of this area for the food bank.’”

-- Pearl Campbell, Church takes root in flower shop after loss of building

"So many churches are just trying to survive. But if Mary’s Chapel can build a church in Zimbabwe, it should be an example to other churches that they, too, can do anything.”

-- Rev. Chris Brown, Gift of 100 pennies leads to building a church in Zimbabwe

“We wanted to give our community the true story of Christmas.”

-- Nita Witt, Jonesville church shares Christmas story through 118 nativities

“We see genuine, wholehearted, real need every day in East Knoxville, and this is an opportunity to share the gospel at Christmas and invite people into the faith.”

-- Rev. Tim Jackson, East Knox church opens as warming shelter over Christmas weekend

See The Call's 2022 archives.

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription to The CallHolston Conference includes 842 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia. Holston Conference's main offices are located in Alcoa, Tennessee.



Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.