ALCOA, Tenn. (Dec. 14, 2017) -- “The districts have spoken. They’ve made their final decisions.”
The Holston Conference Strategy Team learned the new names for the nine new districts today in the Alcoa Center, days after each district completed a voting process.
Chair Michael Eastridge led the meeting as each of the new names was announced:
District 1: New River
District 2: Clinch Mountain
District 3: Appalachian
District 4: Three Rivers
District 5: Mountain View
District 6: Tennessee Valley
District 7: Smoky Mountain
District 8: Hiwassee
District 9: Scenic South
The new district titles are effective January 1, 2018. The new names and the change from 12 to nine districts are final in accordance with the Holston Annual Conference’s vote to formally adopt the Comprehensive Conference Strategy Plan in June 2017.
Between November 15 and December 8, each district held an election to choose the name by which it would be known moving forward.
“This is a big deal because names matter,” Eastridge said during today’s meeting. “It hasn’t changed who we are, but the way we identify ourselves has changed.”
The Strategy Team is working with the Holston communications staff to publicize the new names and districts, including providing a bulletin insert to help church leaders communicate to their members. The Strategy Team noted that the new district names emphasize “who” districts are rather than simply “where” districts are.
Also during today’s meeting, the Strategy Team discussed activities to help the new districts become familiar with their new neighbors, relationships and names in the months ahead. The team also continued its review of developments in the implementation of other elements of the Comprehensive Strategy Plan, including the role of “missional hubs” as the means for new and innovative ministry in Holston Conference.
Please continue to keep the Holston Conference Strategy Team in your prayers as it seeks guidance to fulfill God’s vision for the future of Holston Conference.
About the Holston Conference Strategy Team –
The Holston Conference Strategy Team initially convened in September of 2015 to evaluate the life of Holston Conference and to find more effective ways to share a contemporary and relevant vision for bringing people into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ. The Team is comprised of up to 15 members and includes laypersons, local church pastors, district superintendents, members of the Conference executive team and the Bishop.