Bishop James Swanson announced the appointments of three new district superintendents for the 2012-2013 cabinet.
The Rev. Joe Green, age 62, senior pastor at First Alcoa United Methodist Church in Maryville District, is projected to lead the Cleveland District. He follows the Rev. Mike Travis, who will retire at Annual Conference.
The Rev. Nathan Malone, age 50, senior pastor at Burks UMC in Chattanooga District, is projected to lead the Knoxville District. He follows the Rev. Doug Fairbanks, projected to lead another congregation.
The Rev. Walter Weikel, age 50, senior pastor at Abingdon UMC in Abingon District, is projected to lead the Johnson City District. He follows the Rev. Randy Frye, projected to lead another congregation.
Green has served at First Alcoa for 17 years. His previous appointments include: Radford, Central (1991-1995); Fort Oglethorpe (1980-1991); Dryden-Seminary (1975-1980); and McClure Circuit (1974-1975). He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1974.
“In my present appointment, we’ve certainly seen the results of what is now referred to as the ‘Call to Action’ as we have grown from a smaller church ministering mainly to an elderly congregation to a vibrant young congregation,” Green said.
“Our worship experiences have evolved through the years to a more upbeat format. This past year we implemented a new small group ministry that grew from three groups to the present 14. Last month, we held our first mission conference with Eddie Fox as our keynote speaker. The mission emphasis lasted five days with missionaries from all over the world in attendance.
"Our evangelism is included in everything we do, so you can see that we are very much involved in our conference’s ‘Call to Action.’ I know these are the kinds of experiences that will give me a vision for my new ministry in the Cleveland District.”
Malone has served at Burks for five years. His previous appointments include: Middlebrook Pike (2001-2007); Concord, associate (1997-2001); First Hillsville (1992-1997); Hardins Chapel (1989-1992); Greeneville Circuit (1988-1989); and Ducktown-Crofts Chapel (1985-1988). He graduated from Candler School of Theology in 1986.
“I know there are many signs of vitality already evident throughout this district on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Malone said. “I will seek to celebrate those ministries and share those stories so as to inform and encourage other congregations.
"My first goal is to simply get to know the people who are the churches of the Knoxville District, along with each of the pastors and their families. I will seek a balance of support and accountability for both pastors and congregations. We all need someone who cares enough about us to both encourage us and challenge us.
“Most of all, I will invite all of us as Christians to be diligent in nurturing our relationship with the Holy Spirit who is God. As Jesus taught us, if we will really learn to love God with everything we are and learn to love people as he showed us, our vitality will cease to be an issue.”
Weikel has served Abingdon six years. His previous appointments include: Beaver Ridge (1999-2006); Trenton (1994-1999); and Tyner, associate (1990-1994). He graduated from Candler School of Theology in 1990.
Weikel said he was “excited about getting involved in the relationship the Johnson City District has with the Czech Republic.”
“I have gone on several mission projects to Mexico and last summer our church went on a joint mission trip with a team from First Marion UMC,” he said. “I’ve always liked the idea of multiple churches going on trips together. I feel it enhances the experience and allows more options to smaller churches.
“My grandfather, M.C. Weikel, was a district superintendent many years ago. Several people have related to me how much it meant to them that he gave special attention to new pastors and to local pastors. Working with [Abingdon associate pastors Nicole Krewson and Liz Hamilton] has given me a desire to work in small group settings with new pastors and local pastors. I think that fits right in with the conference’s focus on small group ministry through ‘A Call to Action.’”
The appointments will be effective on the final day of the Holston Annual Conference, June 13.