Appointment Making Process | Bishop Wallace-Padgett

Appointment Making Process | Bishop Wallace-Padgett

Dear Friends,

Appointment-making is one of the most significant roles of a bishop and cabinet. So, it is not surprising that a frequent question since my arrival here in Holston has been about this subject. Though the question comes in a variety of forms, its essence is consistent. “What is your appointment-making process like?”

The four cornerstones to the process I utilize in the important work of appointment-making are:
  • careful listening (consultation by district superintendents),
  • sharing of insights about clergy and churches (cabinet conversations),
  • matches (appointment-making),
  • and strategic transitions (onboarding or other transition processes).  
Consultation: District superintendents have consulted with all pastors this winter and are currently in the process of meeting with pastor/staff-parish relations committees who are expecting the possibility of a pastoral change. Through careful listening and consultation, district superintendents identify the unique gifts, graces and life situations of clergy as well as strengths, challenges and hopes of congregations.  

In addition, clusters of district superintendents are in the process of meeting with each clergyperson anticipating a move. This allows at least three district superintendents to hear firsthand the hearts and hopes of each moving pastor.

Cabinet Conversations: District superintendents share their insights with one another about clergy and churches prior to and during the appointment-making cabinet sessions.

Prayerful Matches: The District superintendents and I pray for moving pastors and receiving churches throughout the appointment-making process. Please join us in praying now for God’s leadership in the 2022 appointment-making season.

Strategic Transitions: Moving clergy and leaders in receiving churches are requested to participate in an onboarding experience led by a trained facilitator or another transition process recommended by the district superintendent. Onboarding is designed to help moving clergy and receiving leaders of receiving churches get acquainted quickly and well. It has been said that a one-day onboarding session can fast forward the relationship of a new clergy and receiving church by as much as a year.

Calendar: Below is the calendar for the 2022 Appointment-making season.  
  • Appointment-Making Cabinet Session 1: February 22- February 25.
  • Appointment-Making Cabinet Session 2:  March 7-March 9.
  • Meetings to finalize Appointments March 20 and March 22.
  • Moving Clergy will receive calls on March 31.
  • Churches receiving new pastors will be called on April 1.
  • Appointments will be announced in churches receiving new clergy on Sunday morning, April 3 and posted on the Conference website that afternoon. 
Questions about appointment-making are understandable, especially during the first year of a bishop’s tenure in an Annual Conference. Feel free to converse with your District Superintendent about any additional questions you have regarding our 2022 appointment-making process. 

You are a remarkable group of clergy and leaders making a marked difference in the churches and communities you serve. Thank you for your ministry and service.

As always it is a joy to serve as your bishop.

Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
Holston and North Alabama Conferences


Debra Wallace-Padgett

The Reverend Dr. Debra Wallace-Padgett was elected a Bishop of the United Methodist Church at the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. At the time of her election, she was the lead pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, ...