Elder

Church Growth
The Rev. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Photo courtesy of Wesley Theological Seminary.

Young elder numbers near historic low

United Methodist clergy age study shows modest growth period has been followed by drops in the number of both men and women elders under age 35.
Local Church
Donald “Bud” Heckman, accused of sexual misconduct and abuse, withdrew under complaint from membership in the West Ohio Conference, effective June 10, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Religion Communicators Council.

#MeToo case ends with surrendered credentials

Donald “Bud” Heckman has left ordained ministry under complaint after facing an earlier complaint of sexual misconduct and abuse brought by four women.
Local Church
The Rev. Donald “Bud” Heckman, accused of sexual misconduct and abuse, reached a resolution with the West Ohio Conference in which he retired under complaint. Young United Methodist clergywomen have circulated an open letter asking the judicial process be reopened. Photo courtesy of the Religion Communicators Council.

Conference urged to reopen misconduct case

Hundreds have signed letters calling a resolution unjust because it did not include the four women who accused a clergyman of harassment and abuse.
Local Church
The Revs. Maggie Proshek (left), Ricky Harrison (center) and Taylor Smith are young clergy in the North Texas Conference. All three were ordained at annual conference this summer, Proshek as deacon and Harrison and Smith as elders. The North Texas Conference has become one of the top U.S conferences in percentage of elders 35 and under, a new report shows. Nationally, the number of young elders has declined for three straight years. Photo by Hillsman S. Jackson, North Texas Conference.

Number of elders under 35 dropping

New report on United Methodist clergy age trends in U.S. shows three years of decline for elders in this demographic.

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