Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Annual Conference and Bishop Paul Leland of the Alabama-West Florida Conference have appointed the Rev. Shane Stanford senior pastor of Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church is located in the Pensacola metro area and has a history of innovative and effective ministry. With just under 5,000 members, Gulf Breeze UMC currently averages over 2,500 in worship each week.
Stanford is currently the ministry leader-host of The United Methodist Hour and the team leader for Message and Media in the Mississippi Conference. Although Stanford will step down as the ministry leader/CEO of The Hour (where he has served for three years), the Executive Committee of the United Methodist Hour has asked Stanford to remain as host of the weekly television program, continuing with the Rev. Keith Tonkel, as the part-time on-air personalities for the show.
Stanford formerly served appointments Heritage UMC (Hattiesburg), Asbury UMC (Petal) and Main Street UMC (Hattiesburg). He also served as the director of stewardship for the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation. The appointment to Gulf Breeze UMC is effective July 1.