District Realignment Task Force Recommendation to Annual Conference



The Mississippi Conference District Realignment Task Force is a group of four lay persons and five clergy members organized to analyze how our districts would be best configured to support local churches. This group is also examining the relationship of the district superintendent with local churches. This work is sorely needed since the last district alignment took place in the early 1990s when the conference had over 1,200 churches versus the over 850 churches we have now.
The Mississippi Annual Conference determines the number of districts. To assist with that important decision, our task force has reached a consensus to recommend to the 2023 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference that we move forward with seven districts considering today’s context. The current configuration includes 11 districts with eight district superintendents providing supervisory oversight. As of July 1, 2023, the number of district superintendents will decrease from eight to seven.
Additionally, the task force met with our new episcopal leader, Bishop Sharma D. Lewis on January 19, 2023, to give an orientation to the importance of this work. The team will continue to reflect and provide insights to the cabinet and Bishop Lewis on district boundary recommendations and district operational sharing. Moreover, the task force will also conduct a webinar on April 20, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. to receive comments and address questions for clarifying purposes. All clergy and laity are asked to participate. 
Below is a timeline of the most recent to the earliest insights and announcements from the task force’s inception:

  • Video Update - To view the 10-minute video update given by the task force at the 2022 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference in Tupelo on July 14, 2022, click here.
  • Southeastern Jurisdiction Context - This group's work will be informed by the experiences and organization of the other annual conferences in the Southeastern Jurisdiction—many of which have initiated reorganizations in the past few years. In order to provide some context around the size and structure of the Mississippi Annual Conference, a chart was compiled for all annual conferences in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. To view these numbers, click here.
  • Survey Input and Results - During June 2022, a series of surveys were conducted to obtain feedback from clergy, laity, current and former district superintendents and conference and district staff. To view these survey results, click here.
  • On April 19, 2021, Bishop James Swanson Sr., previous episcopal leader,  announced the formation of the 10-person district realignment task force to evaluate whether our configuration of 11 districts and 11 district superintendents was the best structure for the future.

If you have comments or questions about this work, email the task force at drt@mississippi-umc.org. For all future updates and information on the Mississippi Conference District Realignment Task Force, visit Mississippi-umc.org/realignment.
Peace and blessings, 

The Mississippi Conference District Realignment Task Force 

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