Lindley, Casteel to join Cabinet in June


By Woody Woodrick

Advocate Editor

Two more Cabinet appointments have been made by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward.

Giles Lindley has been appointed superintendent of the East Jackson District, while Steve Casteel has been named director of Connectional Ministries. Ward announced the appointments on March 31. All appointments become official at Annual Conference in June.

Lindley follows Vicki Hughes, who has been appointed to Main Street United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg. Casteel follows John Moore, who will serve Crossgates UMC in Brandon.

The appointments follow an earlier announcement that Bill McAlilly will become the Seashore superintendent, Tim Thompson will be the Meridian superintendent and Jerry Beam will shift from the Seashore District to the New Albany District. New Albany District Superintendent Bert Felder plans to retire, and Meridian District Superintendent Andy Ray will go to Tupelo First UMC.

“In the configuration of leadership for the annual conference, it is my hope that local churches will be strengthened for their ministry,” Ward said. “Bert Felder, Andy Ray, Vicki Hughes, and John Moore have served with distinction, and we are grateful for all the ways their gifts have blessed the Mississippi Conference through the work of the extended Cabinet.

“As we welcome Jerry Beam, Bill McAlilly, Timothy Thompson, Giles Lindley, and Steve Casteel to new responsibilities in the extended Cabinet, we undergird them with prayer and give thanks for the leading onward of the Holy Spirit.”

Lindley comes to the Cabinet from New Albany First UMC where he has served since 1998. Lindley said he plans to encourage churches to be in ministry in their niche.

“I’ve seen a variety of types of churches and realize that every church is not the same or has the same needs,” he said. “I want each church to find a way to use its gifts and graces in its unique setting.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the churches in the East Jackson District and seeing what their needs are.”

Casteel said he’s still trying to take in his new responsibilities. “I’ve had a little time for my imagination to take off,” he said, “but the common sense side says I need to do a lot of listening and learning.”

Casteel has spent the past five years at Madison St. Matthew’s UMC.

Casteel said he believes his background of working with small-membership churches will help him at director of Connectional Ministries. He served eight years as a member of the Parish and Community Ministry committee.

“I have a vision of continuing to create momentum to keep the local church together,” Casteel said. “I want to find ways to provide ministry tools in the place where (churches) are. My heart is in the local church, and I want to give them the tools to be in ministry.”