Called Regional Assembly
First Christian Church Macon

March 29, 2014

On Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 1pm, a called Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia was held at Macon First Christian Church.  The purpose of the meeting was to vote on the recommendation of the Regional Minister Search Committee and the Regional Board.

The Worshipful meeting began with a Welcome and Call to Worship led by The Rev. Darrell Vandervort of FCC Warners Robbins, followed by a hymn of praise "How Great Thou Art!" and the Invocation and Prayer led by The Rev. Jim Brooks, FCC Winder.  The Rev. Wanda Collado read II Corinthians 5:17-21 in both Spanish and English.  The  Rev. Jabari Butler, Regional Moderator from Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur opened the business session and introduced The Rev. Jim Brooks and the members of the search committee (see below).  The Rev. Bell then made several minutes of remarks followed by questions and answers from the delegates present.  The question was called and a vote held.  The Assembly unanimously called The Rev. Bell as Regional Minister.

The Assembly sang "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" followed by a prayer from The Rev. Monica Kilpatrick, Ray of Hope CC Decatur.  An offering was taken for work on Camp Christian led by Jon Blackwood of Johns Creek Christian Church and the Regional Elders.  $2,001.25 was given towards the repair of the septic system in the rustic part of camp.

Communion was led by The Rev. Bell including prayers at the table from The Rev. Karen and Bob Frank-Plumlee.  Following the singing of "They'll Know We Are Christians" The Rev. Bell closed with a Benediction.

Members of the Assembly then greeted The Rev. Bell following the service and some chose to tour the Regional Office.

Meet The Rev. Agnes Denise Bell

Click Video Below to Play

2014 02 Denise Bell from Christian Church in Ga.

agnes Denise BellAgnes Denise Bell is a native of New Jersey where her mother and three siblings still reside. In 1979 following the death of her father she surrendered to a life of faith with a dependence on God for guidance, love and a sense of purpose and meaning. She states that the focal point of her ministry has always been to love and to serve the world with others who practice the principles of faith. Within this practice, there is the tension to balance the inward disciplines of her faith and the outward expressions of faith in a diverse and fractured world.

Rev. Bell graduated from Kean College in 1980 where she earned and was awarded a BA. She graduated from Denver Theological Seminary in 1989 after completing course work to earn her Masters of Divinity degree. She is in the process of completing her dissertation for a PhD in Leadership from Eastern University.

Rev. Bell was ordained by the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1988. She has served churches in Oregon, Virginia and Tennessee where she most recently served as Business Administrator for the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.

She has served on numerous committees, task forces and boards including the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Regional Board of the Christian Church in Tennessee and Christian Board of Publication. She has received training in coaching for New Church Pastors, Congregational Transformation and Conflict Management.

When asked about the Mission of the Church Rev. Bell stated, “The mission of the church is to challenge the consciousness of culture and society. The church must be a voice calling out and proclaiming the unwavering truth of Christ's love that requires equality, justice, mercy, humility, personal responsibility and peace among people. Lastly, I believe that the mission of the church is to walk alongside the faithful so they can walk with a God- given authority to live with purpose and meaning at every stage of life.”

There is a consensus from those with whom she has served regarding her abilities and strengths, which are:

  1. leadership and seeing the organization from the big picture;
  2. understanding of how to improve organizational systems and structures;
  3. connection with people through her pastoral approach and temperament;
  4. loyalty to organization and leadership -- support of the mission of the organization;
  5. confidentiality -- maturity to be told something and keep it;
  6. overall spiritual maturity – has intimate relationship with God that is alive and well; and,
  7. ability to work well with others.

The body of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia is invited to attend a special called meeting of Assembly at Macon, First Christian Church on March 29, 2014 to meet and discuss with Rev. Bell the possibility of her becoming our Shepherd through the next part of our journey towards faithfulness.

The Search Committee

In accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia, the following persons were selected and confirmed by the Regional Board on September 15, 2012 to come together to lead the process of calling a Regional Minister:

  • Jim Brooks, Pastor, First Christian Church in Winder, Chairperson
  • Danny Gulden, Pastor, Sandy Springs Christian Church in Sandy Springs
  • Doug Ivey, Pastor, First Christian Church in Watkinsville, member of Regional Commission on Ministry
  • Lainie Jenkins, Regional Moderator, Member of Guyton Christian Church, Minister of Congregational Vitality for the Christian College of Georgia
  • Sarah Moody, Lay member of First Christian Church in Waycross, commissioned minister, worship study coordinator for DW Ministries, Regional Elder
  • Linda Van der Merwe, Lay member of Sanctuary Disciples of Christ Christian Church in Albany, finishing office as Vice President of DW Ministries, Vice President of Oncology Service Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany
  • Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick, Ordained Minister at Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur,  member of Regional Board and Commission on Ministry, Seminary Administrative Staff
  • John Mobley, Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Alabama/Northwest Florida, serving as consult and mentor to our committee, ex officio.

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