South Central has traditionally been a conference that has been on the cutting edge, as it relates to innovative ways to do ministry. Perhaps a lot of that has had to do with the kind of innovative people my predecessors in this office were.
I think of the late Elder C.E. Dudley, whose served this conference as president for 31 years, a period of time that allowed him to be the person that hired each of his three successors as young pastoral interns.
Elder Dudley was sort of the Thomas Edison of Conference Presidents. The Holy Spirit inspired him to “invent” things that were copied across the denomination. One legendary story (which was probably true) was the story of a president of another conference who so admired Elder Dudley’s work that at this conference president’s pastor’s meeting, he simply copied material wholesale from Elder Dudley’s pastor’s meeting and distributed to his pastors-he just put his conference’s name on it.
Elder Dudley came up with innovations such as the Infiltration Plan. He also birthed the Supplemental Retirement Plan, which provided employees with additional monies to supplement the rather meager retirement they received.
Elder Dudley was succeeded by Elder Joseph McCoy, another innovative leader. Elder McCoy originated the Regional Conference Plan, which more than doubled (in fact, almost tripled) the maximum amount that workers would get upon retiring.
To do that, on some level required Elder McCoy taking on the denomination. I had just become conference secretary and I remember discussing with Elder McCoy, as the final plans for this new retirement plan were being made, the fact that we both knew that his stand in creating a separate retirement from the denomination would forever close some doors to him, in terms […]