How are pastor's selected/appointed : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I was just curious to find out how pastors are selected for churches in the various districts. Is it by seniority? M.Div/credentials? Looks? Money?? Brown-nosing?? Legacy?? I honestly want to ask because I have seen many discrepancies over the years in the area of pastoral appointments. There are many, many Itinerant Elders in my home district, more Elder's than churches to serve. Several Elder's have complained about being "passed over" for churches: (i.e. when "major" churches open up, these churches are often appointed to pastor's from other states, even though there are plenty of hard-working, qualified elder's in the home district). As an example, one of my ministerial collegue's annual conference is coming up and one of the big "hullalaboos" is the fact that a pastor of one of the "Class A" churches is about to be promoted to presiding elder. The church is "rumored" to be filled by the son of one of the "high ranking" ministers, who is from a district on the other side of the country. Many pastors are very hurt and offended. A few ministers have even "stepped down" due to what they feel is rampant favoritism. What is/are your perspectives on this issue?

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2001


What is a promotion in The AME Church. Going from a good sized churc to a church where from a Bishop was elected and is empty?

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2001

It seems to me they are selected by the more problems they create in a church the higher up the latter they go. I am praying one day some of the pastors will take the "CALL TO PREACH" serious, pastors are hurting people that come to church to hear a word from the Lord as given to him/her and the pastor delivery is about who is sleeping with who. People are hurting and come to the church to seek healing from the Shepherd. When will they take the call serious, there is so much back stabbing, sexual misconduct, money taking,and other acts unbecoming a pastor. lately it seem the selection is being made by the satan and not throught prayer and guidance from God. God help us all we are are in the need of his help.

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2001

More and more, it seems to me that the folks that respond to postings on this bulletin board have nothing good to say about pastors. I pray that there is a silent majority out there that has a good report. Thank God I do!

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2001

Sis. Joyce

You ask, in my opinion, the burning question of the laity of our denomination. The African Methodist Episcopal Church must be about doing all of its business better than it has been. To W. Richardson I am sorry you see the challenges of many of us with problem Pastors. It is not that these problem indivuals are asked for.Many times they are sent for one reason or another.I just watched one leave us and I continue to pray for that Pastor and the new Church they are going to. I thank God you do not have this problem. We must be sensative to those who do and are frustrated as a result. Many willing workers loose their willingness to serve when frustrated and they need our support and prayers.The programs of the Church will not grow if the workers are not willing to serve. I hope that the Church moves to write and adhere to a set of guidelines covering this area. These are the kinds of concerns that need to be aired and dealt with now. We need the leaders of the Church to know of these frustrations.Our Church needs our prayers and our service. I pray for the pastors as well. Some of them need help. There are, like us, children of God.

Blessings and Love

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2001

Dear W.J. Richardson:

I believe we would all be interested in hearing any positive reports you have about pastors. I have nothing but a "high" regard for them. That is one of the reasons why I am asking this question. While you are at it, can you answer the question I posed. Do you have any insights on what criteria is/are used in appointing pastors? Not many have an answer to this question.

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2001

Sister Joyce,

I don't have any more insight than that when a pastor is reassigned to another charge, the general rule of thumb is to send him or her to a bigger congregation than the previous assignment, if indeed that pastor shows the aptitude to take on a larger charge. If not, he or she is sent to a congregation that is comparable to the one he left. I believe a certain amount of jockeying goes on according to the specific case of the pastor in question, i.e. when a pastor serves on a municipal governing body or teaches in a public school in order to supplement his or her income. As well, there probably is some politicking when a pastor has high aspirations. I live in the Palmetto Conference of the 7th Episcopal District, and it seems to me that if a pastor was planning to run for bishop, he or she would lobby to be assigned to one of the more prominent congregations here.

In the case of incompetent pstors, I'll be the first to admit that very often, they are simply passed on to another unsuspecting charge. At my church, we had a situation about 7 years ago, and the congregation requested that the pastor be reassigned in the middle of the conference year. Our current leadership has served us well since he has been with us. Some of our members will beg to differ, but on the whole, membership has increased and ministries have increased. There is always room for growth and improvement, but that's true of any situation.

As I review your question, it seems to me that if there is an opening in a "class A" church, then seniority and academic credentials would play a significant role in the determination. This is just my supposition, however. I've not seen pastors brought in from different districts to lead these more prominent congregations, at least in my own presiding elder district. The case might be different up the road a piece.

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2001

Bro Richardson seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2001

How so, Lee Anne?

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

In the 3rd there does not appear to be any clear and objective approach to the assignment of pastors. I know there is much consideration given to the "minister's rights" in terms of getting a comparable church. Credentials is definetly not a criteria, although there is great emphasis placed on seminary education. I have seen it all. Most recently a pastor was essentially reprimanded by being given a promotion to Presiding Elder. The situation is very discouraging and disappointing. I am especially concerned about the lack of accountablity and the refusal of "the church" to deal seriously with pastors who have historically hurt the flock. This is not said to just be critical -- but we have some real issues int his arena. There are pastors who are destroying church after church and no one is doing anything about it. Meanwhile, other elders are passed by. There must be some positive way to address this issue -- God cannot be pleased and He will not be mocked.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2001

Just a corrections, "Credentials are not the main criteria". I also believe a lot of "deals are cut" between Bishops to move problems around. It "aches" my heart to sound so negativee -- but unfortunately these are the facts.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2001

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