Bishop Bryan announces conference-level appointments/assignment


Bishop Lawson Bryan today announced the projected appointments of Rev. Craig Hutto as the North Central District Superintendent, Dr. Nita Crump as senior pastor of Mulberry Street UMC, and Dr. Rick Lanford to the Georgia United Methodist Foundation as well as the assignment of Mrs. Allison Lindsey as Acting Director of Connectional Ministries, effective June 2020.

Rev. Craig Hutto, currently serving as senior pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Warner Robins, will be appointed to serve as superintendent of the North Central District. Dr. Rick Lanford, current North Central District Superintendent, who has served that district for six years, will be appointed Vice-President of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. Rev. Steve Waldorf, who has served in that position since 2015, will be going on medical disability.

Rev. Hutto has been a minister in the South Georgia Conference since 1987, serving pastorates in Sumner/Damascus/Shingler/Ty Ty, Omega, Valdosta First, Adel, Claxton, Douglas, and Waynesboro First/Friendship. For the past four years, he has served as senior minister of Trinity United Methodist Church in Warner Robins. 

He has served in leadership roles on the district and annual conference levels, including the District Committee on Superintendency, District Committee on Ministry, Board of Ordained Ministry (registrar), Nominations Committee, Leadership Forum, Annual Conference Program Committee, and Personnel Committee. Rev. Hutto served as the South Georgia Annual Conference Secretary, responsible for Annual Conference Session-related planning, for five years. He also served on the Board of Trustees for both the Methodist Children's Home and Wesley Glen.

“I am excited to have Craig join the Cabinet,” Bishop Bryan said. “His 33 years of pastoral experience includes churches of all sizes, communities of great diversity, and a capacity to relate to a wide variety of people. Craig’s recognized talent for administration will be an asset to the North Central District and to the Annual Conference.” 

Rev. Hutto grew up in Lithonia, Ga. and is a graduate of Emory College and Candler School of Theology, both part of Emory University in Atlanta. He and his wife, Mary Louise, have been married for 37 years and have two grown children and three grandchildren.   

“I am deeply grateful and excited about the opportunity to serve the pastors and churches of the North Central District,” Rev. Hutto said. “Mary Louise and I look forward to seeing all that God has for us in the future as we move forward together in Christ and continue to serve this conference.”

Dr. Nita Crump, Director of Connectional Ministries, will be appointed as senior pastor of Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon. She will succeed interim senior pastor Rev. Creede Hinshaw. 

Mrs. Allison Lindsey, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries, will serve as Acting Director of Connectional Ministries.

"Having served as a pastor, a district superintendent, and director of Connectional Ministries, Nita is well-equipped to provide innovative leadership that builds on the legacy of faithfulness that defines Mulberry,” Bishop Bryan said. “Allison’s background and experience in the Office of Connectional Ministries and in her service to South Georgia will ensure that we can provide continuity in the work of empowering local churches and extending their ministries in the community, the conference, and the world.”

Bishop Bryan and the Appointive Cabinet continue their work to prayerfully discern the pastoral appointment changes. They will meet nearly weekly through the end of March to make decisions and to prayerfully seek God’s guidance. Throughout the process, District Superintendents will continue to be in conversation with congregations and clergy as needed.

Trinity UMC in Warner Robins’ new appointment will be released the same day other appointments are released to local churches. The Bishop and Cabinet originally set March 29 as the release date. However, they are in conversation about potentially postponing announcements until April 19 because of the uncertainty of local church worship schedules due to the coronavirus. District Superintendents will communicate the decision with moving pastors and SPRC chairs. When finalized, all appointments will be announced in local churches and placed on the Conference website.

“I ask for your continued prayers for our Cabinet, for every local church, and for every pastor, for we all want to be alive together in ministry,” Bishop Bryan said. “We want the appointment-making process to be a part of that which looks for liveliness and energy and to prosper what God is doing in our lives.” 

All appointments are considered firm projections pending the official announcement at the conclusion of the Annual Conference session on June 9, in Columbus.

Click here to watch a video from Bishop Bryan about the appointment-making process.