The IPHC Council of Bishops (COB) met in person in Oklahoma City on October 26, 27. That assembly was also the first formal meeting of the newly-formed Council of Bishops Executive Committee (COBEC) that met on October 24, 25.
In prior Zoom meetings, the Council of Bishops had approved the formation of the Nominating Committee to serve this quadrennium. Members of that committee include: Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham; Bishops Talmadge Gardner, Randell Drake (New Horizons Ministries, East Oklahoma), Tim Lamb (LifePoint Ministries, Georgia), Danny Nelson (North Carolina Conference), Hector Andrade (ACROSS Conference Superintendent, Minnesota), and Ray Willis (SonShine Network Ministries, Florida). That committee met in September and October with proposals for the lay and pastoral representatives to the COB and COBEC.
The COB approved the following lay and pastoral representatives to serve with seat and voice: laity: Adrian Hinkle (Heartland Conference, Oklahoma), Garland Slate (North Carolina Conference), and Gary Crouch (New Horizons Ministries, East Oklahoma). The COB appointed the following pastoral representatives: Keith Gilliam (Cornerstone Conference, Western North Carolina), Justin Blankenship (Heartland Conference, Oklahoma), Jaime Trevino (Texas Latin Conference, Texas).
The COB also approved the following to serve on the COBEC: Dr. Doug Beacham, General Superintendent; Bishops Talmadge Gardner (World Missions Ministries), Tommy McGhee (Discipleship Ministries), Garry Bryant (Evangelism USA), Preston Mathena (Appalachian Conference Superintendent, Virginia), Scott Hampton (Great Plains Conference Superintendent), Stan Reynolds (Pacific Western Network Ministries—PacWest Conference Superintendent); Adrian Hinkle, Lay Representative, and Keith Gilliam, Pastoral Representative.
From the COB the newly formed Strategic Advisory Council was constituted composed of the three pastoral representatives, the three lay representatives, and the four general church executive directors.
Three further COB committees were presented and approved:
– The IPHC Finance Committee includes the following members: Darrell Cox, chair (Cornerstone Conference, Western North Carolina); Ray Boggs (Spirit Life Conference, Upper South Carolina); Tim Lamb (LifePoint Ministries, Georgia); David Avila (Texas Latin Conference, Texas); Kent Bell (River of Life Conference, Pennsylvania); Beth Thurman (Cornerstone Conference, Western North Carolina); Phyllis Underwood (South Carolina Conference); Daniel Ice (Heartland Conference, Oklahoma).
– The COB Legal and Property Committee includes the following: Greg Amos (South Carolina Conference Superintendent); Stuart Sherrill (Heartland Conference Superintendent, Oklahoma); Ray Boggs (Spirit Life Conference Superintendent, Upper South Carolina); Abel Palomo (Mid-Atlantic Conference Superintendent); Dale Adams (River of Life Conference Superintendent, Pennsylvania); Gary Crouch, Lay Representative (New Horizons Ministries, East Oklahoma); and Travis Lowe, Clergy Representative (Appalachian Conference, Virginia).
– Members of the COB Conference Advancement Committee include: Michael Ainsworth (Cornerstone Conference Superintendent, Western North Carolina); Hector Andrade (ACROSS Conference Superintendent, Minnesota); Jason Beiler (Alpha Conference Superintendent, Alabama); Randell Drake (New Horizons Conference Superintendent, East Oklahoma); Danny Nelson (North Carolina Conference Superintendent); Ray Willis (SonShine Network Conference Superintendent, Florida); Rob Clegg, Clergy (Ephesians4Network, Ohio); Mark Hammond, Clergy (Pacific Western Network Ministries—PacWest Conference, California).
The Council of Bishops received its annual legal briefing from the firm of Hartzog Conger Cason in Oklahoma City. Mr. Len Cason, General Counsel for the IPHC, recommended that the IPHC use the language of one’s gender “identified at birth” in the sections of the Manual that describe the IPHC stance on wedding/anniversary ceremonies and celebrations. The COB adopted this recommendation unanimously. The position of the IPHC is that IPHC ministers and local churches, institutional, conference, and denominational properties, may be used only “for weddings, receptions, and anniversaries (and other gatherings related to weddings, receptions, and anniversaries) that celebrate a marriage or blessing only if the union is between one identified as male at birth and one identified as female at birth.”
With the passing of Bishop Dayton Birt on October 9, 2022, the COB unanimously approved a motion of appreciation and recognition for his life of service to the IPHC as a pastor, conference leader, and Superintendent of Redemption Ministries Conference (Eastern Virginia). Bishop Birt led in the development of the IPHC Ministerial Study Course which was previously adopted by the COB and presented as information to the General Conference.
The Council of Bishops concluded with Bishop Beacham presenting a document focusing on the vision for the next four years as the IPHC continues to move towards Arise 2033. The Strategic Advisory Council will use that document as a framework in its meeting in Atlanta in February, 2023.