Annual Conference FAQs

What happens at Annual Conference?

  • Vision casting, business, reports, teaching, workshops, worship, celebration, ordination, fellowship

Who attends?

  • All appointed pastors, lay delegates, those being received as CMCs, new transfers are expected to attend. All others are welcome.

What should I/we do to get ready for Annual Conference?

  • Pray … for all to come with open hearts in expectation of what God will do at AC24.
  • Watch the Midweek Memo and web updates on AC items such as Agenda, Board reports, CMC videos, etc.

What is the Bar of Conference?

  • The Bar of Conference is a designated area of seating on the floor of conference for voting members, lay delegates, and those with honorary seats, plus others at the direction of the Bishop. As Conference is called to order, the Bishop will designate specific rows and/or sections which will be the Bar of Conference and who may sit within the Bar.

Who has a vote?

  • Those having a vote are ordained ministers, conference ministerial candidates who are lead pastors, and lay delegates.

Who has a voice?

  • Those having a voice are all who have a vote along with those having honorary seats.

What are Honorary Seats?

  • Honorary Seats means having a voice by no vote. They are granted to Licensed Pastors, Conference Ministerial Candidates, Missionaries, Located Elders, Located Deacons, Honorary Delegates, visiting clergy, FMC-USA officials, and other conference officers or committee members present.

Where do I sit? I am a new CMC.

  •  Those being received as Conference Ministerial Candidates (CMCs) have an Honorary Seat and may sit within the Bar of Conference.

May my spouse sit with me in the Bar of Conference?

  • No, unless your spouse has a seat or an honorary seat in the Bar of Conference.

What does a Lay Delegate do at Annual Conference?

  •  A lay Delegate sits within the Bar of Conference, has a voice and vote, and fully participates in Annual Conference.

What does a Reserve Delegate do at Annual Conference?

  • A Reserve Delegate, if attending in place of a Regular Delegate, sits within the Bar of Conference, has a voice and vote, and fully participates in Annual Conference. Otherwise, a Reserve Delegate sits outside the Bar of Conference but may attend all sessions.

What happens upon arrival at AC?

  • Go first to the Registration table.
  • Pick up your nametag and AC Schedule.
  • Your nametag is considered to be your meal ticket. Please wear it at all times.

Do I sign in on both Thursday and Friday?

  • Registration will be open Thursday morning, 9:00 to 10:30, and Friday morning, 8:00 to 9:00 AM. If you sign in on Thursday you do not need to sign in again on Friday.

What about meals?

  • All meals are included for free with your registration for Annual Conference.
  • If, when you registered, you indicated an allergy or food preference, we are doing our best to honor those requests. However, the food is catered and will be served by volunteers. Please understand that cross-contamination may occur. If you have concerns about this, you may want to bring something safe for you to eat.

Will childcare be available at Annual Conference?

  • No. Due to the enormity of Annual Conference we are unable to offer childcare. Babes-in-arms are welcome, but we cannot accommodate other children at this point. Should you be willing to offer childcare in future years, please let the Genesis Conference know.

Will there be an offering?

  • Yes. An offering will be received during the Ordination worship service on Thursday evening 5/16. The offering will go toward funding a “Next Generation Resource Grant” to empower Genesis churches to reach a new generation.

Where can I find the reports for Annual Conference?

  • Written reports can be found on the Genesis AC24 webpage.

Will the 2024 Ministerial Appointments List be available? 

  • Yes. The Ministerial Appointments will be read by the Bishop at the end of Annual Conference. A few hard copies of the Appointments list will be available at the registration center when AC adjourns. The Appointments List will also be posted on the web within a few days after AC.

How is Annual Conference part of our Free Methodist polity and process?
(See the FM Book of Discipline 2023 – Chapter 5 – Annual Conferences, particularly pp. 97-99

  • ¶5000  – Preamble
    Annual conferences, after the pattern of the Methodist Episcopal Church, have been a basic organizational structure of the Free Methodist Church since its beginning. After the first annual conference was organized in Pekin, NY in 1860, twenty-two more were born in the next 25 years, as, in the works of Bishop Leslie Marston, early Free Methodism “marched across the nation.” Today, as then, the annual conference is the organization at the regional level that joins local churches into a network. The annual conference ensures that pastors and congregations are counseled and encouraged, identifies those who are being called into the ordained ministry, and promotes and oversees church planting and evangelism.