C.M.E. Episcopal Districts & General DepartmentsServing Christ Worldwide since 1870
The structure of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
includes general or connectional ministries and operations to promote
the needs and interests of the denomination. These ministries and
operations are known as Departments and are headed by General
During the interim of the General Conference, each
department reports annually to the General Connectional Board regarding
the conduct and administration of their respective offices.
connectional department is designed to administer to local congregations
and the church and has a standing committee which consists of both lay
and clergy representatives from the respective Episcopal Districts.
The departments are divided into Connectional Ministries
and Connectional Operations
Connectional Ministries are those departments that are designed to
minister directly to the local congregations, district conferences, and
annual conferences. Thus, these ministries exist on all levels of the
Church. The Connectional Ministries Programmatic Departments are Christian Education, Lay, Evangelism, Mission and human Concerns.
The Connectional Operations
departments are designed to serve the Church at the Connectional level and keep the denomination operational. These departments are Finance, Publications and Personnel Services.
Department of Christian Education
The Department of Christian Education
provides “cradle to the grave” nurture in the Christian faith for the
members of the CME Church. In addition to those activities normally
associated with Christian, this department prepares, selects and
recommends all literature and materials to be used in CME churches
especially for Sunday Church schools, membership training classes and
children, youth and young adults.
The Department also prepares,
selects and recommends leadership training and promotional literature
for ALL the areas of the life and witness of the CME Church. It
promotes programs of Christian nurture by keeping the CME Church
informed about such activities as Christian Education Week and National
Youth and Young Adult Week.
The Department promotes Sunday
Schools, Christian Youth and Young Adult Fellowships, Vacation Bible
Schools, adult education courses, Bible Study Courses, and so forth.
the General Secretary, Dr. Crutchfield Carmichael, it serves as the
official liaison between the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the
colleges and the theological school which are under the auspices of the
Department of Lay Ministry
The Department of Lay Ministry
aids the CME Church in equipping and enabling her members to engage in effective ministry in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Lay Department’s primary focus is on the whole people of God. As such,
this department develops programs that will strengthen the ministry of
the “people of God” who, as the “saints” of the Household of God, “build
up the body of Christ.”
Lay Ministry aids the local
congregations of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church to “equip” the
members of the congregations to be more effective witnesses of Jesus
Christ in stewardship and service. It also helps local congregations
address the needs and concerns of people, as they confront the hostility
of the present society.
Lay ministry also helps to insure that
its church members engage in such leadership and service roles as
stewards, stewardesses, trustees, choir members, ushers and other
leadership capacities. The General Secretary is Mr. Clifford Harris.
Department of Evangelism, Missions and Human Concerns
Department of Evangelism, Missions and Human Concerns develops and
promotes programs that help local congregations become more aware of and
involved in evangelism and social issues. It directs workshops,
seminars, and conferences, at annual, district and local congregational
levels on the meaning of and strategies for evangelism and the social
ministry of the church. It also prepares position papers and statements
on vital social, political and moral issues before the church and the
world and represents the CME Church, when necessary, at conferences and
seminars when these issues are being debated.
serves as the focal point of the ecumenical witness and involvement of
the CME Church on evangelistic and social concerns. The General
Secretary is Rev. DeWayne GoLightly.
Department of Finance
Department of Finance of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is
headed by a General Secretary who administers the General Funds of the
Church in accordance with the Connectional Budget approved by the
General Conference and the provisions of The Book of Discipline.
connectional funds, including the apportionments to the several Annual
Conferences, approved by the General Conference, are forwarded to the
General Secretary of the Department of Finance with the exception of the
12% Pastor’s Salaries and funds derived from the CME Fire and Casualty
Program, the income of the Department of Publications, and subscriptions
income from The Christian Index and The Missionary Messenger.
General Secretary of Finance expends the connectional funds in
accordance with the Connectional Budget. The schedule for expenditures
is established by the General Connectional Board based on the budgetary
needs and expected schedule of income.
The Department of Finance,
in consultation with the College of Bishops, explores alternate sources
of revenue to aid in underwriting the operational costs of the
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and presents these costs annually
to the General Connectional Board for action. The General Secretary is
Dr. Joseph C. Neal.
Department of Publications Services
General Department of Publications comprises the publishing interests
of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. It operates the Miles
Bookstore, publishes Sunday School literature, The Christian Index, and
other specialty items. The General Secretary is Rev. Dr. Roderick D.
Department of Personnel Services
Department known as the General Board of Personnel Services was
formerly known as the General Board of Pensions of the Christian
Methodist Episcopal Church. The Department addresses the general
welfare and needs of ministers and full-time lay personnel of the CME
Church, covering such areas as retirement benefits, ministerial care and
insurance (life, health, fire and casualty, homeowners, auto and
This Department has developed an expanded program
which included concerns of and for the ministry in terms of support and
maintenance, counseling, welfare relief, pre-retirement assistance,
retirement and survivors benefits of CME ministers.
to the aforementioned concerns, this department oversees and coordinates
all pension funds, insurance programs, health services, retirement
plans and other related personnel services for ordained ministers in
full connection and lay personnel working full-time for the Church. It
keeps records and vital statistics of all clerical personnel in full
The department administers those programs of the CME
Church that are related to the Department of Superannuated Preachers,
Widows and Orphans (SPWO), Department of Personnel Services, the
Ministerial Salary Supplement Program, the CME Fire and Casualty Program
and any other programs of pensions and insurance that may be
established by the Church. The General Secretary is Dr. Tyrone Davis.
The Christian Index
Christian Index is the official publication of the CME Church which
publishes all official announcements, notices, communications and
decisions of the church as directed by the General Connectional Board
and/or College of Bishops.
Although The Christian Index is
published on a regular schedule, special publications may be authorized,
as the General Connectional Board deems advisable. The edition and
publication of The Christian Index is under the supervision of the
General Connectional Board’s Standing Committee on The Christian Index
and is constituted as provided by the Discipline of the CME Church.
preparation, edition, promotion and publication of The Christian Index
is the responsibility of the Editor who: prepares the manuscripts for
publications, including format, selection of materials and editing of
materials; manages the circulation of the paper, including promotion,
securing and processing subscriptions; supervises all details related to
the publication, including printing and mailing as directed by the
Standing Committee on The Christian Index; distributes news and
informational public relations materials to promote The Christian Index
and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The Editor is Dr. Kenneth
Office of The Executive Secretary
office of the Executive Secretary serves as the conduit of the CME
Church by providing centralized and efficient execution, coordination
and follow up of denominational programs. It also handles
correspondence, questions and concerns either for referral or for
action. The Executive Secretary is Ms. Jeanette Bouknight.
Connectional Commissions are responsible for projecting and evaluating
the total program of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. These
Commissions are as follows:
The Commission on Faith
Order sustains the biblical, theological and historical heritage of the
CME Church. It also informs the church of any theological concerns that
may be referred to it by either the church or one of its agencies.
The Commission on Life and Witness
monitors the denominational life of the church and determines the
extent to which the connectional administration of the church is in
keeping with its established missions, goals and purpose. It also plans
for the future of the church in every area of its life and witness.
The Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns
determines the witness of the CME Church in terms of the social, economic and political issues of the day.
The Commission on Ecumenicity
evaluates the nature of the relationship the CME Church should have
with other Christian denominations and religious organizations.
women had been denied leadership roles in the church – they sang,
prayed, shouted and raised money. Mrs. Carolyn Poe, President of the
Women’s Missionary South of the East Texas Conference, started a
movement toward a larger and official role for women in 1882. In 1890,
the Women’s Missionary Society
The Connectional Woman’s Society
was formally organized on September 3, 1918 at Capers Memorial Church
in Nashville. Dr. Mattie E. Coleman was its first president. This
organization is known as the Women’s Missionary Council
It is a Connectional Ministry. Thus, Missionary Societies are a part
of all local congregations, District Conference, and Annual
Conferences. Dr. Elnora P. Hamb is the President of the Women's Missionary Council
The Missionary Messenger is a monthly publication by and for missionaries. White and royal blue are the missionary colors.
…In the Ministry:
1918, the General Conference gave authority to license women as local
preachers. Today, women serve as pastors, associate pastors, presiding
elders and exhorters.
…In the Church:
Women hold various
positions in the CME Church among which are stewardesses, trustees,
ushers, Sunday School superintendents, Directors of Board of Christian
Education and musicians, just to name a few.
1930 General Conference granted women the right to be delegates, though
they did not have full rights equal to those of men. Today, women
comprise an apportionate share of the delegates to the General