UMAC 2019 Plenary and Workshop Speakers

First Plenary Speaker

Dan Krause

As chief executive of United Methodist Communications, Dan Krause leads the global communications agency of The United Methodist Church in telling the story of God’s love through research, technology and strategic communication. Named to the position in June 2015, he is responsible for overseeing the denomination’s marketing, advertising, media and public relations, Web and social media, news, production and more. The agency works around the world, whether to equip local churches for communications ministry, raise awareness of the mission and ministries of the church, or develop technology infrastructure in underserved areas. Dan was previously Vice-President of Marketing and Customer Experience for Frontier Airlines, where he was responsible for managing all corporate branding, marketing, advertising, social media and corporate communications strategy. He also directed consumer messaging and managed the day-to-day operation of Frontier’s Reservations Call Centers and the Customer Relations and Customer Experience teams.

20/20: Lessons from Other Denominations

A panel comprised of clergy and laity from the Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church USA will discuss their experience navigating historic changes to their denominations regarding LBGTQ persons. Listen to lessons learned around communicating change and addressing conflict.

Rt. Rev. George
Wayne Smith

The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, has not only the perspective of pastoral response in the judicatory, but was the co-chair of the denomination’s Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music, the committee which addressed rites for the same-sex marriage blessing.  Bishop Smith was born in Abilene, Texas. He was raised a Baptist and converted to the Episcopal Church while a student at Baylor University. Smith received his seminary education at Nashotah House in Milwaukee. Smith was ordained as a deacon in 1981 followed by ordination to the priesthood in 1982. Smith served congregations in both Texas and Michigan before becoming the rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Des Moines, Iowa. He was consecrated on March 6, 2002 as Bishop Coadjutor to Bishop Hays Rockwell and subsequently succeeded him on June 6, 2002. Bishop Smith is the 975th Bishop consecrated in the Episcopal Church.

Rev. Barbi

Rev. Barbi Click, is the ordained diocesan jubilee officer and council member of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. She also is the manager of Trinity Church CWE’s food ministry, and she recently was ordained.  Rev. Click also is guardian of the Rivendell Christian Community.

Rev. Dan

Rev. Dan Handschy has served as rector of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in south St. Louis county for the past 20 years. He’s also the dean of the Episcopal School for Ministry, and the chair of the baptism task force.  In 1982, he matriculated in the master’s of divinity program at Harvard Divinity School and graduated in 1985. In 1986, Bishop Robert Shaw Kerr ordained him to the diaconate in Vermont and ordained him to the priesthood in 1987. He served as assistant to the rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Attleboro, Massachusetts, for five years, and then held two interim positions in the Diocese of Rhode Island. Church of the Advent called him as their rector in November of 1992. In 2012, he earned a doctorate in historical theology from Saint Louis University.  He serves as the dean of the Episcopal School for Ministry, and as adjunct at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves.

Rev. Sharon

Rev. Sharon Youngs is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is also the former communication director for the Office of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church (USA). She was responsible for coordinating the strategies for interpreting the General Assembly’s actions in 2016 following the change in ordination standards.  She has served the church for over three decades, including a pastorate in West Virginia. She also holds a master’s degree in social work and a private pilot’s license.

Central Conference Communicators

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that The United Methodist Church is a worldwide denomination. We’ll hear perspectives from communicators from our central conferences visiting the United States for the special session of General Conference.

Secretary of General Conference

Rev. Gary Graves


The Rev. Gary Graves is the new secretary of the General Conference after years of helping sort through the many pieces of legislation filed for consideration at the once-a-quadrennium meeting of the worldwide church. He’ll share some insights with us as he prepares for this historic special session of General Conference in St. Louis.





Post-General Conference Analysis Session

The morning after the close of General Conference, we’ll gather for an analysis session featuring four key leaders in our denomination. Our panel discussion will be moderated by Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications, followed by a time for breakout table discussions, all meant to help prepare you for doing the important job of communicating what transpired and where the church goes from here.

Our panelists:

Rev. Kennetha

The Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai is the chief connectional ministries officer for the Connection Table of the denomination. She has been a member of the Connectional Table since 2012.  She served on the executive committee and the Worldwide Nature working group, working collaboratively with partners such as the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and the Commission on the General Conference to provide leadership on vital Connectional Table initiatives.

Rev. Dr. Maidstone

Rev.  Dr. Maidstone Mulenga serves as the director of communications for the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church. He previously served in the dual role as the assistant to the bishop and director of connectional ministries in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. In that role, he was the steward of the vision of the BWC, where he provided leadership to 34 distinct ministry and mission teams.

Rev. Adam

The Rev. Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the largest-membership church in the denomination. He is known for his passion for helping Christians grow in their faith, understanding of the Bible, and Christian living. He has written 13 books and several small group studies on topics as diverse as forgiveness, simple living, love and marriage, morality, politics, God’s will, and world religions.

Rev. Junius

The Rev. Junius Dotson is general secretary of Discipleship Ministries. A nationally recognized leader, speaker, and author on evangelism and church revitalization, He launched “See All The People,” the church-wide initiative that helps church leaders concentrate on intentional discipleship, while learning new behaviors around engaging their surrounding community. He is the author of two discipleship books.