Annual Conference 2018

June 1 - 2, 2018

Each year clergy and lay members and other interested persons attend their conference’s annual conference session for worship, fellowship, and to conduct the business of the conference. These sessions include training opportunities, reports of past and ongoing work; adoption of future goals, ministries, and budgets; ordination of clergy members as elders; and election of delegates to General Conferences (every four years). The bishop presides over these meetings.

Bishop David Kendall

Reverend David W. Kendall, an elder ordained in the Great Plains Conference, has servant-led the Free Methodist Church as Bishop since his election in May 2005. He oversees E. Michigan, Gateway, Great Plains, Mid-America, North Central, N. Michigan, Ohio, S. Michigan, Wabash, Africa Area Annual Conferences and more as he partners with the Board of Bishops.

Dr. Kendall (Ph.D, Union Theological Seminary; M.Div, Asbury Seminary; BA, Spring Arbor) pastored sixteen years in both Great Plains and S. Michigan Conferences before being elected Superintendent in 1999. He has also served as adjunct faculty of Central Christian College and Greenville College. Bishop Kendall’s primary passions are communicating the Scriptures as God’s Word in faithful and relevant ways to our world today and assisting God’s people to be truly the church in the 21st Century.

Dr. Kendall enjoys writing and is a contributing editor to Light & Life, a regular contributor to Illustrated Bible Life, and author of God’s Call to be Like Jesus: Living a Holy Life in an Unholy World. Bishop Kendall and his wife Lavone reside in Indianapolis, IN and have three married daughters.

Born in Ft. Wayne, IN, Supt. Mike Hopper accepted Christ as a child, and sensed a call to ministry while at Greenville College. As a teen, he participated in Bible Quizzing, and later served for 15 years as our denominational Bible Quiz Director. Following graduation from Greenville College and Asbury Theological Seminary, he pastored Free Methodist churches in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. In addition, he has been a law enforcement chaplain.

Mike and his wife Janet (also an ordained elder) have been married for 34 years and have three children and two grandchildren. In his free time, Mike enjoys swimming, cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, and spending time with his family. Mike has a shepherd’s heart and administrative gift and enjoys serving God with the North Central Conference team. Mike has served as superintendent for two years.

Supt. Mike Hopper
Rev. Janet Hopper

Kelly Soifer

Kelly Soifer has been the Director of the Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL) for the Free Methodist Church in Southern California since 2011, and has recruited, trained and released over 60 interns in that time, additionally launching CTL programs at Seattle Pacific and Greenville. She also has over 30 years of experience in vocational ministry and a Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary. She has been an adjunct professor in the Departments of Religious Studies, Sociology, and Kinesiology at Westmont College since 2009, where she trains students in faith integration. She is also actively involved in healthcare advocacy for under-served populations in Santa Barbara through her leadership with Pueblo Free Methodist Church on Santa Barbara's Westside, and serves on the MEG board with the Free Methodist Church in Southern CA. She is also directing one of the 9 strategic priorities tracks at General Conference 2019.

The Mellingers serve as regional leaders in the Balkans. They oversee the work of Team Balkans which includes the Light and Life FMC in Bulgaria, The Anagenesis Foundation International Fellowship of St John, and New Start LLC (a company of creative livelihood groups and micro-enterprise businesses). Team Balkans consists of three additional missionary families and many nationals. The Team is developing a holistic approach to ministry that includes the spiritual, educational, economic and social programs that work together to serve people. Currently, the work is in Bulgaria and Macedonia with contacts in Serbia, Romania and Albania.

Al Mellinger


Thursday May 31

3:00 PM Early Registration

5:15 PM Dinner

Friday, June 1

7:30 AM Pre-Conference Prayer
(East Room)

8:00 AM Breakfast

8:00 AM Registration

9:00 AM Welcome & Worship

9:20 AM Morning Address Bishop David Kendall

10:00 AM NCC Business

11:55 AM Group Photo

Noon Lunch

1:00 PM Worship

1:15 PM State of the Work Report – Supt Mike Hopper

2:00 PM Church Planting and Revitilization

2:30 PM Developing Team Leaders - Kelly Soifer

3:45 PM Breakout groups
Pastors meet with Supt. & Bishop
Pastors' wives meet with Rev. Janet Hopper (Hickory)
Delegates & others meet with To Be Announced

4:45 PM Dinner

6:30 PM Ordination Service
(Marquette Church)

7:30 PM Ordination Reception
(Chapel Rec)

Saturday, June 2

7:30 AM Pre-Conference Prayer
(East Room)

8:00 AM Breakfast

8:30 AM Worship & Message

9:30 AM NCC Business

11:10 AM - Break

11:15 AM NCC Business

Bishop Reads the Pastoral Appointments

Noon Lunch