UMCom chief exec to retire next year

LarryHollonNashville, Tenn. — The Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications, announced today his plans to retire in the next 9-10 months. Rev. Hollon will reach the mandatory retirement age for elective and appointive staff of United Methodist general agencies.

Although the mandatory retirement age for clergy is not until age 72, there is a provision for mandatory retirement at 70, which applies to general secretaries of the denomination’s agencies (paragraph 715.3, Book of Discipline).

“Leading The United Methodist Church into the digital age has been a meaningful and rewarding experience,” said Rev. Hollon. “For me, communications is ministry. It provides a variety of methods for us to deliver messages of healing and hope and invite people into relationship with a faith community. I’m very proud of the many ways in which the work we do at United Methodist Communications is making a difference in people’s lives.”

“I’m also grateful for a fine staff of committed professionals who will continue this vital work,” said Hollon.

Bishop Sally Dyck, president of the General Commission on Communication, expressed appreciation to Rev. Hollon for his passionate commitment and substantial contributions since he assumed the position in 2000.

“The United Methodist Church has experienced tremendous transformation in the area of communications under Rev. Hollon’s leadership,” said Bishop Dyck. “We’ve made significant advancements in connecting the denomination around the world. We’ve raised awareness of the church through advertising campaigns inviting and welcoming seekers into our churches and we’ve taken that message out into communities. We’ve created a voice for the church in the world.”

“Rev. Hollon’s vision related to global health was instrumental in raising $63 million in the fight against malaria, and that legacy will continue as the church moves toward the next global health issue,” added Bishop Dyck.

At the September meeting of the General Commission on Communication, the commission will form a search committee to lead the search process for a successor, led by Bishop Dyck and the Rev. Greg Cox, chair of the personnel committee.

Rev. Cox said that a plan is being formulated to manage the transition and ensure a smooth and effective changeover between the retiring and incoming general secretaries and that Rev. Hollon’s insights will be invaluable in planning for the productive future of the agency.

“Rev. Hollon will remain in his current position until a new chief executive is appointed and oriented next summer, and will consult with the Commission throughout the search and transition process so that the agency is well-positioned to continue its important work in a global context,” said Cox. “We expect that he will continue to be a powerful advocate for the value of communications to the denomination.”

After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma and Saint Paul School of Theology, Hollon became an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and an award-winning producer focused on telling the stories of people affected by poverty. He has traveled to more than 50 countries to collaborate on hundreds of projects. A former television news and commercial radio talk show host, he has written for numerous publications and is the author of We Must Speak:  Rethinking How We Communicate Faith in the 21st Century.

Hollon was chosen by the Nashville Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America as the winner of the 2008 Apollo Award, and was named the 2011 Communicator of the Year by the United Methodist Association of Communicators.

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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