The Church of the Aspiring Angels
St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Conference Notes

 Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Nola Anderson as a Conference Superintendent assigned to the Crossroads District.


New DS Anderson: 'There is joy in serving God'                                      


By Sandra Brands        2/12/2015




Life transformed. That’s what the Rev. Nola Anderson wants to see as she takes on the position of a Conference superintendent assigned to the Crossroads District beginning July 1.


Serving God isn’t about duty. Rather, she said, “there is joy in serving God. … Sometimes we forget that, and make church and the things of God mundane.”“I want to see people tapped into all that God has to offer to God’s people,” she said. “I want to see people come to truly believe that with God, all things are possible.”

And serving God is anything but mundane, she said.


That is a belief she has held since her childhood in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Raised in a Christian household by a Moravian mother and a Methodist father, Rev. Anderson attended worship services with both parents. Active in her church’s choirs as a youth and an adult, she said her father served as a role model for her.


“I admired how he loved and cared for people,” she said. “He would share all these Bible stories, and brought them to life for me. I wanted more from the God I read about in the Bible, the God who did great things. I wanted to be in a relationship with this God.”


But she did not answer the call to ordained ministry until her late 20s, instead working in the hospitality industry as a reservation clerk and a food and beverage manager. That experience has been an integral influence on her ministry.

“I’ve always used that experience in terms of how we treat each other,” Rev. Anderson said. “Hospitality is very key to me in ministry, in how we relate to and treat each other.”


And recognizing the intrinsic worth in each person as God’s child has been one of the gifts she has brought to ministry, a gift that has helped her guide others in the discovery of possibilities in the face of hopelessness, of rebuilding – both churches and individuals – after all seems lost.


“Sometimes (it is) helping people understand that though broken, there can be joy in life,” she said. “The two congregations I’m presently serving (Grace and West Avenue United Methodist churches in Rochester) have members who were really broken people and I was able to work with them to help them discover who they are in Christ and that they were uniquely created and are loved by God. “They discovered that God loves them,” she said.


As Rev. Anderson begins to prepare for her ministry as district superintendent – she will sit in on Cabinet meetings beginning this week – she believes being a superintendent is not about herself, personally. “It’s about God working through me, through the people of the district,” she said.


“A district superintendent’s role is to empower both laity and clergy,” she said. “People chose differently when they are given the tools they need to make choices in terms of our Church. “We are sent to go out in to the world and make an impact in the lives of the men, women and children in our communities,” she said. “That may be inconvenient sometimes, it may make us uncomfortable, and sometimes we have to make sacrifices. That’s what Jesus did. If God means anything to us, if we love God with all our being, we must be willing to make sacrifices and share that love with others, no matter how uncomfortable that makes us.”


Sometimes, she said, that means recognizing that despite “our differences, we have much in common. We focus so much on differences, we forget those things that bind us, that connect us. I believe love truly conquers all and if we take time to listen, not just with our hearts, but with every fiber of our being, we learn, we grow, we appreciate, we accept.”


Educated at United Theological College in Kingston, Jamaica, Rev. Anderson began serving the former Wyoming Conference as an elder in the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas Conference. She served at the Davenport and West Davenport United Methodist churches and at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial UMC in Johnson City before moving to her current congregations in Rochester. She currently sits on the Upper New York Board of Ordained Ministry and has been active in Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Northeastern Jurisdiction Clergy Women Consultation Planning Team, and Aldersgate Renewal Ministries.


 She and her husband, Pastor Andy Anderson, have one son Asriel.


Two district superintendents will leave the Cabinet by July 1, 2015, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced.



The Rev. Darryl Barrow, Crossroads District Superintendent, and the Rev. Dr. Sung Ho Lee, Mohawk District Superintendent, will receive new appointments that will be announced at a future time.

Rev. Lee has served on the Cabinet for eight years, while Rev. Barrow will be finishing his sixth year as a district superintendent. The term of office for a district superintendent usually is up to six years, but they may serve up to eight consecutive years as the request of a resident bishop. A district superintendent may serve no more than eight years in any consecutive 11 years and no more than 14 years in their lifetime, according to The Book of Discipline (¶418).