After nearly 6½ years as treasurer and director of administrative services of the Great Plains Conference, Scott Brewer is getting a new title and an adjustment in duties.
On April 1, Brewer will become director of administration and interim chief of staff, adding many of the duties of assistant to the bishop.
Bishop David Wilson said Brewer will coordinate the development and implementation of conference strategies among the cabinet, staff and conference leadership, and he will oversee the planning and operation of the annual conference session.
“I am very pleased that Scott has agreed to serve in this role for the Great Plains Annual Conference,” Bishop Wilson said in the announcement. “He has served very effectively in his role in the annual conference for years, and his experience and expertise with many entities will lend very well to the annual conference. He has already assisted me greatly and will continue to do so in this new role. He is also highly respected across the Great Plains and knows the conference very well.”
The change in duties, Brewer said, was preceded by the Rev. Kathy Williams’ appointment as director of clergy excellence earlier this month. Unlike her predecessors, first the Rev. Nancy Lambert and then Bishop Dee Williamston – who won election to the episcopacy in November and now serves as leader of the Louisiana Conference – Williams does not have duties as assistant to the bishop.
“There is a need for a fulltime director of clergy excellence position that can be completely focused on the work of recruitment, enlistment, and retention of clergy leadership and well as being an advocate for well-being and good morale of our pastors,” Brewer said.
Bishop Williamston, who began in Louisiana in January, stepped down from her duties, including planning the annual conference sessions, after her election in November and her assignment in January, when Brewer took on additional duties for the planning and coordination of annual conference.
The Rev. Dr. Mitch Reece, cabinet dean, had taken the interim role of assistant to the bishop upon Williamston’s election. He serves as the district superintendent for the Wichita East and West districts but will start a new appointment as lead pastor at Wichita Aldersgate United Methodist Church as of July 1.
Brewer said that Reece reported to Bishop Wilson and himself that a fulltime appointment was not needed as assistant to the bishop, but that some of the duties would have to be assigned.
The conference office structure will remain the same, Brewer said, with him continuing to be on the same level as the directors of clergy excellence, congregational excellence and communications and will continue to oversee administrative services.
Brewer will become a part of the appointive cabinet.
Succeeding Brewer as interim treasurer will be Angie Gleason, who has been controller since November 2021.
“Angie already is managing most of the day-to-day responsibilities around our financial services, but she will have some additional accountability around setting the strategic financial direction in consultation with CFA (Council on Finance & Administration), whereas my role will be less the guardian of the conference purse and more the advocate for making sure that we adequately fund whatever commitments we make toward mission and ministry,” Brewer said.
Both Brewer and Gleason have “interim” attached to their titles because each position is meant to last until June 30, 2024.
“The interim nature of this speaks to the reality of disaffiliations,” Brewer said. “That’s why we’re not establishing a brand-new, permanent position when we are going to need to think pretty seriously about what the impact of disaffiliations are going to be on a number of different pieces. Our staffing structure will likely be one of those.”
With little more than a month remaining before the deadline for churches to vote on disaffiliating, Brewer said the conference is expecting to lose 7.5% of its anticipated mission share income. So far, more than 100 churches in the conference have voted to disaffiliate, decisions which are expected to be ratified in an online business meeting prior to the in-person portion of the annual conference session, June 7-10.
“It will have longer-term impact on us because we simply won’t have as many churches to financially support the conference, as well as fewer churches we’re providing resources to,” Brewer said of the impact of disaffiliations on the conference.
Brewer, 45, was hired as assistant treasurer of the conference in late 2016 and spent six months in transition under the Rev. Gary Beach, conference treasurer and director of administrative services, who retired after annual conference in 2017. Brewer is the son of two retired Nebraska Conference pastors, the Rev. James Brewer and the Rev. Carol Roettmer Brewer. He and his wife, Allison, are the parents of two children.
After graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University (for which he now serves on the board of trustees), Brewer worked for 12 years for the General Council of Finance and Administration, rising from an administrative assistant to associate general secretary. He earned a master’s of arts degree in communication and leadership from Washburn University in 2020.
His new role, Brewer said, will give Bishop Wilson the freedom to be out in the conference and be more present for churches in the Great Plains.
“I think he is such a tremendous listener and pastoral presence and one of the most critical things we need right now is building relationships throughout the connection in a time that’s really, really challenging,” Brewer said.
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