We believe these commitments are essential to a hope-filled future for the global Methodist movement as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world:


We long to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.

We commit to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and build a church which affirms the full participation of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.

We reject the Traditional Plan approved at General Conference 2019 as inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ and will resist its implementation.

We will work to eliminate discriminatory language and the restrictions and penalties in the Discipline regarding LGBTQ persons. We affirm the sacred worth of LGBTQ persons, celebrate their gifts, and commit to being in ministry together.

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    Don Hanshew


    Don Hanshew is the lead pastor at Dublin United Methodist Church in Dublin, VA.  Dublin UMC is a Jesus loving, community minded, multi-ethnic church that strongly holds the core values of acceptance, growth, and generosity.  Don serves on the General Board of Church and Society, Holston Conference Strategy Team, and Board of Ministry, along with other various conference and district ministry teams and other government and non-profit community boards.  Don loves the United Methodist church, and the theology upon which it is built.  The intersection of social holiness and personal piety are central to him and evident in his preaching, teaching, and way of life.  Don and his wife Carol are passionate about creating transformative communities that are inclusive of all of God’s creation.  They have two wonderful children who keep them laughing and enjoying life.

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    Danny Tullier


    Danny Tullier and his partner Keith Walker are members of St. Elmo United Methodist Church (Chattanooga, TN).  Holding true to our Methodist tradition, Danny loves committees (lol)!  He is a member of the Finance Committee, Church Council, Chair of the Outreach/Reconciling Committee, adult Sunday school teacher, choir member, and the church's designated coffee barista.  His partner is the Praise & Worship Director.  Under Keith’s tutelage, the choir sang at Carnegie Hall in November 2018.  The choir has been invited to sing at the Lincoln Center in May 2020.  Though Danny loves to sing, teach and participate in committees, his greatest joy is serving coffee at church.  “Being the church's 'coffee barista,' offers me time to connect with visitors and parishioners.  It offers me an opportunity to build relationships.  Please visit us and let’s share together.”

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    John Eldridge


    John is an Knoxville attorney who has been practicing law for 40 years. He is the Holston Conference Chancellor (the conference's lawyer) and is a longtime member of Church Street UMC. He and his wife, Phyllis, have 4 children and live in the Riverbend area of Knoxville.

  • Leah Burns


    I believe my calling as a prophetic leader in the Holston Conference is to work to enable the inclusive church envisioned by St. John the Apostle:"…I saw many people. No one could tell how many there were. They were from every nation and from every family and from every kind of people and from every language…"


    I seek to mobilize people around a vision of a more inclusive Methodism grounded in the prophetic work of Jesus of Nazareth. (Luke 4:18-19) I believe the moment is now for the United Methodist Church: "In each generation there is a moment when young and old, inspired or disillusioned come together around a shared hope, imagine the world as it can be, and have the opportunity to bring that world into existence. Our moment is now." ~DeRay Mckesson


    I serve as the Associate Pastor at Second UMC in Knoxville and have been under appointment in several other churches since 2006. I serve on many committees and task forces in the Greater Knoxville Community, as well as for the Conference and my district. I’ve been fortunate to have organized and facilitated various Conversations on Race workshops. And I serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for UTK Wesley Foundation.