Welcome to the Northwest District!
Rev. Melissa Dodd has been named as the next Northwest District Superintendent. She will replace Rev. Cindy Buhman, who will be returning to serve as a local church pastor after Annual Conference Session in June.
“Cindy has been the strongest advocate for our small, rural congregations which is why I am so pleased to appoint her back to where her heart really is, the local church,” said Bishop Farr. “After three years of good judicatory work, she wanted to finish her career in a setting where she could make a direct, personal difference in the mission field. We will miss her from the cabinet but want to honor her passion. Cindy has grown every church she has ever led. I am excited for her to be back in the role of a pastoral leader of a congregation.”
Buhman has appreciated the opportunity to lead as a District Superintendent and is looking forward to serving as a local church pastor again.
“Serving as the Northwest District Superintendent has been a great privilege for me,” said Buhman. “I am so honored to have had the opportunity to be in ministry in a different way. Of course, I will miss working with Bishop Farr and the rest of the cabinet. However, I am so excited to be returning to where my heart is - to the local church.”
Dodd has a degree in elementary education from Missouri State University and a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Seminary. Dodd worked in youth ministry before becoming a licensed local pastor at Campbell UMC in Springfield. She continued to serve that church as a provisional elder and elder in full connection before being appointed to Asbury UMC in Springfield, where she has served as senior pastor since 2014. She has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and has been a leader in the Missouri Conference Candidacy Summits.
“Rev. Dodd has offered excellent pastoral leadership in her appointments, loves the local church, and has earned the respect of her clergy peers through her solid work on district and conference teams,” said Bishop Farr. “Melissa has strengths in mentoring and coaching and I look forward to seeing her implement those gifts, along with her energy and vision, through the superintendency in the Northwest.”
Dodd said she’s excited about the opportunity to serve the church as a district superintendent. She said she knows she has a lot to learn but feels the skills she has developed will be a good fit for the position.
“It’s exciting because it’s in my wheelhouse,” she said. “I’m an organizer. I like structure. I like strategy. I like working with teams and people to problem solve and strategize. I like to encourage people.”
Resource Booklet From Commission on a Way Forward
The Commission on a Way Forward has released a booklet entitled Finding a Way Forward: Resources for Witness, Contextual Leadership and Unity. The booklet compiles the resources the commission consulted as part of its preparation for an interim report to the Council of Bishops. The booklet has been added to the Missouri Conference’s resource page on this issue, which is found at https://www.moumethodist.org/localchurchresources