Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine and Rev. Dr. Margie Crawford will join the Michigan Cabinet in 2018.
LANSING, Michigan | December 15, 2017 – Today Bishop David Alan Bard announced the appointment of two new district superintendents. One will be the missional leader of a new district forming in July 2018, and the other will guide an existing district into the new Michigan Conference structure and beyond.
Bishop Bard announced that the Rev. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine will take over as the Superintendent of the Lansing District on February 1, 2018. DeVine steps into that role as current D.S., the Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, transitions to her new responsibility as Chief Executive Officer of The Connectional Table for The United Methodist Church. On July 1, 2018, the Rev. Dr. DeVine will lead the new District 5 of the Michigan Conference.
“Rev. DeVine knows both conferences, brings experience as a district superintendent and has worked diligently to form our new conference,” Bishop Bard said. “He is a creative thinker who will help our district superintendents think in new ways about how they can engage in this important ministry even as their responsibilities expand. I am pleased he agreed to become the Lansing District Superintendent, and then continue as the superintendent for District 5,” the bishop concluded.
The Rev. Dr. DeVine has provided leadership across the Michigan Area since coming to the state in 1999. He comes to the post in Lansing after eight years as the Detroit Conference’s Director of Connectional Ministries. Prior to that his skills and gifts were at work in the West Michigan Conference first as a Ministry Consultant and then as Superintendent of the Albion District. Before coming to Michigan DeVine pastored churches in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference. Both DeVine’s Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees were earned at Wesley Theological Seminary. Connectional positions held at present include membership on the North Central Jurisdiction’s Committee on Native American Ministries and Commission on Religion and Race.
Jerry and his wife, Ruth, are making their home in the former Argentine United Methodist Church near Linden Michigan.
Bishop Bard also announced that the Rev. Dr. Margie R. Crawford will serve as District Superintendent of the newly formed District 4, effective July 1, 2018. She follows the Rev. William Haggard, who retires as Grand Rapids District Superintendent in June 2018.
Rev. Dr. Crawford will bring experience as a pastor, a leader at both the district and conference levels, and from her previous career as a teacher and educational administrator to the role of District Superintendent for the new District 4.
“Rev. Crawford has a passion for helping create something new, and while the role of district superintendent is not new, how we accomplish this ministry in our new Michigan Conference will need to be different,” Bishop Bard stressed. “I am pleased that we will have Rev. Crawford’s gifts, skills, and perspectives at the Cabinet table, and know that she will provide exceptional leadership for her district and our conference,” he added.
Crawford has pastored Saint Clair: First United Methodist Church in the Detroit Conference since 2011. Before that appointment she served as Associate Pastor at Flint: Court Street United Methodist Church. Ministry is a second career for Crawford, who has a depth of professional and volunteer experience. For ten years she was in higher education: first as Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology for the University of Iowa in Iowa City; then Assistant Professor and Director of Audiology at Wayne State University’s College of Medicine. She has a Master of Audiology from Cleveland State University and a Ph.D. in Audiology with specialties in Neuroscience and Counseling from The University of Memphis.
After earning her Master of Divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2005, Crawford began significant volunteer leadership in the Detroit Conference, first chairing the Hunger/UMCOR Committee of the Conference Board of Global Ministries. Current service includes membership on the Conference and Blue Water District Boards of Ordained Ministry; administration of the Conference Extension Fund; and chairing the Blue Water District Leadership Team.