NASHVILLE, Tenn. Jan. 5, 2016 /Discipleship Ministries/ – The board of Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church and Dr. Tim Bias jointly announced today that Dr. Bias is no longer employed as the General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, effective Dec. 31, 2015.
Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, president of the board, praised Dr. Bias for his innovative leadership and ministry accomplishments during his time as General Secretary.
“Tim’s efforts to equip United Methodists for deeper discipleship and his heart for ministry have brought many closer to God, and we are grateful for his work,” she said.
The board has named Rev. MaryJane Pierce Norton, recently retired Associate General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, as Interim General Secretary pending a search for Dr. Bias’ replacement.
“Our mission remains the same and we are confident in our Interim General Secretary and outstanding staff during this time of transition,” the Bishop said.
Norton retired from her position as Associate General Secretary of the Leadership Ministries unit at Discipleship Ministries on Oct. 31, 2015. She had previously served as Associate General Secretary since 2008, and worked at the agency since 1981.
Norton holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Scarritt College, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from The University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Arts from Lyon College.
She is the author of several books, including: The Ministry of Christian Education and Formation: A Practical Guide for Your Congregation, and, Making God Real for a New Generation, co-edited with Craig Miller.
Prior to coming to Discipleship Ministries, Norton was Director of Christian Education at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She lives in Nashville with her husband.
Stanovsky said the board expects to have a new General Secretary elected and in place by July 1, 2016.
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit the Press Center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.