Bridging The Gap Leadership
Bishop Larry Goodpaster – is the presiding bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 2010 he assumes the role of President of the UMC Council of Bishops. A graduate of Millsaps College and the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, he served church appointments in Mississippi for over 25 years before being elected to the Episcopacy. He received honorary D.D. degrees from both Birmingham Southern and Huntingdon Colleges. He has been active in many ministry and mission programs in various countries, Habitat for Humanity and Rotary International. Bishop Goodpaster is married to the former Deborah Cox and they have two daughters and two grandchildren.
“Bridging the Gap in Music”
Heather Payne – is a founding member of the Contemporary Christian music group Point of Grace. She was born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma and currently resides in Louisville, KY. Her first solo in her church was at the age of 3. She attended Ouachita Baptist University where she reunited with friends who became Point of Grace. Point of Grace has won 8 Dove Award, 17 Dove nominations, 2 Grammy nominations, and had 6 Gold Albums, 2 Platinum Albums and 27 number one singles. Heather retired from the group in 2008 to spend time with her 4 children and support her husband Brian’s ministry. Active in many women’s ministry programs, she continues to share her faith through speaking and singing.
“Bridging the Gap in the Business World”
Cal Turner, Jr. – is the former CEO of Dollar General, Corp. which was founded by his grandfather and father, Cal Turner, Sr. in 1939. Under Cal. Jr’s leadership, Dollar General grew to more than 6,000 stores and $6 billion in sales. He is now Chairman of the Cal Turner Family Foundation that among many other worthwhile causes supports programs at Duke and Vanderbilt Divinity Schools as well as the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions at Vanderbilt. The book that he co-authored entitled Led To Follow: Leadership Lessons from an Improbable Pastor and a Reluctant CEO notes that “the heart and soul of leadership is found in following.” Cal and his wife Maggi have one son and three grandchildren. They are members of Brentwood UMC, TN.
“Bridging the Gap in the Limelight”
Jane Jayroe Gamble – was crowned Miss America in 1967. She sang and conducted the orchestra for her talent. She later became a well-recognized and respected primetime television news anchor in Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth. She has authored articles, books and other publications and has been involved in numerous state, regional and local civic and community activities including serving as Secretary of Tourism for the state of Oklahoma. Her honors and awards are many, and her passion is women’s ministry. Jane is a member of the Church of the Servant (UMC), Oklahoma City and is a Trustee for the Foundation for Evangelism. She and her husband, Gerald live in Oklahoma City; they have one son and two grandchildren.
“Bridging the Gap in the Operating Room”
William A. Cooper, M.D. – is Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at WellStar Health System and on the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine. He graduated from the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine and completed his residency in General and Cardiac Surgery at Emory. As the Chief Heart Surgeon at one of the largest non-profit health systems in the southeast, he heads one of the most active and effective programs in the metropolitan Atlanta area. He has authored scientific articles in his field and routinely performs surgical procedures to mend broken hearts. Dr. Cooper is a strong Christian whose faith is obvious to all with whom he works and serves. He and his family (wife, Sandy and three children) are members of the Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
“The Church’s Role in Bridging the Gap”
Rev. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Wilson – was born in Ozark, Alabama. After receiving his undergraduate degree he became Director of Youth at the First UMC, Waco, Texas where his formal ministry began. His seminary training took place at Perkins School of Theology and Fuller Theological Seminary; then he earned a Doctorate at Emory University, Candler School of Theology. In 1992, he joined the Western NC Conference, serving churches throughout the region. In 2008, Chuck was appointed Senior Pastor of the Long’s Chapel UMC which now has four weekly worship services. Active in numerous community, educational and civic programs, he is a recipient of the Harry Denman Award (leadership in evangelism ministry). Chuck and his wife Karen have two sons and two daughters.
“Bridging the Gap – God’s Plan”
Bernie Brown, a preacher’s kid, began his career as a bag boy in a local grocery store and retired as the CEO of one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in the country. Since retiring he has been involved in teaching, consulting and leading a series of Christian leadership conferences called “Bridging the Gap.” The impetus for these conferences is his fourth book, Lessons Learned on the Way Down. In Ken Blanchard’s (Coauthor of The One Minute Manager) endorsement of the book, he states, “These highly recollections will touch your heart and help you bridge the gap between your career path and your faith journey.” Bernie is a member of the First UMC, Marietta, GA and an affiliate member of Long’s Chapel UMC, Lake Junaluska, NC. He and his wife Snookie have been married 48 years and have three children and six grandchildren.
For more information, contact:
Pam Naplen, Registrar