The General Council completed election of the members of the Council of Eighteen on Wednesday morning, July 20. Thirteen of the 18 are newly-elected, with five returning for a second two year term.
Going first on the Council and returning for a second term was Tony Stewart, pastor of Citychurch in Tampa, Florida. He was followed by Kip Box, pastor of Oak Park Church in Mobile, Alabama, also returning for a second term.
Ishmael Charles, pastor of International Worship Center in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, re-joins the Council after a two-year hiatus. His election helped to partially satisfy the requirement of international representation, as well as the requirement of at least nine pastors on the Council.
Mitchell Corder was elected for the first time to a term on the Council. He is state overseer of Tennessee and former state overseer in Virginia.
Gerald McGinnis, pastor of the Park West Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a former member of the Council and was the fifth representative elected to the leadership body.
Next to be elected was former General Overseer of the Church of God, G. Dennis McGuire. Currently a revivalist-at-large, McGuire returns for a second consecutive two-year term on the Council after being elected in 2014.
Like McGuire, overseer of Ireland and a pastor in Drogheda, Ireland, Nick Park, returns to the Council to complete a second two-year term. Park fulfils the international representation requirement of the Council.
Being elected for the first time as a member of the Council of Eighteen is Eliezar Bonila. Rev. Bonila is pastor of the multicultural congregation, Abundant Life, in San Antonio, Texas.
Elected in the ninth position is pastor of the Potter’s House Church in Columbus, Ohio, Rev. Tim Oldfield. This will be his first two-year term of service.
Keith Ivester, state overseer of Florida, is also a newcomer to the Council. He has also served as state overseer in Hawaii and Kentucky. Ivester’s election came as the final item of business before adjournment of the Tuesday evening session.
Following a Special Order of the Day delivered by Pastor Tony Evans, Council elections resumed with the election of Gary Lewis, outgoing director of Youth and Discipleship. Lewis has spent most of his ministry in youth work.
Loran Livingston was returned to the Council of Eighteen. Long time senior pastor of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C., Livingston has served numerous terms on the Council over the last 25 years.
Another newcomer and first-time elected member of the Council is Sean O’Neal, state overseer of Arizona and a former state director of youth and discipleship.
Michael Baker, who has served as a state overseer in both Virginia and North Georgia, as well as a former director of Communications for the Church of God, was elected by the Council to serve for the next two years.
Returning to the Council to finish a second two-year term will be Jimmy Smith, state overseer of Western North Carolina. Smith previously served as director of the former Evangelism and Home Missions department.
Samuel Santana, administrative bishop of the Southwestern Hispanic Region, was elected in the 16th position on the Council. Santana, along with Bonila, will add a needed Hispanic perspective to the Council.
Kevin McGlamery, pastor of Life Church in Huntsville, Alabama, was elected for the first time on the Executive Council. In addition to pastoral leadership, he has previous experience as a youth leader at the local church level.
Rounding out the Council of Eighteen for 2016-2018 will be Travis Johnson, pastor of Life Point Church in Homestead, Florida. Johnson was also recently appointed director of People for Care and Learning, a role he will assume later this year.
The new members elected this week will be eligible for a second two-year term in 2018.