Renner appointed Executive Assistant, five superintendents appointed to newly-configured districts


Charliam Renner Mike Crawford Stan Irving
Bradley Watkins II Nic Showalter Angie Lee

By Paul Black
SPRINGFIELD -- Bishop Frank J. Beard announced that the Rev. Charliam Renner has been appointed Executive Assistant to the Bishop, effective July 1.
Renner is currently in his fourth year as Embarras River District Superintendent. The announcement, along with the assignment of superintendents in the five newly-configured districts, was made Jan. 17 following a meeting between Bishop Beard and members of the District Committee on Superintendency.
“Charliam Renner is a gifted leader with a wealth of knowledge and experience suitable to serve as the Executive Assistant,” Bishop Beard said. “He understands systems and process and has led the churches and the District with excellence.
“Charliam is a committed disciple and deeply passionate follower of Jesus Christ. He is well respected as a leader and has a commitment to developing both lay and clergy leaders.”
Renner will succeed the Rev. Janice Griffith, who is retiring after 13 years of service in the Area Office.
Parsonages and ministry are almost all Renner has ever known. Since the age of 3, he has been part of a parsonage family, and he has called Illinois home since fifth grade.
Renner graduated from Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School, Olivet Nazarene University and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He became a probationary elder in 1997 and an elder in full connection in 2001.
He has served Smithfield-Brock, Jacksonville: Grace (Associate); West Frankfort Trinity; Peoria: Forrest Hill; Sumner-Beulah and Sullivan UMC prior to being appointed to the Cabinet in 2019.
Bishop Beard also announced the following appointments on the appointive cabinet when the Conference transitions to five districts:

  • North District (Illinois and Vermilion districts) based in Pontiac: Rev. Mike Crawford
  • South District (Kaskaskia and Cache districts) based in Marion: Rev. Stan Irvin
  • Central District (Mississippi and Sangamon districts) based in Springfield: Rev. Bradley Watkins II
  • West District (Spoon and LaMoine districts) based in Jacksonville: Rev. Nic Showalter
  • East District (Embarras and Iroquois districts) based in Champaign: Rev. Angie Lee
Crawford is in his first year as Spoon River District Superintendent, Irvin, his fifth as Cache River District Superintendent; Watkins, his fourth year as Sangamon River District Superintendent; Showalter and Lee, each in their sixth years as superintendents of the LaMoine and Iroquois River districts respectively.
Since July 1, 2021, the current eight superintendents have been covering the existing 10 districts as the first step of reorganizing the conference into the five-district, five-superintendent configuration.
Bishop Beard indicated that the five districts will pretty well retain the pairing of districts with the possibility of a few churches moving from one district to another at a later time. “Rather than starting by redrawing the entire map, I think it is much better to use what we know and then tweak as we need to,” Bishop Beard said. “There may be churches along the outer edges of districts that may change, especially if new charge alignments require it.”
Mississippi River District Superintendent, Rev. Allyn Walker, announced her retirement, effective June 30, and Vermilion River District Superintendent, the Rev. James Barnett, will be returning to an appointment in a local church. Walker is in her fourth year as superintendent and Barnett is completing his fifth year.