Reverend David A. Gilmore, NYAC Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization, to Take District Superintendent Appointment with the Missouri Annual Conference’s Heartland District

Reverend David A. Gilmore, NYAC Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization, to Take District Superintendent Appointment with the Missouri Annual Conference’s Heartland District

2/4/2020

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!  –Isaiah 43:18-19

White Plains, NY, February 4, 2020:  It is with great sadness that the New York Annual Conference (NYAC) must announce that our dynamic and charismatic Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization, Reverend David A. Gilmore, will be stepping down from his position effective
July 1, 2020.
 
Rev. Gilmore—who joined the NYAC team in July 2016—will become District Superintendent for the Missouri Annual Conference’s Heartland District. In doing so, Rev. Gilmore returns to the place where he pastored for 16 years prior to coming to NYAC. More importantly, he returns home to rejoin his wife of 23 years, Kimiko, after enduring and making the sacrifice of a three-and-a-half year long-distance marriage.
 
But the homecoming will be bittersweet. “I am broken-hearted,” Rev. Gilmore says. “I genuinely love the people of NY and Connecticut. I love the work that I’m doing here in New York and Connecticut. I’ve cried—oh gosh, I’ve cried quite a bit. My wife and I cried the night I called to let her know that I was offered the appointment in Missouri.”
 
“We were crying because we were happy that we were going to be back together. But we were also crying because she knows how much I love the work and the people. New Yorkers are special, in so many ways. I have learned that no matter how hard they may act on the outside, they all have beating hearts on the inside. So, this has been very emotional for me.”
 
NYAC Resident Bishop, Thomas J. Bickerton says Rev. Gilmore’s departure will be an emotional time for all who work so closely with him. “David has impacted our cabinet, staff, and many of our clergy and local churches with a vision of what they can be rather than simply dwelling in the land of where they currently are.  His infectious spirit has inspired many of us to remain sharp and fresh, and has enabled those directly under his care to see the possibility of going to the next level,” Bishop Bickerton says. “We all love David the person but we also love the way that Christ has worked through the person to enable us to see things we would not have been able to envision without him.”
 
A Tenure Marked by Accomplishment, Notable Church Revitalizations and Plantings
High-points of Rev. Gilmore’s time with NYAC include the recruitment of passionate pastors like Rev. Jorge López (currently serving the Monticello, Hurleyville, Rock Hill and Woodridge communities in the Catskill Hudson District) and Rev. Daniel Cho (serving the progressive HA:N community in the New York City metropolitan area). Additionally, Rev. Gilmore successfully started or restarted six churches, a notable feat at a time when many greeted his arrival with the mistaken belief that if things failed in the past, they will fail in the present.
 
Yet Rev. Gilmore always saw things differently. “What struck me immediately upon my arrival was the “blank slate” I was being given,” he recalls. “Although there was someone serving in my position prior to 2016, not a lot of traction had taken place. This was both terrifying and exhilarating to me.”
 
Lasting Impressions, Moments of Reflection and a Difficult Goodbye
When asked to reflect on his time with NYAC, Rev. Gilmore thoughtfully notes a lasting impression, that continues to this day. “There was and is a very real hunger that I sensed in the laity and church-affiliated people I’ve met in New York and Connecticut. It’s a hunger to be spiritually and emotionally fed.” This desire was palpable, Rev. Gilmore explains, noting that “every church he’s served in has turned around, because the goal isn’t to make the people inside feel comfortable, but to try and engage the people on the outside to sustain and grow the Church.”
 
Rev. Gilmore says that serving as director of congregational development and revitalization taught him quite a few things about himself. He learned that he has more patience than he thought and he also learned to err on the side of grace.  In addition, since not everyone moves to the same beat he does, Rev. Gilmore says that he learned to adapt different rhythms and different strategies. “Some folks are just not going to get it—but that doesn’t mean that we can forget about them,” he says.
 
New York’s loss is the Missouri Annual Conference’s gain.  “While David has had a major impact on our mission and ministry here in the New York Annual Conference, we like to think that he returns to Missouri a different person than the one who left Missouri in 2016.  It breaks our hearts to see him go, we send him with our full blessing and best wishes for the renewal of his marriage and the revitalization of the Heartland District in Missouri.”
 
"We are grateful to Bishop Bickerton and the New York Annual Conference for releasing our missionary to come home to Missouri," said Bishop Robert Farr. “As a former developer, I know he has learned valuable lessons in starting and developing new places for new people. We are excited to have him use those skills as
a district superintendent in his hometown.”
 
As he takes his leave, Rev. Gilmore wishes only good things for the clergy and laity of the NYAC.
 
“My prayer is that they find someone—and I’m not saying this to be self-deprecating—who will make folks say, “Wow… and we were wasting our time on David Gilmore all this time,” he says. “That’s what I would like. I pray that the people here understand why I had to leave. And I pray that grace abounds.”
 
About the New York Annual Conference

The New York Annual Conference (NYAC) is a regional unit of United Methodist Church. The conference includes all of Long Island, New York City, Connecticut west of the Connecticut River and an area on both sides of the Hudson River as far west as Walton and as far north as Chatham and North Blenheim. More than 100,000 people belong to the over 430 United Methodist congregations comprise the NYAC.
As the most diverse conference within the United Methodist denomination, members of NYAC churches can trace our ancestry to continents across the globe—North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. NYAC also has significant ethnic constituencies from South America, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Korea and China.