This Month in SEC History: April 1966

Listen to this Post via Text-to-Speech Narration

by Mike Stroud

The Southeast Conference first came together for an annual meeting on April 23 and 24, 1966 at the now-defunct First Evangelical and Reformed Church (UCC) in Nashville. It was there that a constitution was adopted and the first officers were elected to service.

The first set of officers and commission chairpersons for the Board of Directors were these: the Rev. Frederick A. Meyer, moderator; J. Hubert Richter, vice-moderator; Dora C. Brackin, recording secretary; Leslie Beall, treasurer; the Rev. John T. Enwright, member-at-large; the Rev. R. Hugh Lasseter, Church Extension chair; the Rev. Robert W. Hendrix, Christian Education and Youth Work chair; the Rev. Edward M. Brown, Christian Social Action chair; the Rev. W. Raymond Berry, Church and Ministry chair; the Rev. L. Floyd Carmack, Evangelism chair; the Rev. Arnold Slater, Institutions and Ministries chair; the Rev. Jesse H. Dollar, Our Christian World Mission chair; Freda D. Brown, Lay Life and Work chair.

Also elected was an executive, or Conference Minister, for the organization. The Rev. William J. Andes, pastor of the Community Church of Elon College (now Elon), North Carolina, received the call to come to the new Southeast Conference. Andes was from a “Christian Connection” family in Virginia and had extensive leadership experience in the old Southern Convention of Congregational Christian Churches. He would go on to lead the SEC for its first 14 years, retiring in 1980.

Symbolizing the union of one body with portions of two others was the fact that three of Nashville’s pastors officiated at the closing worship service on Sunday. The host pastor, the Rev. John Roemer, was joined by the Rev. John Anderson, pastor of Brookmeade Congregational Church (which had belonged to the Southeast Convention of Congregational Christian Churches), and the Rev. Willie Jamerson, pastor of Howard Congregational Church (which had belonged to the Convention of the South of Congregational Christian Churches).

One other noteworthy item of business was the approval of amending the Southeast Convention’s charter to reflect the new name, “Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ.” That occurred by the act of the Secretary of State of Georgia in July of that year. To this day, the Conference still operates under its original 1950 charter.