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K. Denise Walton, Pastor

540-972-8808 ext. 102

Karma Denise Walton, born in Chicago, Illinois to Minnie and William Wright, is the mother of two sons, Terry Marquis Walton (Atlanta), and Christopher Dwayne Walton, (daughter, Kayla of Montgomery).

Denise grew up in Columbus, Georgia, graduated from Carver High School, and Columbus State University. Even prior to receiving a call to ordained ministry, all of her employment opportunities have the common denominator of being service and advocacy related. Immediately out of college, she interned at a state prison working with inmates being treated for mental illness. She then worked as a house parent at a transitional living facility for severely mentally ill female patients. In 1994, Denise served as an Ombudsman for nursing home patients advocating for their proper care and treatment. In 1996, Denise became the Program Director at Open Door Community House in Columbus. A parenting program and city-wide case management for homeless women and children were developed under her leadership.

After joining South Columbus United Methodist Church in 1996, Denise responded to the call of ordained ministry. While attending Candler School of Theology at Emory University, she served as the Director of Missions for the Clifton Presbyterian Church.

United Methodist Church Professional Experience

Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries, 06/2013 – 6/2017 South Georgia Conference, St. Simons Island , Georgia I love ministry with clergy and laity. The ministry position of Assistant to Bishop for Connectional Ministries is a combination of two roles in the annual conference. As assistant to the bishop, I serve primarily in the appointment process to assist the bishop and cabinet as appointments are made. As the director of connectional ministries, I am privileged to supervise 10 incredibly talented staff persons two include three clergy and seven laity. Together, we support and encourage the mission of the church and the vision of the annual conference. Some examples are administration of the conference data system, Conference Hispanic Ministries, Discipleship Formation of Children and Youth, Summer Camp Program, Nurture, Witness, Outreach and Advocacy Teams.

District Superintendent, 06/2011 - 06/2013 South Georgia Conference: Dublin District Dublin, Georgia The Dublin District was a unique opportunity of growth and challenge as I served incredible local churches in town and country settings of ministry. The district consisted of 97 congregations and 63 clergy. We focused primarily on teaching and providing support to clergy through a cluster system; lay supply development; monthly local pastor training and support; and district-wide development of local church discipleship plans. It was a joy to journey in ministry and service with clergy and laypersons who loved the United Methodist Church.

Senior Pastor, 06/2009 - 06/2011 South Columbus United Methodist Church, Columbus, Georgia Appointed as senior pastor of 700 member congregation in an urban setting. A well-skilled staff of highly effective leaders comprised the staff and gave energy and insight to effective ministry. There were 84 persons who joined the congregation over a two-year period. Leadership development, administrative oversight of systems, empowering staff and embracing the community were my strongest assets. Two radio programs, a marketing plan, and discipleship plan was developed and executed. Ministry for children and youth developed with parents and volunteers.

Associate Director, 06/2006 - 06/2009 Office of Connectional Ministries, St. Simons Island, Georgia As Associate Director, responsible for a large portfolio to include Secretary of Global Ministries, Safe Sanctuary Training, Ethnic Local Church Concerns, COSROW, The Conference Outreach and Advocacy Committees, Leadership Forum and served as a member of the extended cabinet.

Midway/South Columbus UMC/Wesley Heights/Our House Chaplain, 07/2003 - 06/2006 South Georgia Conference: Columbus District, Columbus, Georgia Upon graduation from seminary, appointed to a four-point charge that consisted of Chaplaincy at Our House (The Methodist Home for Children) and a cross-racial appointment as associate pastor in two congregations (Midway and Wesley Heights). The appointment was adjusted after two years to include one cross-racial appointment (Wesley Heights); South Columbus as associate; Our House Chaplaincy.

As an ordained elder serving in the South Georgia Annual Conference for thirteen years, my ministry has been faithful and fruitful. In all areas of ministry served, there is a transformative sense of appreciation for the lessons gained and shared with God's people. I’ve grown over the years to a greater appreciation of all ministry as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Today, I am completing a Doctorate in Ministry at Boston School of Theology focused on Transformational Leadership. It is my hope to improve leadership skills around my passion: empowering leaders, improving systems of discipleship and transformational engagement of local communities.

 As I begin a new ministry journey with Wilderness Community Church, Virginia Conference, there is both a deep peace and expectant joyful, hope. WCC is an incredible opportunity to engage in mission and ministry with the people of God. Together, we will continue to discern God's will to further build God's kingdom.

In Christ,

Pastor Denise Walton

540.972.8808, ext. 102                                    

Psalm 121   “Our help comes from the Lord.”