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Thornton named Chancellor for United Methodist Church

ATHENS – Local attorney and City of LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton was named Conference Chancellor for the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church at a ceremony on Tuesday, during the opening session of the 2017 Annual Conference in Athens, Georgia.

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson thanked outgoing Chancellor Tom Cook for his 22 years of service in this role and welcomed Thornton to the position.  The Conference Chancellor in the United Methodist Church is the attorney for the Bishop and the Annual Conference.  The church’s Book of Discipline requires each annual conference to designate a Chancellor who must be a church member in the annual conference area who is a licensed attorney.

“I am honored to have been asked to serve our church in this capacity,” Thornton said. “For a Methodist who happens to be a practicing attorney, serving as Chancellor for the Annual Conference is a unique opportunity to serve the church.”

Thornton has been an active member of LaGrange First United Methodist Church his entire life, has served in numerous roles at the local, district, and conference level, and most recently served four years on the Conference Board of Trustees.  In addition to his church service, Thornton maintains a law practice in LaGrange and is the Mayor of LaGrange.

“This is a tremendous honor for Jim and a wonderful recognition for our church family,” said the Rev. Dr. Brian Germano, Senior Pastor at LaGrange First.

The eleven million member United Methodist Church is divided into annual conference areas.  The North Georgia Annual Conference includes over 800 churches with approximately 360,000 church members and covers all of Georgia north of a line from approximately LaGrange to Augusta.  It is the largest annual conference area in the United Methodist Church by church membership.