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"Because I Could" 

 By Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick





Submission of General Conference Resolutions

 Attention: Pursuant to Paragraph 206.1, page 33 in The CME Discipline, 2014, the deadline for submitting General Conference resolutions is January 31st. However, I refer you to the Discipline, Chapter 59 entitled “Rules and Procedures Of The 2014 General Conference”, Paragraph 1500.7. Matters for Consideration, Section 2, page 317, where it reads “The procedure for consideration of other matters shall be for the roll of the Annual Conferences to be called at which time memorials, resolutions, or proposals endorsed by an Annual Conference delegation may be presented without reading or discussion. Upon presentation, such will be referred to the appropriate Standing Committee.”


 Bishop Thomas Louis Brown, Sr.
Chair, Committee on Resolutions

Dear C.M.E. Family,

            Providentially, God made a way for me to meet a person I wanted to meet after arriving in Texas.  I wanted to meet Bill Hartley, the president of Southside Bank of Tyler.  Stories of the help he had been to Texas College during the episcopal administration of Bishop Marshall Gilmore were legendary.  Talk of those days echoed the poet’s words:  “blacker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp.”

            I had been in the state (as bishop of the Eighth Episcopal District) for a few months before I asked Attorney Clifton Roberson, one of our church members, if he could help me as attorney for our episcopal district or if he could recommend someone else who could.  He suggested an attorney in Tyler he thought I should try.

            Mr. Roberson led me correctly.  At the end of one of the visits to that attorney’s office, when our business was over, he leaned back and said he wanted to ask me to do something for him.  He began his words with, “Bill Hartley is my father-in-law ….”  We had never mentioned Mr. Hartley before, and he was asking me, as chair of the Texas College Trustee Board, to give Mr. Hartley a call (!).  So … that was the day the attorney made a call and then I made a first visit to Mr. and Mrs. Hartley’s home.  Providential!

            I believe it was a second visit (though it might have been the first) when Mr. Hartley and I were talking about his love for Texas College and his friendship with Bishop Gilmore that I asked him why, in the darkest days, when accreditation was gone and future bleak, he continued to loan money to the college.  He looked at me, and, with a southerner’s accent that emphasized each word, said, “Because I could.”

            Texas College remembered both Mr. Hartley and Bishop Gilmore in October 2017 by naming its newly constructed dormitory the Gilmore-Hartley Hall.  It says a great deal about the leadership of Bishop Gilmore, Bishop Ronald Cunningham, and Bishop Henry Williamson as chairs of the Board of Trustees for the periods 1994-2014 that construction on a new dormitory was completely planned (architectural plans and financial provisions) before I arrived in 2014.  It also speaks commendably of the administration of President Dwight J. Fennell for the past 10 years.

            I don’t know when you will read this, but I am writing it on June 1, 2018 – the morning of Mr. Hartley’s funeral.  I will travel to Tyler today to represent the Trustee Board, the College, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church at the service.  His words still echo:  “Because I could.”  What are you doing to make a difference because you are one of those who can?  His courage will live through “generations following.”



                                                                                    + Lawrence L. Reddick III

The Committee on Resolutions is appointed by the College of Bishops in accordance with ¶206 of THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE, REVISED 2014. The following are pertinent paragraphs from THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE, REVISED 2014, PAGES 32-33:

¶206. There shall be a Committee on Resolutions appointed by the College of Bishops. Each Bishop shall appoint one member to the Resolutions Committee by September 1 of the year preceding the General Conference. The Presiding Bishop of the District shall publish the name of the committee member throughout the District.

¶206.1. All resolutions, memorials, and other materials contemplated for presentation to the General Conference shall be sent to the appropriate Episcopal District Resolutions Committee member on or before January 31 of the year of the General Conference.

¶206.2. Resolutions mailed, sent or given to the Episcopal District representative shall be examined by him or her to ascertain if they meet the requirements for proposed legislation (cf. ¶1500.7, §4). All resolutions requiring changes in the wording and/or legal meanings of provisions in the Discipline shall state the paragraph, section, page and language to be changed and the language to be substituted. In addition to the requirements referenced, resolutions shall not contain more than three preamble paragraphs. If the resolutions do not meet the requirements, they shall be returned for corrections.


In addition to these paragraphs from The Book of Discipline, Revised 2014, the College of Bishops has agreed upon the following regulations for the sake of uniformity:


Resolutions should be submitted in writing.

Hard copies given to, mailed or emailed to the Episcopal District Representative should be typed in 12-point font, only on one side of the paper. Multiple pages should be stapled together.
Resolutions submitted via email should be sent as an attachment in Word document format.
The submitter of the resolution must type his/her name, address, telephone, email and local church information on each page of the resolution.
Resolutions submitted on behalf of groups and organizations should clearly state this information and include one name as the point of contact.

All resolutions requiring changes in the wording and/or legal meanings of the provisions in the Discipline shall state the paragraph, section, page and language to be changed and the language to be substituted.
Resolutions shall not contain more than three preamble paragraphs.
Resolutions not meeting the above requirements will be returned for corrections. Corrected resolutions must be returned in time to meet the January 31, 2018 deadline.

 Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton

Secretary of The College of Bishops

September 1, 2017