Conference Trustees

The Eastern PA Conference Board of Trustees (United Methodist Book of Discipline, ¶2512,1-8) oversees all properties of the Conference, including the Conference Office, the Bishop’s residence, all the District Offices and parsonages,  and all the Camp & Retreat Centers. Its purview includes protection and preservation of church property and maintaining insurance coverage for all real estate and vehicles.

The board’s joint Employee/Management Safety Committee seeks to maintain the quality of life of conference employees by providing work places free from recognized and controllable hazards. Trustees also care for Workers’ Compensation concerns.

Because of the UMC’s Trust Clause–which makes church buildings property of their annual conference, held in trust for use by the congregation–when a church closes (rather than merges with another church) the Conference Trustees typically are charged with selling the church buildings and land. They have little relationship with local church trustees, save for offering occasional information, advice and training, but not any financial assistance. Local church trustees deal directly with the conference’s insurance brokers to have their insurance claims expedited.

The elected officers of the Eastern PA Conference Board of Trustees are: William Thresher, President; James Cooksey, Vice-President; and Sandra Wolfe, Secretary. The Conference Treasurer and Conference Legal Counsel (Robert Shoemaker) both serve in those roles for the Trustees as well. These five persons serve as the board’s Executive Committee. Trustee Board meetings are on first Fridays monthly, from September through June.

Eastern PA Conference Board of Trustees

President: Mr. William Thresher,

Armed Intruder Incident Preparedness

Safety and security at your organization

In the wake of recent violent events, many of you may be looking for information to help make your facilities safer. At Church Mutual, your safety is our concern as well. That’s why we want to share our safety and security resources with you.

Armed intruder webinar series

We’ve partnered with ALICE and Firestorm, leaders in their industries, to present a three-part webinar series. These webinars will show you how to spot behavioral warning signs, what to do when faced with an armed intruder and how to communicate with your organization and the public should an event occur.

View the armed intruder webinar series here.

Experts discuss security and concealed carry

In addition to offering our webinar series, we also partnered with AG Financial to bring you an eye-opening round table discussion about armed security, concealed carry weapons and what legal liability a religious organization has to protect its congregation.

View the security and concealed carry video here.

Additional safety and security resources

We also offer a wealth of additional resources to help organizations stay safe. Information about prevention and emergency response planning is available at under “Trending Topics.” Here are quick links to relevant content.

As you focus on safety and security for your people and facilities, please consider Church Mutual a valuable resource.

Click here for a newsletter of this information.

Resources, Partners, and Tips to Help Keep Your House of Worship, Office, or Community Center Safe

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) sent this bulletin at 11/08/2017 10:30 AM EST

Safeguarding Houses of Worship

We are receiving inquiries about training available to help churches protect themselves from armed intruder incidents. The Communications Office has no information about upcoming training opportunities at this time. However, while actual training is strongly advised, online information resources can also help churches address this concern. A number of such resources are available from the departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ), the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and other credible sources.

Check out Resources, Partners, and Tips to Help Keep Your House of Worship… SafeResources to Protect Your House of Worship and Security for Houses of Worship. Also, the UMC’s Illinois Great Rivers Conference website offers Helping to Make a Safe Church. We will post this and more information on the Safe Sanctuaries webpage of the Conference website next week.

An insurance e-book resource for congregations from UMI

United Methodist Insurance (UMI), the insurance company for the denomination’s local churches, provides a free, easy-to-use resource for local churches that briefly explains insurance concepts to be considered when reviewing church insurance policies.  UMI is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of the UMC’s General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA)

The Safety and Insurance Handbook for Churches is the newly released e-book that explains property and liability insurance in clear language and assists church leaders in protecting church assets by having adequate insurance.

The booklet, which takes a deep dive into types of insurance that every local United Methodist church should have to be adequately protected covers the topics of:

  • Property
  • General Liability
  • Directors’ and Officers’ Liability/Employment Practices Liability
  • Auto, including Hired and Non-owned
  • Workers’ Compensation and Employer’s Liability
  • Excess/Umbrella Liability
  • Commercial Crime
  • Travel Accident and Sickness

The e-book is designed for church leaders to refer to when making decisions about property and casualty insurance and risk management. Each chapter addresses common scenarios that a local church might face and offers tips for dealing with or preparing for them.  The index of key words is an easy access to sections that apply to insurance issues. The ebook contains a glossary for definitions of common terms and checklists that can help a local church increase safety.

To receive the free ebook, click here.  

“United Methodist Insurance’s only mission is protecting the property and ministries of The United Methodist Church. Its programs are specially designed to provide adequate insurance protection to our churches, annual conferences and agencies as outlined in The Book of Discipline. United Methodist Insurance is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church.”