Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Annual Conference 2019 to feature Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker


Amy Valdez Barker
The guest speaker for the 2019 Oklahoma Annual Conference takes the conference theme “Living Hope” to heart. From serving on global boards of the United Methodist Church as a teenager to helping congregations develop data-driven strategies for engaging with their communities, Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker has spent more than a decade helping churches connect to the people around them.

Valdez Barker is the executive director for the Global Mission Connections Unit of Global Ministries, the mission agency of The United Methodist Church. She leads a team of 40 staff who are responsible for developing, strengthening and enhancing relationships with partners who are seeking to change their communities through missions.

She has extensive experience on the connectional level of the church. Between 2010 and 2017, she worked for the Connectional Table, a program and policy coordinating agency, and she served as their top executive for four years.

Valdez Barker began volunteering in the United Methodist Church at a young age. She served as a member of the World Methodist Council Executive Committee when she was 15 years old, and as the WMC Youth Committee chairperson, she brought the first International Methodist Young Leaders Seminar (IMYLS) to London, England. Later, she spoke as an alumni and founding member of the gathering in Houston in 2015. She also served as a Board member of four General Agencies (GCORR, GCFA, GBCS and GCOM) between 1987 and 2003.

Her deep passion and love for the local church and the global connection is made evident in her work through the church. As a member of the Call to Action team in 2010, she caught the vision of using data to help local churches discover their own unique opportunities for engaging with the community around them. She joined the team that focused on increasing Vital Congregations throughout the denomination. She also helped bring strategic focus amongst annual conferences that were engaging in innovative and adaptive experiments for ministry.

Most recently, Valdez Barker wrote a book with Abingdon, called “Trust By Design: The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture.” The book takes the Towers Watson Research about the denomination’s lack of trust and exploring ways in which the church needs to rebuild trust both within and beyond church relationships.

During the Oklahoma Annual Conference, Valdez Barker will introduce “Two Hundred Years of Methodists in Mission” on Tuesday, May 28 at 11:00 a.m. in the OCU Freede Center. That afternoon, she will share “Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow: God’s Movement through Methodist Missions” during learning times in the Angie Smith Chapel at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. She will also share how churches can engage in local missions on Wednesday, May 29 at 6:45 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall at OKC-Wesley during a Missions breakfast. Tickets are available through registration at www.okumc.org/annual_conference.


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