The Rev. Jimmy Barnes and the Rev. Bobby Wilson traveled to Durban, South Africa, for the World Methodist Conference, held Aug. 4-8.
Every five years the conference celebrates the shared history and mission of denominations like the United Methodist Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
"It was a lifetime experience to witness this broad commitment to spreading the gospel," said Wilson, presiding elder for the Olive Branch-Sardis District of the CME Church. Wilson and Barnes traveled separately, but they participated in many of the same activities, like touring the African countryside and visiting Zulu villages.
They also helped package more than 100,000 meals to be distributed to the poor.
According to Barnes, superintendent for the Tupelo District of the United Methodist Church, daily work sessions covered topics like ecumenism and missions, but attendees mostly focused on how churches that worship under the flag of Methodism can cooperate to relieve the suffering of the poor.
The World Methodist Council, which sponsored the conference, links 70 million faithful in 132 countries.
LEARN MORE about the United Methodist Church in Northeast Mississippi during a resource day Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo.
SPEAKERS will cover a range of topics including Methodist polity and identity, the apportionment system and older adults ministry. The event is free and registration starts at 2 p.m. For more information, call (662) 842-8477.