Covenant Keepers 2009

O For Grace to Trust God More...

Bishop Gregory V. PalmerKeynote Speaker
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
Resident Bishop, Illinois Area
The United Methodist Church

Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer was assigned as episcopal leader of the Illinois Area of The United Methodist Church Sept. 1, 2008.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., Bishop Palmer is a “child of the church,” the son of the Rev. and Mrs. Herbert E. and Charlotte Sue Hewitt Palmer. Bishop Palmer’s father is a retired United Methodist pastor; his mother (now deceased) was a school teacher in the Philadelphia Public School system. Rev. Herbert Palmer and his wife Peggy reside in Philadelphia.

Bishop Palmer received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and his master’s of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, Durham, N.C. Baldwin-Wallace College, Iowa Wesleyan College and Simpson College have all awarded him honorary degrees.

Ordained a deacon and probationary member in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in 1977, Palmer was ordained an elder in full connection in the East Ohio Conference in 1981.

His pastoral career includes pastorates at Granville-Vance UMC’s and Durham Asbury Temple UMC in North Carolina; East Glennville UMC and Werner UMC in Cleveland, Ohio; James S. Thomas UMC in Canton, Ohio and the United Methodist Church of Berea, Berea, Ohio. Palmer also served as district superintendent of the Youngstown District of the East Ohio Conference.

In 2000, Palmer was elected to the episcopacy by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the Iowa Area where he served until assuming responsibilities in the Illinois Area. Bishop Palmer served the past quadrennium as president of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and is currently president of the Council of Bishops.

Bishop Palmer and his wife of 32 years, Cynthia, are the parents of two grown children.

Mike RaysonWorship Leader
Mike Rayson
Pleasant View, Tenn.

Mike Rayson was born and bred in the Outback…  no, not the steakhouse, the real outback of South Australia.  

After completing his education in tiny rural schools hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of miles from the nearest city, Mike went on to a career in the media.  After hosting number 1 rated radio programs in rural, regional and metropolitan markets and writing many national radio commercial campaigns, he heeded God’s call, and went on to ministry with the Uniting Church of Australia – an amalgamation of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches;, the third largest denomination in the country.

With a passion for music infusing his pastoral ministry, and increasing time away from his churches accepting invitations to preach and sing elsewhere, Mike stepped out of fulltime pastoral ministry in 2000 and started Mike Rayson International Ministries, which is partnered with Compassion International.  The ministry organization runs under a 13 member board of directors, and a constant prayer team that has members spanning 6 countries.

In 2005, Mike and his wife Amy, and their children Sam, Laura and Oliver, heeded God's call on their lives and relocated their ministry to the other side of the world – Pleasant View, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.  He is a regular worship leader and preacher at the Upper Room, and was also invited to minister last year in the world famous Central Methodist Meeting Hall in London, UK.  

He has ministered with such people as Anne Graham Lotz—daughter of legendary Christian Evangelist “Billy Graham”; Rev Dr Len Sweet—author and theologian; and has shared the musical stage with Darlene Zschech—composer of the song ‘Shout To the Lord’.

Good humor, great songs, and most importantly God’s word make up Mike Rayson’s ministry.  Through Mike, Jesus is sure to refresh and revive your soul.

Hotel accommodations

Each person is responsible for their own hotel arrangements. Blocks of rooms have been set aside at the following hotels in Fairview Heights and Collinsville area. Please make reservations by Jan. 9 to receive the special event rate.

  No. available No. available      
Hotel 2/8/09 2/9/09 Rate Amenities Local phone
Our Lady of the Snows 20 75 $59.30 plus tax

Free breakfast,

Free WiFi

Super 8, Collinsville   30 $65 plus tax Free breakfast 618-345-8008

Comfort Suites,    Fairview Heights

  50 $79 plus tax Free breakfast, Pool, Free WiFi 618-394-0202
Super 8, Fairview Heights   50 $59.99 plus tax Free breakfast 618-398-8338

Child care arrangements

Child care arrangements can be made by contacting Cathy Minor at 217-273-5241 or by emailing: Registration deadline for child care is Jan. 28, 2009.



Name Sales End Price
Registration Fee   Ended $20
Monday evening dinner   Ended Free
Three CD set of presentations   Ended $20
Chair massage opportunity   Ended Free
Continuing Education Credit -- 0.5 hours   Ended Free

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