2019 Annual Conference Speakers

Bishop William T. McAlilly

William T. (Bill) McAlilly is the bishop of the Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church. The Area includes the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences that cover middle and western Tennessee and western Kentucky. 

He was elected to the episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2012 and was assigned as the resident bishop of the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences beginning September 1, 2012.

A native of Mississippi, Bishop McAlilly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS (1978) and a Masters of Divinity, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA (1981).

He was ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church in 1979 and ordained elder in 1982. In the spring of 2017, Bishop McAlilly received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Rust College in Holly Springs, MS.

McAlilly has served in a wide variety of ministry settings in Georgia and Mississippi–a small membership church, a new congregation, a county seat church, a newly organized congregation, and a large membership congregation. Likewise, he has served in a variety of roles including youth minister, associate minister, and lead pastor.

In 2006, he was appointed to serve as the District Superintendent of the Seashore District of the Mississippi Conference in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worked closely with Disaster Response and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

He served in many capacities in the Mississippi Annual Conference including the Board of Directors of United Methodist Senior Services, Millsaps College, Mississippi Methodist Foundation; Board of Ordained Ministry; Design Team for the Residency in Ministry Program; and Development of the Transitions Seminar for Moving Pastors. He has been a delegate to four Jurisdictional Conferences and three General Conferences.

For the 2017-2020 quadrennium, Bishop McAlilly currently serves on the Connectional Table as president on the Board of Directors for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). 

He also is Co-Chair of the Endorsing Committee. He also serves on the Council of Bishops’ Leadership Teams on Leadership Development and on Leadership Discernment. In addition, he will serve on the Just Peace Board of Directors for this quadrennium.


Rev. Dr. Davis Chappell

The Rev. Dr. Davis Chappell became senior pastor of Brentwood United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN, in 2013.

Formerly he served as senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville since 2001. He has served in pastoral appointments in the North Georgia Conference for the past 30 years including Redwine UMC in Gainesville, Inman UMC, White UMC and Northbrook UMC. Davis has also served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and on the Board of the United Methodist Children’s Home.

Davis graduated from Martin College in Pulaski, Tennessee, and also from Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee, with degrees in Psychology. He went on to Candler School of Theology on the campus of Emory University, where he received his M.Div. degree. In 2008 he completed his D.Min degree at Perkins School of Theology on the campus of Southern Methodist University. His doctoral work was in the area of evangelism and church renewal. His thesis was about how the mother church is impacted by birthing a new congregation.

Davis is married to the former Sherre Hufman. They have two grown children, Andrew and Hailey.


Rev. Dr. Kennard Murray

The Rev. Dr. Kennard Murray currently serves as the superintendent of the Red River District of the United Methodist Church. Prior to serving on the Episcopal Cabinet, Murray served as senior pastor at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church in Nashville. 

He holds degrees from Garrett Evangelical, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee State University. He is a certified pastoral counselor. He has served in many capacities within the Tennessee Annual Conference, including Board of Trustees for Martin Methodist College. 

Prior to beginning full-time ministry, Murray was employed with the State of Tennessee for 30 years. He retired as the Director of Health Care Facilities for the Department of Health.


Rev. Nancy Parker

Nancy is a creative and energetic pastor in the United Methodist Church and began working at West End UMC in 2010 as an intern, in 2013 as the associate pastor of spiritual formation, and in 2016 appointed to West End as Young Adult Associate Pastor and Pastor and Director of the Wesley Fellowship at Vanderbilt.

She frequently breaks into song and laughter. When she’s not pastorin’ or interviewing people you can find her taking voice classes at the Nashville Jazz Workshop or maybe kayaking down the Harpeth.

Nancy has a Bachelors of Arts in music from Florida State University and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is married to Geoff who works to create young adult ministry resources at The Upper Room.

“I believe the best way to get to know anyone is over coffee or ice cream — so we should do that sometime — my treat!”