United Methodist Church announces new appointments

Three of the top membership churches in the Chattanooga District of the United Methodist Church's Holston Annual Conference received new senior pastors at this week's regional denominational gathering at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Dr. Douglas Fairbanks, a native of Chattanooga, was appointed to lead 2,535-member First-Centenary UMC. He becomes the first area native to lead the merged church, which was formed in 1967 by combining the downtown First and Centenary congregations.

The Rev. Rowland Buck, who served as associate pastor of Christ UMC from 1990 to 1995, was appointed to serve 1,558-member Burks UMC.

The Rev. Reed Shell, who had been serving as senior pastor of Broad Street UMC in Cleveland, and the Rev. Randy Martin, who had been serving at Hixson UMC, meanwhile, swapped pulpits.