Bishop Laurie Haller has announced her intention to appoint Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon as the next senior pastor at First United Methodist Church (UMC), Iowa City, beginning on July 1, 2022.
Rev. Dr. Jeon grew up in South Korea and moved to California as an international student. He attended the San Francisco Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Claremont Graduate University, where he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy of religion.
While he and his spouse, Anne, were planning to return to Korea to teach, Jeon says it was by divine intervention that the Iowa Conference called him in 2007 to serve in Corning, Iowa. It was the first time they lived in a rural community, and they fell in love with the church, community, and Iowa Conference.
Jeon was appointed to First United Methodist Church in Iowa City as an associate in 2012 and, later, to Mt. Vernon UMC as the lead pastor in 2015, serving for one year.
Since 2016, he has served on the Appointive Cabinet and is currently the District Superintendent of the Riverview Park District.
Reflecting on the past six years, Bishop Laurie Haller said, “It has been a joy to be a partner in ministry with Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon over the past six years. Not only is Rev. Dr. Jeon a scholar and theologian, but he has a pastor’s heart. He has worked tirelessly to support the clergy and congregations in his district, encouraging them to reach out into their communities through vital mission and outreach.”
“I have been blessed and honored to serve on the Appointive Cabinet as a district superintendent in the Riverview Park District for the last six years. I am so grateful to Bishop Laurie Haller and the Cabinet for their ceaseless support and collegiality,” said Jeon. “I have enjoyed all the ministries in partnership with the gifted district lay, and clergy members and communities [as we] live out our shared mission…So, thank you, the Iowa Conference, for your support and partnership in this connectional ministry. With equal excitement and fervor, I am also looking forward to working with the people of Iowa City First United Methodist Church to make disciples for changing lives, nurturing leaders, and transforming the world, and to expand God’s hope made real in our communities in such a time as this.”
Bishop Laurie Haller is also pleased to announce her intention to appoint Rev. Dr. Michel Lundula onto the Cabinet serving the Camp Clear Lake District.
“Rev. Dr. Michel Lundula is a pastor, scholar, teacher, and humble disciple of Jesus Christ. Having received his education at United Methodist-related Africa University in Zimbabwe and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, Rev. Dr. Lundula has served four local churches in Iowa, led mission trips to Africa, and serves as a General Conference translator (English-French),” said Bishop Laurie Haller. “Most of all, Rev. Dr. Lundula is a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, and pastoral presence who meets people where they are at invites others into relationship with Jesus, and has a passion for discipleship, outreach, and evangelism.”
Lundula’s wife, Berth, is a licensed local pastor at Meadow Star and Pierson in the Camp Clear Lake District. They have four children, John, Nancy, Benjamin, and Lucie.”
“I am so thankful to God for this calling, and Bishop Laurie Haller and the Appointive Cabinet for the opportunity to serve the church as the superintendent of the Camp Clear Lake District. God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good. To God be the glory,” said Rev. Dr. Lundula.
Rev. Ron Carlson will relocate from the Camp Clear Lake District to the Riverview Park District and serve out his term on the Appointive Cabinet in central Iowa.
“After four years in the Northwest and the Camp Clear Lake District, I look forward to continuing my ministry in the River View Park District,” said Carlson. “The folks of the Camp Clear Lake District have welcomed Beth and me into their lives, and we will always be grateful for their love and patience. We are sure that the experience will be just as good in the new district.”
Bishop Laurie Haller said that the Iowa Annual Conference is blessed with excellent clergy and lay leadership, as we fulfill our vision to be God’s hope for the world made real through faithful leaders, fruitful communities, and fire-filled people.