, United Methodist Senior Pastor at Mt Bethel UMC in East Cobb, Georgia
Steven Usry, an United Methodist pastor from Duluth, Minnesota was appointed this spring to be senior pastor at Mt. Bethel UMC in East Cobb Georgia – moving from Sugarloaf UMC.
Usry followed an expected path in his civil-service career, culminating in Fort Huachuca as the lead civilian for the Army’s Information Systems Engineering Command. His tireless dedication earned him great respect from his colleagues.
Early Life and Education
James Leroy Usry became Atlantic City’s inaugural African American mayor in 1984 and pledged to overhaul its notoriously corrupt government. Under his tenure, major capital improvements including a new sewage treatment plant and Boardwalk repairs took place.
According to UM News, Mt. Bethel UMC is disallowing Reverend Steven Usry the opportunity to lead its church after being appointed by Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson. Their actions run counter to United Methodist Book of Discipline which gives bishops sole authority in selecting senior pastors.
Steve leaves behind his wife Charlotte of Powderly; son and daughter-in-law Stephen and Leslie Hewitt Cannon of Paris; sister Carol Hanks (Delbert) Hanks from Idabel; nieces, nephews, and cousins. Music was an immense passion of Steve’s; especially Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Cradle of Filth and Avenged Sevenfold were some of his favorites.
Steven Usry has earned many medals during his 30-year service to the US military and intelligence community, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for his exceptional efforts around the globe.
Usry created KSTK Enterprises, LLC after his retirement from the CIA to offer consulting services in national security and other strategic areas. He serves on the boards of New North Ventures and Semantic AI.
Usry maintains that Haupert-Johnson failed to follow the denomination’s consultative process when she seized assets from Mt. Bethel, which she claims she did out of love for the church and its mission. Usry counters by asserting that using attorneys and the courts to seize assets from Mt. Bethel is no way to demonstrate her devotion, nor breach his duty to advise Popes of payments made directly or through them; these transactions had already been disclosed via HUD-1s signed by both parties involved parties involved voluntarily disclosed on HUD-1s signed by both parties involved parties voluntarily disclosed in HUD-1s signed by both parties prior to this dispute starting out of court battle over Mt. Bethel assets being sequence by Haupert-Johnson to Mt. Bethel being given away has Usry has maintained his position regarding Haupert-Johnson enforcing them from Mt. Bethel assets being sequence by Haupert-Johnson, claiming she did it due to her love for church mission as per mission statement, however lawyers and courts are unwise methods by her to show her love enlisting attorneys and courts as proof. Additionally he denies breach of duty regarding payments made towards Blaise Staggs which were disclosed on HUD-1 forms signed by both parties on record and both parties signoff from those payments made allegedly breaching his duty regarding Blaise Staggs payments made that were disclosed on HUD-1 signed off from them and not informing both parties on HUD-1 signed HUD-1 disclosure which were disclosed on HUD-1 signed HUD-1s signed offending parties and usry himself and Staggs made known on HUD-1 payments to advise Popes regarding payments disclosed HUD-1 disclosure from both parties to advise the Popes as required in accordance with both parties separately signed HUD-1s both parties included both parties’ disclosed HUD-1s by both parties and Staggs on this latters.
Achievement and Honors
Usry attempted to implement a program of internal reform and civic improvement during his two-year term as mayor, yet he often found himself trapped by the same petty politics that have made Atlantic City notorious.
Usry earned numerous US military and NATO medals during his service, as well as the OSS Society William J. Donovan Award and National Defense Industrial Association’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Award, in addition to Princeton University’s Madison Medal.
Although meeting with Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson on Tuesday, many church members remain dissatisfied with how the church is treating Usry. According to United Methodist Book of Discipline, only bishops may appoint senior pastors, however church leaders insist they are acting within the scope of charter and bylaws.
Usry worked for ISEC for 33 years under four different commanders – each one having his own distinct leadership style – yet was able to remain consistently effective due to his management skills and adaptability in meeting each commander’s philosophies. His consistent performance attests to this fact.
His accomplishments included overseeing the development of information systems support, designing solutions for 830 new facilities worldwide (including Southwest Asia) as well as helping relocate headquarters and major facility projects.
Davidson reports that Usry, currently senior pastor of Sugarloaf United Methodist Church in Duluth, Georgia will replace Ray at Mt. Bethel in East Cobb. Davidson estimates 70 clergy have been reassigned by the Conference this time around – which is much lower than usual given that its 800 churches and over 340,000 members constitute such a massive organization.
Usry was embroiled in a controversy over his appointment, amid accusations he was seeking to “take over” Mt. Bethel UMC in East Cobb – known for being more conservative and traditional than other Methodist churches – with accusations that he attempted to “take control” of it through reassignments that led to Ray filing a formal complaint with Usry’s aide discussing it two videotaped conversations posted online by the conference website. Ray objected strongly against these reassignments; objected strongly opposed and lodged a formal objection with Usry concerning these allegations via two videotaped conversations aired online by conference website administrators about these allegations regarding Usry’s appointment that involved videotaped conversations recorded between Usry’s aide discussed them through videotaped dialogues posted online by conference officials, showing both men discussing these incidents in two videotaped dialogues posted online with conference administrators discussing this matter on conference website.
Even amid their conflict, Usry has not left his church and continues serving as pastor. Additionally, he has not requested disaffiliation from United Methodist denomination, as that process requires approval by church membership. Bill’s family are deeply grieved by his passing, so please keep them in your thoughts.