Methodist leaders to give baccalaureate, commencement addresses

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, episcopal leader of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be the speaker for LaGrange College’s 2018 Commencement ceremonies May 19 in the Residential Quad.

The Rev. Susan Gary Landry, LaGrange district superintendent, will deliver the baccalaureate address at 5 p.m. May 18 at First United Methodist Church of LaGrange.

“We are so honored to have Bishop Sue and Rev. Landry join us for our commencement activities,” said President Dan McAlexander. “LaGrange College is proud and committed to our affiliation with the United Methodist Church, and I’m sure these two tremendous women will have meaningful things to share with our students.”

Affectionately called “Bishop Sue,” Haupert-Johnson was born in Lake Wales, Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of Florida, as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

After graduating summa cum laude from Candler, she was ordained a deacon in the Florida Annual Conference in 1996 and an elder in 1998. She subsequently served pastoral appointments as an associate pastor at First UMC in Lakeland; pastor of Hillsborough UMC in Tampa and lead pastor of First UMC in Cape Coral and First UMC in Ocala. 

Bishop Haupert-Johnson served as the North Central District Superintendent of the Florida Annual Conference from 2013-2016.

As district superintendent, she guided a diverse area of large and small churches; urban, suburban and rural churches; African-American, Haitian and Hispanic congregations; a Native American ministry; a large camp and retreat center; and a campus ministry. She was the “missional strategist” for the region, equipping and resourcing churches for ministry and helping them work together.

She served for six years as the chair of the Order of Elders. She served on the conference strategic leadership team and the conference board of pension and health benefits. She chaired the conference standing rules committee and the resolutions committee. She served on the board of ordained ministry for nine years and helped shape the development of the Center for Clergy Excellence.

Bishop Haupert-Johnson was the Florida Conference’s clergy delegation leader for 2016 General Conference. She has represented the Florida Conference at the quadrennial United Methodist Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference four times and the United Methodist General Conference in 2008, 2012 and 2016. She also was chairperson of the judicial administration legislative committee at the 2012 General Conference.

She was elected bishop by the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church and consecrated July 15, 2016. Her first assignment as bishop is to the North Georgia Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, and she began service in North Georgia on Sept. 1, 2016.

She serves as the chair of the alumni board of Candler School of Theology at Emory University and on the board of trustees of Bethune Cookman University.

Bishop Haupert-Johnson is married to the Rev. Allen Johnson. They live in Atlanta with their daughter, Samantha.

The Rev. Susan Landry, the daughter of a Methodist minister, grew up in Decatur. Majoring in psychology and music, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Emory University. There, she received her call to pastoral ministry and continued her education at the Candler School of Theology, where she received her Master of Divinity in 1987.

Following a year’s residency at Grady Memorial Hospital, the Rev. Landry began her appointive ministry in the North Georgia Conference in 1989, serving as an associate pastor for the first 14 years in ministry, and for the last 14 years as a senior pastor at three churches in the North Georgia Conference.

She is married to Louis Landry, a native of Jennings, Louisiana, and engineer with CBRE Inc. They have four children and three grandchildren.

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