Bishop Karen P. Oliveto has announced her intention to appoint the Reverend Jeff Rainwater as the new Superintendent for Congregational and Community Vitality for the Mountain Sky Conference, effective July 1, 2020. Rainwater is currently serving as the superintendent of the Wyoming District and Dean of the Cabinet. Serving a district that was shared by two annual conferences, Rainwater was also instrumental in the Mission Shaped Future process that brought together legacy Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain together.
Bishop Oliveto said, "Jeff has been a great catalyst for bold and creative ministry, both at the cabinet table, in his own district, and across the conference. He isn't afraid of the things that feel impossible. He’ll work and discern to discover ways to make them happen. Our congregations will be blessed by the commitment he has to helping churches create and grow ministries that matter."
Rainwater said, "I am excited to continue the tremendous work of the three inspired leaders who coordinated our conference’s efforts for church vitality and new faith communities before me: Michael Smith, Jeremy Scott, and Skip Strickland. It will be an honor to join an excellent group of clergy and lay leaders across our conference – congregational vitality committee, community engagement committee, congregational resource ministers, and cabinet among them – to resource our local congregations and continue to plant new faith communities across our wide region."
Rainwater has served as Wyoming District Superintendent since 2015. Before joining the cabinet, he served at First United Methodist Church in Laramie, WY for seven years with his spouse, the Rev. Laura Easter Rainwater. The Rainwaters transferred to the legacy Rocky Mountain Conference in 2004 and Jeff served Center and Saguache United Methodist churches in Colorado, while Laura served Sargent and Mosca. He graduated from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC in 2002 and was ordained an elder in the Arkansas Conference of The United Methodist Church in 2004. In the Arkansas Conference, he served as Associate Pastor of two large churches in El Dorado and Paragould Arkansas.
Jeff, Laura – who will be appointed as Executive Pastor at Park Hill UMC in Denver – and their daughter, Emma, look forward to experiencing Denver life and maybe even a Broncos game. And traveling across our conference, Jeff still looks forward to visiting the wide open spaces of our vast Mountain Sky geography.
Please pray for the Rainwater family in this time of transition.
Appointments will be finalized at the Annual Conference Session. A list of appointments, assignments and current church openings is available on the Mountain Sky Conference website.