Register NOW for Annual Conference

Registration Now Open forAnnual Conference 2017!

  • Registration is now open at and will continue through June 2.
  • The website includes a downloadable, printable registration form for those who wish to register by mail. The form also will be mailed to all clergy and lay members of Annual Conference.
  • The 2017 Pre-Conference Journal is now available for free download; print copies may be purchased as part of the registration process or on-site upon arrival at Annual Conference. 

Things to Know

  • Lodging – download a complete list of available Hot Springs hotels.
  • Special events and meetings, as well as lodging information, reports, child care opportunities, and more, are all included in the Pre-Conference Journal.  To view an updated list of special events, click here.


  • May 19 – last day to apply for display space. Download the vendor application packet.
  • June 2 – last day to register online.  Please note:  All members of the annual conference, laity or clergy, active or retired, who register after June 2 will be charged a $50 late registration fee.


Traffic Information

  • There is an ongoing construction project widening Highway 70 between Hot Springs and Interstate 30 in Benton, resulting in considerable delays.  We highly recommend that you consider an alternate route to the convention center to avoid traffic delays.  For further details and alternate routes, click here.

Child Care

  • First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs and Camp Tanako will be hosting child care for the 2017 Arkansas Annual Conference, June 18-21.  All childcare is available at no cost to you, during Annual Conference, if you register your child(ren) by June 1, 2017. After June 1, all late registrants will pay $10 per hour per child.
  • *Children MUST be registered no later than June 15 to receive care (no walk-ins, please), so that adequate workers are scheduled and supplies are purchased for the well-being and safety of the children. Please remember, those who register after June 1, however, will pay by the hour.
    • *DAYTIME Childcare for children ages 8 months – 5 years on Monday – Wednesday will be held at The Hot Springs Hotel (connected to the Convention Center) in a conference room on the 2nd floor.
    • *DAYTIME care for completed Kindergarten – 6th grade will be held at Camp Tanako! Check-in each morning at 7:50 am at The Hot Springs Hotel on Monday –Wednesday to ride the church vans out to Camp Tanako. Vans will bring the kids back to the hotel each afternoon at 5:15 pm
  • IMPORTANT: ALL ELEMENTARY children MUST register online DIRECTLY with Camp Tanako to participate in Annual Conference day time care. The link for Camp Tanako is below.  If your ELEMENTARY child will participate in night time care @ FUMC Hot Springs, complete this form and check the appropriate boxes below. 
    • *Sunday, June 18 & ALL NIGHT TIME childcare during Annual Conference will be offered @ First United Methodist Church (Hot Springs) in the Christian Life Center: 218 Pratt Street for ages 8 months. – 12 years old.
  • For questions regarding AC child care, please contact Michelle Wilkins, Children’s Minister @ First United Methodist Church in Hot Springs: or (501) 318-3977
  • For questions regarding Day Camp @ Camp Tanako, contact any of the staff at Camp Tanako, or Kim Carter, Camp Director @ 501-262-2600.
  • The code for parents to enter during the checkout process is ARCONFERENCE17. 

Our Guest Preacher and Featured Speakers

Bishop Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference, will serve as guest preacher for the 2017 Arkansas Annual Conference opening worship service, set for Sunday, June 18. Annual Conference worship is open to all who wish to attend.
Holston served as senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church Atlanta for seven years before his 2012 election to the episcopacy. He previously served as superintendent of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District from 1997-2005. He earned his Master of Divinity in biblical studies from The Interdenominational Theological Center, Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, in 1983, and also holds a Bachelor of Arts in religion from the University of Georgia in Athens.

Alongside our own Bishop Gary Mueller, he serves on the executive committee of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, and also on the strategy team for the denomination’s Four Areas of Focus (engaging in ministry with the poor, improving global health, developing principled Christian leaders and creating new and renewed congregations).

His love for missions has taken him around the world and gained him the recognition before his election as a mission specialist in the North Georgia Conference Council of Ministries. In his work as conference disaster relief coordinator, Holston served on the United Methodist Committee on Relief, on the Catastrophic Disaster Response Team and as the Church World Service disaster consultant in Georgia. He has traveled extensively as a specialist in missions to Uganda, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Kenya, India, China and Hong Kong.

Hundreds of United Methodists in Arkansas will remember Kay Kotan as the keynote speaker for April 2016’s Grow By One Summit sponsored by the Arkansas Conference Center for Vitality. Kotan will return to Arkansas for the 2017 Annual Conference to teach more United Methodists about sharing their faith with others.

A layperson from Missouri, Kotan is a credentialed coach, church consultant, speaker and author. She has co-authored a number of books with Bishop Bob Farr of Missouri, including Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships, and 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church. Her latest book, Gear Up!: Nine Essential Processes for the Optimized Church, is now available.

The Rev. Dr. Kevin Watson will help Annual Conference attendees learn how to use Wesleyan small groups to grow deeper in discipleship. An ordained elder in the Oklahoma Conference, he currently serves as assistant professor of Wesleyan and Methodist studies at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He also taught at Seattle Pacific University from 2011-2014. A trained church historian, Watson completed his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and his M.Div. at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He believes that many key insights of the first Methodists remain relevant today, so his writing for the church focuses on helping contemporary Christians reclaim the best beliefs and practices of Wesleyan Christianity.

His books include Pursuing Social Holiness: The Band Meeting in Wesley’s Thought and Popular Methodist PracticeThe Class Meeting: Reclaiming a Forgotten (and Essential) Small Group Experience; and A Blueprint for Discipleship: Wesley’s General Rules as a Guide for Christian Living. To get a preview of some of his favorite topics related to Christian formation and discipleship, visit his blog,

The Rev. Dr. Clif Christopher, a retired elder in the Arkansas Conference, is recognized across the denomination for his work in Christian stewardship. At the 2017 Arkansas Annual Conference, he will talk about the power of personal stewardship for disciples of Jesus Christ.
A certified church growth consultant, he has earned the title CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).  In 1995, he was given the National Circuit Rider Award by the United Methodist Church for outstanding leadership in developing vital congregations.
Christopher is president and founder of Horizons Stewardship, which under his leadership has helped secure several billion dollars for churches.  He has personally worked in over 42 states and is a frequent speaker at stewardship seminars around the country.  His multiple books dealing with generosity and giving include Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial StewardshipThe Church Money Manual: Best Practices for Finance and Stewardship; and Rich Church, Poor Church: Keys to Effective Financial Ministry.

The Rev. J.J. Whitney directs religious life as Chaplain of Hendrix College. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hendrix College with a Bachelor of Arts and also received a Master of Divinity Degree from Boston University School of Theology, with a concentration in Pastoral Care in Campus Ministry. 
Since her graduation, she has served Hunter United Methodist Church in Little Rock as pastor in a cross-racial appointment to an African-American Church.  Whitney joined Hendrix College in 2002, as the Program Coordinator for the Hendrix-Lily Vocations Initiative. She became Assistant Chaplain to the College in 2005, Associate Chaplain in 2013, and was promoted to Chaplain in 2015.

Since 2014, in addition to her duties at Hendrix College, Whitney has been a member of the Extended Cabinet of the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  She serves as Convener for the 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger, the initiative to bring down the number of hungry children in the state of Arkansas by partnering with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and Arkansas United Methodist Churches.