1. Plan of Representation
1503. The General Conference shall be composed of voting and nonvoting members as follows:
- (1) The voting members shall consist of an equal number of ordained ministers and lay members of The Wesleyan Church (325):
- (a) The district superintendent of each district and developing district and a lay delegate elected at the same time and in the same manner as the other delegates (1512-1526).
- (b) One ministerial and one lay delegate elected by an established district for every seven hundred fifty members and major fraction thereof. The district superintendent and the lay delegate elected (1503:1a) shall be the representatives for the first seven hundred fifty members.
- (c) The general officials of the Church as defined in 1800, the General Superintendents Emeriti, members of the General Board who are not voting members by some other right, the presidents of the educational institutions and Wesley Seminary (2365 and 2366), the general directors of Hephzibah Ministries, Wesleyan Investment Foundation, Wesleyan Pension Fund Inc, the Wesleyan Bible Conference Association, and the Immigrant Connection, and such delegates-at-large as shall be necessary to maintain parity between ordained ministers and lay members (1508-1510).
- (2) The following, when they are not voting members by some other right, shall be seated as nonvoting members when present at the General Conference session: former General Superintendents and superintendents of developing districts (1015).
- (3) The General Board shall designate the number of nonvoting members from mission units under the Global Partners Division, upon recommendation of the Executive Director of Global Partners.
2. Forfeiture of Representation
1506. A district or developing district which has been placed under discipline as provided for in the General Board Policy on Church Discipline (5365-5370) shall forfeit all rights to any representation in the General Conference (323:9). The delegates, including the district superintendent and any delegate-at-large from that district, shall not be recognized or seated until the district or developing district they represent is officially reinstated (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5365).
3. Election of Delegates
1508. The election of delegates-at-large shall be arranged for by the recommendation of the Executive Director of Communication and Administration and the approval of the General Board in accordance with the following regulations:
- (1) The parity of equal ministerial and lay membership in the General Conference shall be maintained (325; 360:3b).
- (2) The established districts shall be considered in alphabetical order, and each eligible district in turn shall be appointed to elect one delegate-at-large. A developing district shall not be eligible to elect a delegate-at-large.
1510. The General Board shall act upon the recommendation of the Executive Director of Communication and Administration in one of its sessions consistent with the provisions of paragraph 1512. The delegates-at-large shall be elected by the appointed districts at the same time and in the same manner as the other General Conference delegates (1512-1526).
1512. The delegates to the General Conference shall be elected by the district conference, by ballot and by majority vote, at its last annual session preceding the General Conference. When the last annual session is within sixty days of the opening date of the General Conference, the district conference may elect its delegates at the previous annual session. The statistical report for the annual session of the district conference at which the delegates are elected shall be used for determining the number of members, and consequently, the number of General Conference delegates (1503:1b). A certified list of all delegates to the General Conference shall be promptly forwarded by the district secretary to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration (1332:5).
1514. A person accepting election as a delegate is obligated to attend faithfully the entire General Conference session, unless hindered by unforeseen and justifiable circumstances (1541).
c. Alternate Delegates
1516. Alternate delegates shall be the remaining nominees not elected to serve as General Conference delegates and shall fill vacancies in the descending order of votes received (1332:5).
1518. Whenever the district superintendent, who is an ex officio member of the General Conference (1503:1a), is unable to attend, the place of the district superintendent shall be filled by the assistant district superintendent (if any). If the assistant district superintendent is an elected delegate to the General Conference, the place of the assistant district superintendent shall then be filled like any other vacancy by an alternate ministerial delegate.
4. Qualifications of Delegates
a. Ministerial Delegates
1520. A ministerial delegate must be an ordained minister who is a member of the district represented, both at the time of election and at the time of the General Conference (327:2).
1522. Whenever a ministerial delegate-elect shall transfer membership to another district, the right to represent the district shall be vacated and an alternate ministerial delegate shall be certified (1332:5; 1516).
b. Lay Delegates
1524. A lay delegate must be a lay person who is a member with the leadership qualifications (260-268; 558) of a local church in the district represented, both at the time of election and at the time of the General Conference (327:3).
1526. Whenever a lay delegate-elect shall cease to meet the requirements in 1524, the right to represent the district shall be vacated and an alternate lay delegate shall be certified (1332:5; 1516).