Leadership Development

Rev. Gere Reist

Rev. Gere Reist currently serves as the Executive Director of Leadership Development. In partnership with the Bishop, cabinet, program staff and the elected leadership of the conference, the Conference Superintendent for Leadership Development is responsible for developing, interpreting and implementing a comprehensive leadership development program for the clergy and lay leaders of the conference, districts, circuits, and local churches; in particular, utilizing professional leadership resources and a network of clergy and laity with coaching and mentoring skills to aid in the development of effective and transformative leadership throughout the conference.

Rev. Reist is a recognized leader in our denomination.  Since 2005, he has served The United Methodist Church as the Secretary of the General Conference, our quadrennial gathering that sets the missional direction for our world-wide denomination as well as how it will resource its ministry and be organized for its task of making disciples for the transformation of the world.  As the Secretary of General Conference, Rev. Reist has given oversight to the work the General Conference does including the orientation and support of delegates from all over the world. 
A graduate of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, Gere was ordained an elder in 1978 in the  Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference, which is now the Susquehanna Annual Conference.  He has served as a district superintendent, pastored 10 congregations, been a camp counselor, chaired the conference board of Church and Society, been a member of the district committee on ordained ministry, a member of the conference clergy misconduct response team, and a trainer in boundaries training.  He has also been a representative to the Pennsylvania Council of Churches Committee on Social Justice. 
Gere has a deep commitment to the work of social justice becoming the first executive director for a United Methodist Witness in Pennsylvania.  In this position he helped create and implement a state-wide program of political education and advocacy as a cooperative effort among the then four United Methodist Conferences of Pennsylvania. During his six-year tenure at the agency, working closely with United Methodists and other ecumenical leaders, he helped guide a state-wide community transformation by gaining the passage of an increase in the state minimum wage, the children's health insurance program, limiting the expansion of gambling, and addressing other poverty and health related issues.
Gere brings a rich and diverse background to the work of leadership development.  In addition to ministry, he has been a mental health therapist.  He has a deep commitment to lay and clergy leadership development that finds its roots in the understanding that as church leaders we work in team and for the purpose of growing the church and being agents of God’s mercy and justice in the world.  He is a trained Natural Church Development coach. During his time of service with the General Conference he has grown strong skills in cultural competency and brings to every task his deep knowledge of the entire United Methodist Church.  His love of the history, doctrine and polity of our church is a gift he brings to every table he participates at.  
Rev. Reist brings to us knowledge, skills, competency, and a love for The United Methodist Church that I have every confidence will bless us in the California-Nevada Conference in this time of transition.  His enthusiasm and untiring commitment to the raising up of servant leaders in the name of Christ Jesus for service in the church and the world will strengthen our work.

Rev. Reist is available to local churches and circuits for:

  • Leadership training and mentoring
  • Vision casting, strategic planning and systems analysis
  • Retreat and workshop leadership
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.