|Dr. Lyon & Dr. Gunter at the Wesleyan 2008 G.C.|
It was especially joyous in that her election was on the heals of the 2005 General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene, which had just elected the Rev'd. Dr. Nina Gunter as the first female general superintendent for the CotN. To top it off, Dr. Gunter was at the 2008 G.C., representing the CotN to TWC.
Now, four years later, The Wesleyan Church has decided to move from a board of three general superintendents (for the U.S.), to one, sole general superintendent. When that resolution was passed, the Conference voted to suspend the rules, which would have meant voting for Dr. Lyon as an incumbent, and, instead, have an open ballot election (meaning that any ordained minister in TWC could be named as the new g.s.).
However, even with this suspension of the rules, Dr. Lyon was (re)elected as the first sole general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church! - Congratulations, Dr. Lyon!
I think that it is significant that four short years after having elected the first female g.s., they elected her to be the sole g.s. (i.e., the "head of the denomination").
It should be pointed out that holy orders have ALWAYS been open to women in The Wesleyan Church and in the Church of the Nazarene. In fact, the Wesleyan/holiness churches were ordaining women long before the "liberal" mainline denominations (e.g., it took the mainline United Methodist Church a quarter of a century to catch up with the Church of the Nazarene on this point). However, it has taken the Nazarenes and the Wesleyans far too long to catch up with the UMC regarding women in the episcopal role. Thus, there were some concerns that the delegation may revert to electing a man simply because they would not want a woman as the "head of the denomination." Of course, the most important thing is that the Church seek the mind of Christ and the will of God, and then follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. - I believe that they have done that very thing!
Again, congratulations, Dr. Lyon! May God's rich blessings and anointing be upon you and The Wesleyan Church!
(The news release about the election can be read, here.)