¶ 502. Composition-1. The voting membership of the General Conference shall consist of:
a) An equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected by the annual conferences as provided in the Discipline. The missionary conferences and provisional annual conferences shall be considered as annual conferences for the purposes of this paragraph.
b) Delegates from The Methodist Church in Great Britain and other autonomous Methodist churches with which concordat agreements have been established providing for mutual election and seating of delegates in each other’s highest legislative conferences (¶¶ 13.2, 13.3; 574).
2. The number of delegates to which an annual conference is entitled shall be computed on a two-factor basis: the number of clergy members of the annual conference, and the number of members of local churches in the annual conference.1
The term clergy members as used in this paragraph shall refer to both active and retired members of the annual conference (¶ 602.1).
3. The secretary of the General Conference shall calculate the number of delegates to be elected by each annual conference, based on the factors specified above, as follows:
a) One clergy delegate for the first 375 clergy members of the annual conference and one clergy delegate for each additional 375 clergy members or major fraction thereof,2 and
b) One clergy delegate for the first 26,000 members of local churches of the annual conference and one clergy delegate for each additional 26,000 local church members or major fraction thereof, and
c) A number of lay delegates equal to the total number of clergy delegates authorized as above.
d) Every annual conference shall be entitled to at least one clergy and one lay delegate.
e) This formula is designated to comply with the Constitution, Division Two, Section II, Article I (¶ 13), which defines the minimum and maximum number of delegates to a General Conference. Should the computations provided in the paragraph result in a figure below the prescribed minimum or above the prescribed maximum for delegates, the secretary of the General Conference shall be authorized to remedy the situation by adjusting up or down the numbers of clergy members and members of local churches of the annual conference necessary to entitle an annual conference to elect delegates, any such adjustment to be proportionally the same for the two factors.3
4. Delegates to the General Conference shall be elected at the session of the annual conference held in the calendar year preceding the session of the General Conference. At least thirty days prior to the beginning of that calendar year, the secretary of the General Conference shall notify the bishop and the secretary of each annual conference of the number of delegates to be elected by that annual conference.
5. The secretary of each annual conference, using the certificate of election form supplied by the secretary of the General Conference, shall report to the secretary of the General Conference the names, addresses, and such other information as may be required for delegates and reserves elected by the annual conference.
6. The secretary of the General Conference shall prepare and send to each annual conference secretary credentials to be signed and distributed to the delegates and reserves elected by the annual conference.
1. See Judicial Council Decisions 109, 333, 592.
2. See Judicial Council Decisions 327, 558.
3. See Judicial Council Decision 687.