The Virlina District of the Church of the Brethren has announced the retirement of district executive minister David Shumate, as of Dec. 31. He has led the district for almost 30 years, since Jan. 1, 1993.
Shumate is currently the longest-serving middle judicatory staff person in the Church of the Brethren as well as in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
His service to the denomination includes a term as Annual Conference moderator, presiding over the annual meeting in 2009. He served on three Annual Conference study committees: World Mission Philosophy and Global Church Structure (1996-1998), Vision of Ecumenism for the 21st Century (2013-2018), and the Review and Evaluation Committee (2015-2017).
He has served on the denomination’s Ministry Advisory Council and Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. In 2014, he concluded 16 years as a member of the New Church Development Advisory Committee, during his tenure compiling a manual for new church development, helping plan nine events, and teaching two courses for the Training in Ministry (TRIM) program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership in conjunction with those conferences.
He has written for Brethren Press, including three issues of A Guide for Biblical Studies and one volume for the People of the Covenant series.
His leadership of Virlina District has included service on various committees and roles within the Council of District Executives including most recently as treasurer, and previously as chair.
Shumate has had a lifetime commitment to ecumenism. He is currently president of the Virginia Council of Churches, a role he has held twice–first from 2002 until 2004, and from 2021 to the present. He formerly was treasurer for the council. In 2007, he received the “Faith in Action” award from the council, an honor that recognizes people who “exemplify personal faith commitment and who build bridges that make human community possible.”
He is a graduate of Concord University in Athens, W.Va., and earned a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in 1985. He was ordained by Crab Orchard Church of the Brethren and Virlina District. Prior to his service as district executive, he pastored in Illinois and Virginia.
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