Kentucky Methodists to meet here in 2021-23

Conference to attract 2,300 annually.

The Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church will meet in Owensboro for three years, beginning in 2021.

Mark Calitri, president of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the conference is expected to attract more than 2,300 people each year.

“Based on previous years, we will see about 1,700 room nights as a result of the conference,” he said. “Extremely conservative economic impact numbers show an impact of over $700,000 as a result of the conference.”

The conference is scheduled to be here on June 6-9, 2021; June 5-8, 2022; and June 11-13, 2023.

Laura Alexander, general manager of the Owensboro Convention Center and the Sportscenter, said, “The entire convention center will be booked solid with seminars, group discussions and meetings.”

Heather DuVall, controller for the Annual Conference, said, “We chose Owensboro because it’s an exciting new option for our attendees. Our guests will enjoy all of the activities along the downtown Owensboro riverfront.”

Bart Darrell, president of Kentucky Wesleyan College, one of three United Methodist colleges in Kentucky, said, “Kentucky Wesleyan will be very much involved, as will many of our alumni and students.”

He said he’s pleased that “the leadership of the United Methodist Church in Kentucky realizes what a tremendous city Owensboro is for large conferences like the Annual Conference.”

Messenger-Inquirer files show that the old Louisville Area Conference met at the Executive Inn Rivermont several years during the 1980s and 1990s.

The last time was apparently in 1994.

In 1996, the Louisville Annual Conference was absorbed by the Kentucky Annual Conference.

That was about the time that the Executive Inn began struggling.

Newspaper files don’t show the Kentucky Annual Conference ever meeting here.

Calitri said landing the conference was a team effort.

Darrell, Alexander, City Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright and Tim Ross, the city’s public events director, were all instrumental in landing the conference, he said.

Messenger-Inquirer article written by Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, [email protected]