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The New England Annual Conference is one of seven regional Conferences within the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Conference spans three states; Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The Boston-Hartford District, is the only Presiding Elder District of the New England Annual Conference, and had its genesis when the Boston and then Springfield Districts merged.  At the time of the merger, Rev. Marcel J. Brooms was Presiding Elder of the Boston District and the Rev. F. Lemoyne Whitlock served as Presiding Elder of the Springfield District.  At the convening of the “1973” New England Conference, the Boston-Hartford District had its birth with the Rt. Rev. Ernest Lawrence Hickman Presiding Bishop appointing Rev. Peter Bernard Walker to serve as the first Presiding Elder of the newly organized Presiding Elder District.  Only four (4) Presiding Elders have served the Boston-Hartford District since its inception: Reverends Peter Bernard Walker, Elliot J. Mayfield, Herbert L. Eddy (33 years) and presently, the Reverend Jocelyn K. Hart Lovelace.

First Episcopal District Leadership 


Bishop Julius Harrison McAllister, Sr. serves as the Presiding Prelate of the First Episcopal District in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. His thirty years of pastoral ministry took place in his home state South Carolina, where he under-shepherded and grew numerous churches. After leading in the building of a new church edifice at Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Florence SC where he pastored for twenty four years, he was elected and consecrated the 129th Bishop of the A.M.E. Church in 2008. Bishop McAllister provided episcopal leadership in the Twentieth Episcopal District (Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania) and the Eighth Episcopal District (Mississippi and Louisiana). At the 51 st Session of the General Conference in July 2021, Bishop McAllister was assigned to the First Episcopal District, which includes the New England Annual Conference.

Mother Joan Marla McAllister is the Episcopal Supervisor of the Women’s Missionary Society of the First Episcopal District. She and Bishop McAllister are proud parents of three children and five grandchildren. Although she was born in New Jersey, she spent most of her professional life in South Carolina, which included teaching autistic children in the Florence Public School District for many years. In her years as Episcopal Supervisor in the Twentieth Episcopal District (southern Africa) she led to the purchasing of laptops, digital cameras, health care equipment, bicycles and motorbikes to help presiding elders and pastors travel to their assignments. After serving for nine years as the Episcopal Supervisor of Missions in the Eighth Episcopal District, Mother McAllister, in 2021, became Episcopal Supervisor in the First Episcopal District, which included  the New England Annual Conference Branch Women’s Missionary Society.

Boston-Hartford District Leadership 


Presiding Elder Jocelyn K. Hart Lovelace is the leader of the Boston-Hartford District of the New England Annual Conference. She grew up in Baltimore, MD and received her undergraduate education from High Point University in North Carolina. After receiving her first graduate degree (Counseling Psychology) from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, she entered ministry and obtained her Master of Divinity from Turner Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta GA. She successfully pastored churches in Western New York and Philadelphia, including Hickman Temple AME Church, the leading church in the South Philadelphia District. She became the presiding elder of the Philadelphia District, “the Mother District, before being assigned as to her presiding eldership in the New England Annual Conference. She is lovingly married to her partner in ministry, Bro. Eddie J. Lovelace.

Reverend Jocelyn K. Hart Lovelace

Presiding Elder

Brother Eddie Lovelace


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