Our Mission & Vision

The North Michigan Conference is a conference of the Free Methodist Church USA. The Mission of the Free Methodist Church is to love God and people and to make disciples. The Vision of the Free Methodist Church is to bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people multiplying disciples, leaders, groups and churches. For more information on the strategies the Free Methodist Church has for accomplishing this you can click on the logo below.

Leadership Team:

The Conference Leadership consists of four key leaders in the conference: the Superintendent, the chair of the Board of Administration, the chair of the Ministerial Education and Guidance Board, and the Director of the District Leaders.

supt-and-mickylouise-croppedRev. Dr. Thomas M. Doherty 

Superintendent Doherty has been in ministry for over thirty years, the last eleven as Superintendent of the North Michigan Conference.  He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Asbury Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Liberty University – John W. Rawlings School of Divinity.  The focus of his doctoral work was Evangelism and Church Planting.  The objective of his project and report was to look at a Systematic Evangelistic Discipleship process.  Church growth, through evangelism and discipleship, is the central mission of his ministry as Superintendent.    

The focus of the Conference since 2012 has beenBased in the Grace-Power of the Holy Spirit and in unity with God and one another it is three-fold: 1. To develop leaders, both lay and ordained.  2. To vitalize every church in the Conference. 3. To start a Church Planting Movement.”

These filters shape who we are and what we do.  Before 2012 we did not have a successful church plant for almost eight years.  Since 2012 we have had seven, with more in the pipeline.  This does not make a movement, but we are changing directions.  We are exploring many expressions of church planting, including micro-church plants.  We are actively recruiting and training people in personal outreach-discipleship and Kingdom expansion.

We are utilizing Every Church Grows and Turn-Around-Church methods to help vitalize our churches.  We are trying to develop leaders who multiply leaders, structures, and methods that help churches and individuals reproduce themselves in all that we do.

We are always looking for partners in these Kingdom endeavors.  Maybe you are called and equipped to be co-vocational. Perhaps your ministry call is secular/church like the early Church leaders we read about in the New Testament.  If so, would you consider helping the North Michigan Conference expand the types of churches we offer through Micro-Church or house churches, or any other church plant?  We are looking for people who we will train to lead at all levels.

The updated mission/vision statement is: “Based in the Grace-Power of the Holy Spirit and unity with God and one another, we will: develop multiplying leaders and vitalize churches to create a church planting movement in Michigan.”

Superintendent Tom and his wife, Mickylouise, have six children and seven grandchildren.  They love family time, working around their home, and developing their acreage for fun and farm production.  They enjoy spending time in and near the water and all things Irish, except for the drinking and maybe a few other things.

If you are around on a Sunday, come check out one of our churches; if you feel the call of God to this area, let’s talk about how we can grow His Kingdom together.


Reverend Dr. Thomas M. Doherty                                                 

Superintendent North Michigan Conference, Free Methodist Church, USA




Laurie Yost, BOA Chairperson (2023-2025)

Laurie Yost is the pastor’s wife at Central Michigan Free Methodist Church and also a missionary to Asia through Free Methodist World Missions.  She and her family served on the mission field in Mexico from 2006-2015 where they worked helping to train National leaders for ministry, preparing visiting work groups, and overseeing Mexico ICCM. Laurie and her husband, Brian, have been in the North Michigan Conference since returning to the U.S. Before moving to Mt. Pleasant last year, Laurie worked up north as a middle and high school teacher teaching history, Spanish, and health. Most recently, Laurie has started working part-time as the educational coordinator at the Discovery Children’s Museum. Laurie enjoys kayaking, biking, walking, and spending time with her family. She and Brian had their first grandchild 2 1/2 months ago and are excited about being grandparents.   


Rev. Jim Tol, MEG/MAC Convenor (2023-2027)

First and foremost, I am simply a child of God, but I have also been blessed with a wonderful wife, Patty, and we have been married for over 30 years.   We have two grown children; Joshua, our oldest son, lives and works in Westland, Michigan.  Our youngest son, Jacob, lives and works in Mansfield, Texas.  My educational background includes a BA in Plastics Engineering from Ferris, an MBA from Grand Valley, and an MDIV from Western Seminary in Holland.  I have many years of experience in various ministry positions, have been teaching in the church for over 25 years, and have been an ordained elder in the FMC USA for 12 years as a local pastor.  I have been doing product development and engineering work for over 30 years in the West Michigan area and I currently work for Cascade Engineering as a Product Engineer.  My hobbies include fishing, gardening, and shooting.  I consider myself a “lifelong learner,” never letting a year go by without learning new skills. I have a keen interest in sustainable living and alternative energy options, particularly ones that lower the cost of living.  I will endeavor to work with the Spirit and my brothers and sisters in Christ to build up and support the North Michigan Conference of churches.



To get in touch with a member of the Lead Team please contact:  

Cindy Bullock                                                                                    
Cindy Bullock
Conference Administrative Assistant                      



What we believe:


The call to One Way through Clarity, Unity, and Culture

In response to numerous national conversations with FM leaders at all levels, the bishops introduce: 
The Free Methodist Way: Five Values that Shape our Identity. No more identity crisis. These five values express the distinctives that set us apart from other faith families in the body of Christ. Bishops Linda, Keith and Matt invite you to join us in creating a unique culture in every local church as you lead a disciples-making, mission-engaging congregation that embraces The Free Methodist Way as a way of life.
We’re excited to share these resources with you.



We share the beliefs of the Free Methodist Church that can be read in their entirety in the current Book of Discipline. 


Here is an abbreviated version of the Free Methodist

doctrines and beliefs as well as resources about the history of the Free Methodist Church and what it means to be