Annual Conference the name of the territorial synods or councils of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which are held every year, as distinguished from the general synod (General Conference) held quadrennially. The Annual Conference is composed of all the ministers in full connection within certain territorial limits. Preachers "on trial" are required to attend the sessions, but are not allowed to vote. The times of holding the Annual Conferences are fixed by the bishops, the place by the Conference itself. The presiding officer is the bishop; but, in case of his absence, some "member of the Conference appointed by the bishop shall preside; but if no appointment be made, the Conference elects a president by ballot among the elders, without debate." The duties of the Annual Conference, and the limits of its authority, are prescribed by the Discipline. A record of its proceedings is sent to each General Conference for revision, if necessary. The territorial boundaries of the Annual Conferences are fixed by the General Conference. There are now (1866) sixty annual conferences (including mission conferences) of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, Europe, Africa, India, and China. — Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, pt. 2, ch. 1; pt. 6, ch. 4;
Baker, On the Discipline; Minutes of the Annual Conferences (New York, 1866, 8vo). SEE CONFERENCES; SEE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.