Church Membership: The Oldest and The Newest


The Oldest and The Newest
by Rev. Dr. Carol Helton


Sometimes we hear people say that church membership doesn’t matter.  They say:  “If I find a church that I like, all I need to do is just attend, pay some money, and serve in the church—there is no need to have my name on anybody’s church roll.”


I know you have heard this, and may at one time have said something similar.  However, church membership does matter!  Church membership says that you are officially connected with a body of believers.  It says that you value the membership vows that you take; it says that you are committed to serving God at a designated place of worship.  Most importantly, it means that you want to be counted among the faithful and that you are not ashamed to let that be made known.

On yesterday, November 16, 2010, Mrs. Claudette Bryson and I went to see Mrs. Alberta Reese.  We went there at the request of Mrs. Reese’s daughter.  There was a concern that nobody knew whether or not Mrs. Reese had actually joined the Metropolitan UMC.  Surely, she had attended many years and had brought her 10 children to Metropolitan.  However, nobody remembered if she had officially joined the congregation.


So on Tuesday, November 16, 2010, Mrs. Alberta Reese was visited and asked if she wanted to officially become a member of Metropolitan UMC.  She replied: “It seems like the thing to do.”  Now let me tell you why this is also significant.  Mrs. Reese is 101 years old.   She wanted to know and her family wanted to know that her membership was firmly in place.  As of yesterday, they have that assurance!  She is now Metropolitan’s newest and oldest member.  Her name is on the roll!  Praise the Lord!


Membership is a blessing and carries with it responsibilities which are vital to carrying forth the mission of Christ’s church-----making disciples in the world.  One of the ways we make disciples is through meeting the needs of the poor and those who cannot speak or do for themselves.    Because in Methodism, we have a system called apportionments, we are able to reach more people, help more people here and throughout the world.  


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