My Dear Friends,
I greet you in the name and Spirit of Jesus Christ who makes us one! The Rome-Carrollton District has an excellent reputation and some of the finest clergy and most faithful congregations in the North Georgia Annual Conference. I count it a privilege to minister and serve alongside you. The best way for me to do that well is if over the next year you give me an opportunity to know who you are and experience your ministries.
If your church is celebrating a big milestone, let me know. If your church has a fish fry or a BBQ to raise money for missions, please let me know! I love to eat and would welcome the opportunity to help bus tables or serve plates with you. Let me know about your Wednesday Night Church Suppers, your Bible studies, your campus ministries, your Choir Cantatas, your Great Days of Service, and other gatherings you have.
I am interested in your churches, and I am also interested in you. I look forward to breakfasts, lunches, and coffee with you. I want to hear about the highs and lows in your life. I want to see pictures of your families and pets. I want to know what you do to have fun and what you do to keep and develop your own spiritual health. Let me know when you are available and I will find time to keep company with you.
While I enjoy opportunities to preach and am looking forward to doing that for you from time to time, what I really hope to do this year is to hear you. I will randomly visit your churches and when I come, know I am looking forward to hearing you preach, pray, and give the benediction. I am happy for you to say hello, but have no expectation of leading. I really want to worship with you. Reach out and let me know how I can be helpful to you and supportive of you.
In the meantime, you may want to know some things about me. I am a native of LaGrange, Georgia. My mother’s side of the family has been on the same farm for many generations. We raise beef cattle. Some weekends you can find me mending fences, clearing brush, and bush hogging. When I am not doing that I enjoy traveling, reading, kayaking, walking, cycling, seeing movies, plays, and musicals.
As Bishop Sue said at Annual Conference last week, “I am a product of the small, rural Methodist church.” I was baptized as an infant at Big Springs UMC on the Mountville-Big Springs Circuit where my parents attend. In college, I joined and served as the Youth Director of Greenville UMC in Meriwether County. They sponsored and encouraged me as I began the ordination process. I have a deep affection and appreciation for the vibrancy and unique ministries of small, rural churches.
I am a graduate of LaGrange College, Duke Divinity School, and Candler School of Theology at Emory. I guess you could say I have been steeped in Methodist schools. However, that doesn’t mean I know everything. I often ask questions. Since my Commissioning, I have served a variety of churches: Covington First UMC, Glenn Memorial UMC, Bethesda UMC (now the Nett at Bethesda), and Eatonton First UMC. I have pastored small churches, large churches, suburban churches, urban churches, county seat churches. Every church is uniquely poised to further God’s kingdom.
Enclosed in this newsletter is important information. Some of it will require a place on your calendar or a response. Make sure to tend to RSVP’s and requests for information. Other information in here is simply enclosed as a means of your continued edification. Do with it as you feel led.
Know I looking forward to leading, learning, and living for Christ and his church beside you. I am praying for a good beginning, deep friendships, and an amazing ministry in our years together.
Grace and peace,