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Vital Congregations

See Collins Memorial UMC in 'Hidden Figures'
Collins Memorial UMC in Atlanta is known for community outreach and beautiful stained glass windows. Now it can add "filming location for an Oscar nominated movie" to that list! The church's interior, exterior and grounds were used in the making of Hidden Figures, a movie telling the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson—three African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. (If you've seen the ...
North Georgia United Methodists Open Doors on Election Day
Pictured: Decatur First UMC's ecumenical Election Night Communion Service invitation. On and before Election Day, a number of North Georgia United Methodist churches opened their doors for prayer, communion, and to offer hospitality to their community. Many opened for prayer the day following the election as well.  Mount Pisgah UMC, Johns Creek Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church encouraged the community to unite in prayer for seven days before the 2016 presidential election. On Monday, ...
Q&A: Disciple Fast Track Draws More than 90 Participants at Quest
Pictured: Rev. John and Shauna Kenney of Quest UMC in the Augusta District   Quest UMC in the Augusta District has more than 90 members currently participating in Disciple Fast Track. Fast Track is an adaptation of the original Disicple Bible Study that's ideal for busy people who want to fit a comprehensive Bible study into their schedule. The commitment is 24 weeks rather than 9 or 10 months. The response at Quest has been so positive that we reached out to Shauna Kenney, wife of church pastor...
Praying for Each Other at Madison First UMC
At Madison First UMC in the Athens-Elberton District, nearly 100 people spend one hour a week at the church praying for others and writing prayer notes (about 400 notes a month go out). Watch the video linked below to learn more about the church's Intercessory Prayer Ministry and how it is deeply meaningful -- to those being prayed for and to the ones who are praying.  WATCH VIDEO
Peachtree City United Methodist Church is Expanding
Peachtree City UMC members representing three generations broke ground for the construction of a new church building. Pictured from L-R (Greg and Sandy Whittle, Connor Whittle, Jean and Steve Petty) Sunday, June 26th marked the historic groundbreaking for a new 22,000 square foot multipurpose building at Peachtree City UMC. Dr. Steve Dodson, senior pastor at the Peachtree City church, said that “adding this building to our existing structure is the fulfillment of the church’s dream since 1999; ...
4 Things Every Church Can Learn from a 150 Year Old Church
By Rachel Reiff Ellis Churches that survive and thrive for 150 years or more are by no means formulaic in their approach to ministry, but they do share a common trait: staying power. What are the lessons to be learned from these long-standing congregations? Four NGUMC pastors weigh in on what has buoyed their churches through the test of time.   1. Church is a family, not a business   Rev. Emily Case serves Eliam UMC in Elberton, Georgia, a congregation approaching its 200th year. Case says one...
Druid Hills UMC Closes a Chapter, Embraces What’s Ahead in Palm Sunday Service
Sunday worship at Druid Hills UMC began like most Palm Sundays, but it held a greater meaning for a church that would soon celebrate Easter Sunday as a brand new church, merging with Epworth UMC in Candler Park. In fact, the congregation will temporarily be called New Church. Palm Sunday represents a time when people made way for something new, unknown, and promising. As palm branches waved through the morning worship service, children sang and danced, there was no a feeling of sadness. The ...
Doing Worship Differently
By Ansley Brackin Whether they’ve rearranged their current space or found new places and methods of worship, several of our North Georgia United Methodist churches have decided to look at worship in a new light. Sugarloaf UMC Sugarloaf UMC is one of several North Georgia United Methodist churches that use environmental projections. These projections are interchangeable to best fit the service at hand, and are displayed across the sanctuary wall. The church’s pastor, Rev. Matthew Mitchell, has ...
Rev. Byron E. Thomas of Ben Hill UMC Receives the 2015 Malone Dodson Award
Congratulations to Rev. Byron E. Thomas, senior pastor at Ben Hill UMC, and 2015 Malone Dodson Award recipient. Since 1998, the Malone Dodson Award is given annually by Wesley Woods Senior Living to the clergy person of the North Georgia Conference who best exemplifies visionary and committed leadership with respect to older adults.   Rev. Thomas was presented with the award at a ceremony in recognition for his incredible support of Wesley Woods through the annual Mother’s Day Offering. Ben Hill...
5 Things Every Church Can Learn from a New Church Start
By Rachel Reiff Ellis Whether your church began gathering in a high school gym last month or has had a pastor in the pulpit since 1850, your mission as a congregation of The United Methodist Church is the same: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Three pastors leading new church starts in the North Georgia United Methodist Conference share what they’ve learned about being the church while starting a ministry from the ground up.   Maintain your sense of urgency...
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