News, notes and events from across the conference


 Savage to lead Georgia United Methodist Foundation
     The board of trustees unanimously approved the election of the Rev. Charles W. Savage II as the new president/CEO of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation following the enthusiastic endorsements of the presidential search and executive committees. Bishop Mike Watson of the North Georgia Conference will make this appointment effective June 2011.
     “Chuck possesses the faith, commitment and ability to carry the Foundation into the future as it fulfills its vision of helping United Methodist churches, entities and individuals within Georgia multiply their financial resources for mission and ministry,” said Henry (Hank) M. Huckaby, chair of the presidential search committee.
      The Georgia United Methodist Foundation helps United Methodists in Georgia make a lasting contribution to the church and encourages faithful stewardship by offering investments, fundraising, lending and planned giving services, endowments, grants, and scholarships.
     “After prayerful consideration, I accepted this nomination with the belief that leading the Foundation is what God is calling me to do,” said Savage. “I also believe that my background affords me the visionary experience to help the Foundation move forward into the future with exciting new programs and ministries.”
      Savage has served as senior pastor of Kingswood UMC in Dunwoody since 2008. From 1994 to 2001, he served as senior pastor of Christ UMC in Roswell, Redan UMC in Lithonia, and Georgia Oliver UMC in Atlanta. Prior to receiving a call to ministry, he served in executive level positions at IBM Corporation from 1967 to 1998.
       Savage holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta and Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from Savannah State University.
      For more information, contact 770-449-6726, 877-220-5664 or or visit
Harlem UMC: River of Life event July 20-24
     Harlem UMC’s 2nd annual River of Life event will be held July 20-24. Incorrect dates are listed on the River of Life website. Applications are being accepted from youth groups of all ages, middle and high school. For more information, e-mail Derry Kitchens at
Mt. Bethel UMC: Tribute to veterans
      A special concert is planned for 6 p.m. May 29, a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, with six New York City first responder firefighters as special guests.
The concert features the chancel choir, children's choir, Kingsmen, soloists, and orchestra, directed by Ira Pittman. An ice cream social will follow in the Fellowship Hall. 770 971 2880.
Merit Scholars Program to help train leaders

    Gammon, which is the United Methodist Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, is offering a Merit Scholars Program beginning this fall.

     Qualified candidates can earn one of the 10 scholarships, that will include full tuition for the academic year, a $1,200 book stipend, scholarships will be given to qualified candidates, six hours of summer school, subsidized housing in a furnished on campus apartment and a monthly expense stipend to be determined based on student need.

      Requirements include having a minimum GPA of 3.25 from an accredited college or university, be a certified candidate for ministry in the UMC, and strong recommendations from local church pastor, campus minister or other recognized ministry leader. Merit scholars will be full time (a minimum of 12 hours each semester), residential students enrolled in the Master of Divinity degree program.

     For more information, call 404-581-0300 or visit
Lavonia UMC: Police officiers honored
      Members of the Lavonia Police Department were special guests earlier this month as church members hosted Law Enforcement Day and a barbecue to celebrate the individuals who give themselves in service to the community. More than 200 plates of barbecue were served, and 320 pounds of pork prepared.
UMM: Spring fundraiser replaces conference BBQ
      The North Georgia Conference United Methodist Men (NGCUMM) will hold a spaghetti lunch/dinner fundraiser noon-6 p.m. June 4 at Mountain Park UMC in Stone Mountain. This event will take the place of the annual barbecue the men have hosted at annual conference. Plates are $6 for adults, $3 for children under 13. Takeout is available.
      Several concerts will take place that day. The Stone Mountain Chorus, known as the “2010 Dixie District Champion Chorus,” will perform, as well as the quartet “A Might Wind.” Proceeds will be divided between the Mountain Park UMC and your NGCUMM to be used for scholarships, devotionals for our troops, disaster relief and other programs supported by the UMM. For information, call Robert Koop at 770-564-2296 or e-mail
Rock Eagle stories to be published
    Dr. Timothy Tennett, president of Asbury Seminary, will be keynote speaker at the annual fall men’s spiritual retreat at Rock Eagle, set for Sept. 23-25. A booklet of stories that tell how lives have been changed by the men’s retreat will be available. To share your story, testimony or witness, e-mail For more information on the retreat, visit
Rust Chapel UMC: Pastor’s appreciation
     The Rev. Lonnie Thornton Sr. will be honored during the church’s annual Pastor’s Appreciation service at 11 a.m. June 5, commemorating his six years of service at Rust Chapel UMC of Greenville.  Dr. Oscar Meredith of Meredith Ministeries, Inc. in Atlanta will be the guest speaker.
McGaughey Chapel UMC: Dedication of garden
       Members of the Dalton district church held a dedication for a memorial garden established
after the death of Allen Crow Jr. while he was working at the church trimming trees. Crow had grown up in sight of McGaughey Chapel and his parents still attend the church. He was a good friend of the community. About 130 memory bricks were bought by community members and used in the garden design. The Dedication was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Michael Cavin, Dalton District Superintendent. 
Summer at Glisson Camp and Retreat Center is filling fast
     In order to meet high demand, Glisson has opened 200 additional places for campers this summer.  By closing the mid-summer break, Glisson has made more space for elementary and middle school campers.  Share Glisson’s transforming ministry with families in your congregation!  Tools for sharing camp are available by visiting  To register, please visit
Annual Conference Session Lay Candidate Forum
     The Lay Election Committee and the Conference Board of Laity will host a candidate forum on May 21 at St. James UMC in Atlanta. This will be an opportunity for lay members of the 2011 Annual Conference Session to get to know the lay candidates for 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. During this event, the 35 lay candidates will present a two-minute speech and be available for a time of informal conversation with attendees. On June 14 at 10 a.m., there will be another opportunity to hear the lay candidates’ speech, without the informal conversation, during the Laity Orientation Session in the Grand Hall of the Athens Classic Center.
Wellness screening available at annual conference
      Registration deadline is May 23 for the Quest Diagnostics Blueprint for Wellness that will be offered 6:30-10 a.m. June 14-16 at the Athens Classic Center. The comprehensive and confidential screening is part of North Georgia conference employees’ HealthFlex wellness benefits. The screenings assess your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other common health issues. All participants and spouses covered by any HealthFlex plan are eligible to take the screening at no out-of-pocket cost.  Participants enrolled in Virgin HealthMiles will earn $100 HealthCash.  Please note, you must pre-register at least three weeks in advance to enjoy the convenience of the on-site screening at the Athens Classic Center.  Register by calling 866-908-9440 and identify your employer or group as “The United Methodist Church” or “HealthFlex.” You may also register online by visiting and log into HealthFlex/WebMD. Select “Quest Diagnostics” under HealthFlex.
Cutline for Theological Center photo:
Peters (far right) was inaugurated during a ceremony at Morehouse College, featuring (from left) ITC Board of Trustees chair Dr. Joseph L. Crawford, Sr., retired UMC Bishop Alfred Norris, and assistant professor of homiletics Dr. Mark Lomax.
Theological Center gets new president
     The Rev. Dr. Ronald Edward Peters was inaugurated eighth president of The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) during a recent ceremony at Morehouse College. For more than a half-century, the ITC, a consortium of six different denominational seminaries, has provided ecumenical theological education and continues to mold preachers, pastors, academic scholars, and lay leaders in the church.
     The vision of President Peters begins to take shape within his comments: “The incomparable significance of the Interdenominational Theological Center and how our collaborative seminaries work together to prepare future leaders for the church is a gratifying ecumenical lesson to be emulated by all of us in the clergy. In a world where religious conflict is often the cause of violence and war, the ITC teaches people of different religious traditions how to work together to improve society.  I look forward to helping the wider society understand how the heritage of the African American church can help strengthen the quality of life in the plural, global, and increasingly urbanized society of the twenty-first century.” 
      Before assuming this position, Dr. Peters was the Henry L. Hillman Associate Professor of Urban Ministry and the first Director of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary's Metro-Urban Institute, an interdisciplinary program of religious leadership development for urban society. He brings to Atlanta and to the educational community significant experience and commitment to service which propelled him into leadership positions in the Greater Pittsburgh region where he served on the boards of the United Way of Allegheny County and the Urban League of Pittsburgh, and the Mayor’s Commission of Public Education, to name a few.
     The Louisiana native received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Hamilton, Massachusetts), and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Rev. Dr. Peters was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and joined the Pittsburgh Seminary faculty following 18 years of pastoral leadership.