Meet Richard Hunter: Associate Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence


Rev. Richard A. Hunter
Associate Director, Center for Congregational Excellence    

The North Georgia Conference Center for Congregational Excellence exists to support, resource, and equip local church leaders in making disciples of Jesus Christ and witnessing to transformation, beginning in your local community. With over 800 expressions of church currently active in our Conference, this team must adapt staff, resources, and strategies to meet the changing needs of church leaders and communities alike.

We will introduce you to the 2021-2022 Center for Congregational Excellence staff team over the coming weeks. Today meet Rev. Richard A. Hunter, Associate Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence. 

Q: Welcome, Richard! Can you give us a one-sentence explanation of what your job title means? 
Coaching, resourcing, and encouraging new places for new people to experience new life in Jesus Christ.    

Q: Complete this sentence: "I'm here to support, equip and resource you, especially if you are..."
Starting a new church campus, adding a worship service, looking for ways to connect with new people in your community, considering a satellite location or a strategic merger.     

Q: In what ministry settings have you previously served? 
4 years as a youth minister (1979-1983), an associate pastor (1981-85), pastor of a small church on a college campus (1985-91), lead pastor of a medium-size church (1991-96), lead pastor of large churches 1997-2011, then again 2018-2021. Served as Executive Director of New Church Development in the North Alabama Conference 2015-2018. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to about this year in ministry through the Center for Congregational Excellence?
Getting reconnected with pastors and laity across the North Georgia Conference, encouraging and equipping people starting new places to reach new people, and working with the district strategic growth teams to plan for a future of Kingdom growth in the North Georgia Conference.

Q: Favorite scripture passage?
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

Q:  What's your favorite thing about The United Methodist Church?
Our emphasis on grace and the mercies of God.    

Q: Recommended Reads ...
  • Leadership Is Dead,  Jeremie Kubicek
  • The ONE Thing, Gary Keller
  • Turn the Ship Around, L. David Marquet
  • DISRUPTION:  Repurposing the Church to Redeem the Community, Mark Deymaz
  • Refresh: A Not-So-New Guide to Being Church and Doing Life, Moynagh & Peabody
Q: Recommended Listens ...
  • Armchair Theology podcast with Clay Farrington & Ross Furiol
  • The Wilmorons Podcast       
Q: Is there a ministry innovation or adaptation you've encountered recently that everyone should know about?
Regeneration Recovery, a Bible-based recovery ministry that is based on forming new faith communities. The ministry's website is 

Q: Where online can people find you? 
Facebook; Instagram (@pastor_rah); conference email; my coaching website:    

Q:  What's your daily prayer for our North Georgia United Methodist Connection?
That we continue to build a larger table for welcoming people not yet following Jesus - newcomers, multi-ethnic, the disenfranchised, the forgotten, the lonely, the lost and the powerless.

Meet more members of the Center for Congregational Excellence Team in the coming weeks and at the links below: