North Georgia Celebrates Three Candidates to the Global Missions Fellows Program



For the first time in many years, the North Georgia Conference has not one, but THREE candidates to the Global Mission Fellows program. Kristi Painter from Hickory Flat UMC and Asti White from Trinity-on-the-Hill UMC LaGrange are both embarking on a 2-year placement that will engage them with local communities, connect their church in mission, and grow their personal and social holiness. Additionally, Julia Falgout from North Decatur UMC will be a part of the International Fellows program.

The Global Mission Fellows is a 2-year mission program for young adults ages 20 to 30. Global Mission Fellow Program has two tracks: US-2 and International. Both tracks offer candidates the opportunity to be part of a cohort of other Global Mission Fellows.

The US-2 Track is for those who are called to serve in the United States. This program includes training, transition into the new affiliate site, and intentional/community living.

Participants are matched with affiliates and work sites that fit their specific gifts, experience and calling. Affiliates support innovative, community-based mission and ministries by placing fellows in the United Methodist local churches, related organizations, and nonprofits.

Asti White says he first got involved with Global Mission Fellows his sophomore year of college after attending several United Methodist Youth and Young Adult Conferences.

“I saw parallels of the ministries I served with while I was in college and I was intrigued on how I would be able to continue serving globally after college,” said Asti.

He says that his family and his upbringing has prepared him for this opportunity.

“I am a servant at heart,” he says, “I grew up in a very blended family with family members in various backgrounds. They served in lots of different occupations and while having young parents I was able to see and learn from some of their personal struggles and hardships.”

In addition, White says that he was always a very inquisitive child and strived to know more, push more, and try his best to better understand the world around him. He says that he has an entire village looking after him that have carried out God’s love and compassion and have instilled a moral compass within him.

“Witnessing their faith in God in times of conflict, hardship, or any trial or tribulation the world would throw at them only inspired me and gave me hope and desire to stand with courage and strength in the Lord for my personal hardships. Those that have gone before me have paved a path of peace, love, and joy…” said Asti.

Likewise, Kristi Painter credits her own village of supporters for preparing her for this new journey.

“I am extremely grateful for the people at Hickory Flat UMC, the Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech, and Candler School of Theology who formed and shaped me in various ways to prepare me for where I am going,” she said.

Painter says Hickory Flat raised her with a faith that emphasized faith in action through mission and service. Furthermore, the Wesley Foundation challenged and deepened her faith and confidence in her call into the ministry, and offers a special thank you to Rev. Steve Fazenbaker for his mentoring and encouragement.

Finally, she says Candler gave her the experience and knowledge to be an effective leader in ministry.

“After spending three years in seminary, I'm excited to dive into full-time ministry and put everything I've learned into practice,” says Painter, “I'm looking forward to learning how to incorporated mission and advocacy into the culture of the church in an amazing way.”

Bishop Sue and the members of the North Georgia Annual Conference will pray for Asti and Kristi on Tuesday afternoon, June 12, during Annual Conference.

Each candidate will bring the core values of the Global Mission Fellows to their new destinations. They will engage, connect, and grow with the churches and communities that God lead them to.


Asti White will serve in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Western Michigan University in leadership with the Wesley Foundation as a Coordinator of Intentional Community and Racial Justice. Kristi Painter will be serving with Arch Street UMC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a Community Organizer in collaboration with the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. Julia Falgout leaves for training in Johannesburg, South African in July and will serve in Poland following her commissioning service.