Laity Sunday: Why I'm United Methodist

We asked several North Georgia Conference laity to share why they love The United Methodist Church.
Here are the heartwarming responses.


"The United Methodist Church has been a central focus of my entire life. The most significant events throughout my life have been connected to The United Methodist Church, beginning with my baptism, my family's attending the United Methodist church where my father was minister, my wedding, and my children's baptisms. My husband Buddy and I have been members of Marietta First UMC for over 50 years and value our worship, our ministers, and our friends associated with our local church. Connectional Ministries, particularly those who serve children and elderly populations, not only in our Conference but also throughout the world, are very important to us. We are extremely proud of our Wesleyan heritage and look forward to continuing our support of the mission and the reach of The United Methodist Church."
—Lillian Budd Darden

"I love The United Methodist Church because it’s above all a community. A community of committed Christians serving the communities which surround them. Whether a community has abundance or strife, UMC members are called to spread the message of our savior while rolling up their sleeves to make their community better. Stronger. We are actively engaged, we make a difference. UMC teaches us to wisely use our talents, time, and treasure to improve the small world God has blessed us. And I love being connected to that mission.”
—Frank Norton

Soy Metodista lo más importante es que somos una comunidad unida y estamos en un mismo sentir llevar el la palabra de Dios a todos y a todas estar unidos.
—Gabriela Gutiérrez

“I love my youth group and how accepting they are.”
—Blakely Bell, youth (who coincidentally felt called to be a preacher at Georgia Pastors School several years ago after hearing Rev. Dr. Kevin Murriel preach a sermon about how hard it is to be a preacher)

“I love The United Methodist Church because women are able to be preachers.”
—Lucy Bell, youth (Blakely's sister)

Why am I United Methodist? For one simple reason: our emphasis on grace. Through God’s grace every person is welcome at the table and may be baptized into the family of Christ. Every person may know the love of God because of grace. It is through grace that we become capable of loving such that disciples can be made and the world transformed. 
Nate Abrams


Soy Metodista porque esta denominación me ha acercado más a Dios y me ha ayudado a ser mejor Cristiano.
—Nelson Vargas 

"I love the United Methodist Church and her people. For me, the UMC is like a lighthouse – a trusted beacon that shines brightly for anyone wanting to find their way ... The Way. Both don’t discriminate and have been built on a firm foundation, enduring the test of time for past generations, as well as for the generations to come!"
—Randy Hardy

"The ministries of The United Methodist Church have shaped my lifeSunday School teachers, the weeks at summer camp, my college years at a United Methodist affiliated college.  I am who I am because of the church and the radical love shown to me by many.  For that I am forever grateful."
—Susannah Baxter


“I was raised in the Baptist/Pentecostal doctrine. I was first introduced to the United Methodist Church by a friend in school who invited me to MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship). There were a few things that I truly loved about attending those meetings: It was run by us teenagers. The adults were just there to provide guidance. It centered around helping others. I never heard what I can’t or shouldn’t do because I was a Christian. There was an emphasis on getting to know Jesus for myself.

That experience in my early teen years had a profound effect on me. I decided then that I would learn more about The United Methodist Church.  When I became a Mother, I decided that I wanted to raise my Son in the United Methodist Church.

Growing up Bapticostal (as I like to say), I had the impression that being a Christian meant a life of rules that NO ONE followed, there was no fun, GOD was vengeful, and there was lots of suffering. I learned in MYF that being a Christian was about community, helping others, and there were more guidelines than rules.

As I have grown in my Christian walk, I have an appreciation for our differences, I have greater acceptance for others, and I appreciate the connection that we have as United Methodists.”
—Jenn Byrd