When God’s people show up
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES In just a few short weeks, God’s people of the South Georgia Conference will show up in Columbus for Annual Conference as we celebrate “How Great is ...
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Centerville UMC serves community with bi-weekly food bank

Centerville UMC serves community with bi-weekly food bank

May 16, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Last month, a handful of men biked 15 miles to Centerville United Methodist Church’s food bank. The food bank closest to their homes had closed, and they couldn’t afford groceries or gas. Inflation and high gas prices are driving more people to Centerville UMC’s bi-weekly food bank, said Cheri Cox, a member of the church and a food bank volunteer. Wednesday, May 11 was a record day, with volunteers serving more than 300 people. “I think the economy is getting bad. It’...

Church court: Conferences can’t exit unilaterally

May 16, 2022
By Heather Hahn, UM News U.S. annual conferences have no authority under current church law to withdraw from The United Methodist Church, the denomination’s top court ruled. “There is no basis in Church law for any annual conference to adopt stopgap policies, pass resolutions, take a vote, or act unilaterally for the purpose of removing itself from The United Methodist Church,” the Judicial Council ruled in Decision 1444. The church court said only General Conference — the denomination’s top ...

Conference Trustees to extend disaffiliation deadline

May 16, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor While seven resolutions have been presented to the Conference Committee on Resolutions for consideration and vote by the 2022 South Georgia Annual Conference, there’s an eighth - and perhaps less obvious - resolution contained in the 2022 Book of Recommendations and Reports. Written into Recommendation 1 of the Conference Board of Trustees’ report is a resolution stating the intent of the Conference Trustees to extend South Georgia’s current disaffiliation policy ...

Guyton UMC gives $7,500 to support Ukrainian orphans

Guyton UMC gives $7,500 to support Ukrainian orphans

May 16, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Guyton United Methodist Church is a small church with a big heart. The congregation, which averages between 40-50 people a week in worship, recently raised 150 times that to support Ukrainian orphans. In just one week, church members gave $7,500 to support St. Paul United Methodist Church’s Ukraine Orphan Ministry. Familiar with the ministry through former pastor Rev. Daryl Brown’s connection and his past mission trips to the country, the congregation gave generously...

Annual Conference Updates - May 12, 2022

Annual Conference Updates - May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022
Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders, Thank you again for the attention you are paying to all of the many details of the 2022 Annual Conference session set for June 5-8 in Columbus. Below is highlighted or new information you will find helpful as you prepare for Annual Conference, including:   Timeline and Agenda Report from the Board of Trustees Updates to the Board of Pension and Health Benefits Report Updated Covid Safety Protocols Childcare ...

Task Force on Hispanic-Latino Affairs meets, plans, resources congregations

Task Force on Hispanic-Latino Affairs meets, plans, resources congregations

May 02, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Georgia is home to nearly 1 million Latinos. But the Church hasn’t done a great job to reach out and welcome them, said Rev. David Thompson, superintendent of the South Georgia Conference’s Coastal District and chairman of the Conference’s Task Force on Hispanic-Latino Affairs. “This isn’t just a Methodist problem; the Church in general isn’t great at recognizing the sojourner in their midst,” he said. Originally formed in 2016, the Task Force on Hispanic-Latino ...

The Chapel’s new playground honors life, legacy of student leader

The Chapel’s new playground honors life, legacy of student leader

May 02, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Landon Martinez was bright, vibrant, fun. He loved to serve and give back to the community for which he cared so deeply. Landon’s Landing, the new playground at The Chapel Midtown in Brunswick, bears his name and honors his life and legacy. With bold, colorful murals from artist Bongang as a backdrop, the playground invites children to run, play, imagine, and enjoy God’s creation. Landon would have loved it, said his mom, Nicole Wright. “Landon loved The Chapel and...

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2022 Annual Conference Session now available

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2022 Annual Conference Session now available

April 25, 2022
2022 Book of Recommendations and Reports Business items for the 2022 Annual Conference session are contained in the Book of Recommendations and Reports (BOR). One of the purposes of the BOR is to encourage delegates to read the recommendations, reports, and resolutions prior to arriving at conference. A good delegate is a prepared delegate. The BOR is now available* for download as a PDF file at no cost in its entirety or in sections. You can also purchase it for $7 (plus tax and shipping) as a...

Dr. Don Wood inducted into UMAC Hall of Fame

Dr. Don Wood inducted into UMAC Hall of Fame

April 18, 2022
Compiled from UMAC publications During the 2022 United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) Annual Meeting, Dr. Don Wood, an ordained elder in the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, was inducted into the UMAC Hall of Fame. From 1977 until his retirement in 2012, Dr. Wood served as executive director of Good News Television (GNTV), a media ministry within the connectional structure of the South Georgia Conference. During his tenure, he helped steer the ministry ...

South Georgia Conference, churches respond after destructive tornadoes hit region

South Georgia Conference, churches respond after destructive tornadoes hit region

April 18, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor In what was the most significant tornado outbreak in Georgia since April 2020, at least 25 tornadoes were produced in the destructive storms that crossed the state April 5-6. The most damaging tornadoes occurred in Bryan, Houston, and Dooly counties, and the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church responded immediately to assess, respond, support, and meet needs. “This is the worst disaster that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Coastal District ...

Effingham County’s Encounter Church constituted

Effingham County’s Encounter Church constituted

April 17, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor On Sunday morning, April 3, 2022, 87 people gathered to worship and celebrate Encounter Church’s founding and constitution into The United Methodist Church. The mood in the room was expectant and excited as those gathered anticipated an announcement that had for several weeks been teased during worship services and via social media. Preaching on 1 Kings 8 which tells of Solomon dedicating the temple, pastor Damon Hubert told the congregation its purpose is to point ...

Andrew College professor awarded grant for sustainable agriculture workshop

Andrew College professor awarded grant for sustainable agriculture workshop

March 31, 2022
Andrew College sustainable agriculture program director Dr. Adam Redhead will receive a grant in the amount of $3,000 to fund an agricultural training program.  The grant was awarded by the southern division of Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grants and outreach program. The overall objective of SARE, according to their website, “is to ...

Annual Conference Special Offering to benefit North Katanga partnership

Annual Conference Special Offering to benefit North Katanga partnership

March 31, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Over the past two years, South Georgia has helped the North Katanga Annual Conference build and reconstruct several local churches, host empowerment training events and leadership training conferences, and train local farmers. The mission partnership that began three years ago when a team of six South Georgia United Methodists traveled to the North Katanga Annual Conference, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), continues to develop. During the 2022 Annual ...

Conference to consider, vote on seven resolutions

March 31, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Seven resolutions have been presented to the Conference Committee on Resolutions for consideration and vote by the 2022 South Georgia Annual Conference. Resolutions, if approved by the Annual Conference, are statements that represent the position of the conference on a subject. Two resolutions, submitted in 2020 by members of the Advocacy Committee and its ad-hoc teams, will be considered and voted upon by the 2022 Annual Conference session. Discussion and voting on ...

Please welcome Reverend Lynn Meadows-White to The Methodist Home!

March 31, 2022
Written and submitted by The Methodist Home Beginning this summer, Reverend Lynn Meadows-White will be officially joining our ministry as the Vice President of Church Relations and Chaplain for our Carpenter’s Way Ranch and Americus sites! She will be available to speak on behalf of The Methodist Home in churches across Georgia and work with folks who want to support our mission in the Columbus area. As a Full Elder, Pastor Lynn has faithfully supported The Methodist Home for many years. Her ...

UMW change name, keep mission

UMW change name, keep mission

March 31, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor New name, same mission. For 153 years, women united by their shared love of Christ and desire to serve women, children, and youth have put their faith into action. Over the years, what was first known as the Methodist Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society became known as the Woman’s Society of Christian Service and then eventually United Methodist Women. Today, the organization has rebranded itself again, this time to “United Women in Faith.” The new name, which was ...

Annual Conference Update: Special Offering, Resolutions, Basic Agenda

Annual Conference Update: Special Offering, Resolutions, Basic Agenda

March 29, 2022
The following is an email sent out by Meredyth Earnest, Conference Secretary, with updated details about the 2022 Annual Conference Session set for June 5-8 in Columbus. Dear Lay/Clergy member to Annual Conference, Our 2022 South Georgia Annual Conference Session is set for June 5-8 in Columbus, Ga. All Sunday activities and all business sessions will be held at The Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center, a wonderful venue along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The memorial service ...

Conference’s Confirmation Retreat at Epworth is “the best weekend”

Conference’s Confirmation Retreat at Epworth is “the best weekend”

March 14, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Epworth By The Sea is quiet no more. The serene, peaceful campus along the Mackay River was once again filled with laughter, activity, and music as the 21st annual Join the Journey Confirmation Retreat returned after a one-year hiatus. More than 400 youth and their adult volunteers gathered to worship, learn, and play together during the March 4-6 weekend retreat that teaches confirmands about prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace as well as their ...

South Georgia UMs raise $75,000 for tornado relief in Kentucky, Tennessee

South Georgia UMs raise $75,000 for tornado relief in Kentucky, Tennessee

March 14, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor South Georgia United Methodists have raised more than $75,000 to help the Kentucky and Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conferences in their relief and recovery work following a string of deadly December tornadoes. This is in addition to a $20,000 donation of disaster response funds given to the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference in the immediate aftermath of the storms. In December, an appeal was made to South Georgia United Methodists requesting monetary donations for ...

St. Paul UMC supports, loves, helps Ukrainian orphans

St. Paul UMC supports, loves, helps Ukrainian orphans

March 14, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor “Tammichka, it’s happening.”   “Tammichka, pray for us.” Tammy Reynolds – affectionately called Tammichka by her Ukrainian friends – read the texts pouring into her phone from her friends in Ukraine. As explosions rocked Kyiv, Reynolds’ heart broke, knowing homes and lives were being destroyed. Minutes later, a flood of new texts came in, this time from Columbus friends, neighbors, and fellow members of St. Paul United Methodist Church. “What’s going on?” “What’s ...

Bishop Graves announces new Conference staff positions

Bishop Graves announces new Conference staff positions

February 28, 2022
Bishop David Graves, resident bishop of the South Georgia Conference, has announced three conference staff positions.  Mrs. Kelly Roberson will become the new Assistant to the Bishop & Director of Conference Ministries/Communications. She will continue her duties as communications director and connectional ministries team leader with additional responsibilities to assist Bishop Graves. Roberson is a lifelong United Methodist and has worked for the South Georgia Annual Conference since 2001. She...

Dr. Jay Harris’ new book helps people read the Bible, connect with God through scripture

Dr. Jay Harris’ new book helps people read the Bible, connect with God through scripture

February 28, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Dr. Jay Harris has been hungry for God’s Word since he was a teenager. Baptized at age 8, he gave his life to Christ a few weeks before he turned 14 while on a youth group outing at a Christian concert. Given a New Testament and told to start reading at the Book of John, Dr. Harris’ faith has been grounded and formed in scripture ever since. “I realized that this was instruction for me in that God, through the Bible, was instructing me how I was to live as a ...

Wesley UMC builds wheelchair ramp, porch for Macon homeowners

Wesley UMC builds wheelchair ramp, porch for Macon homeowners

February 28, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Louis Miller had been homebound for nearly three months. A disabled Vietnam veteran, he doesn’t walk well anymore and uses a walker to get around. His wife, Patsy, has stage four metastatic breast cancer and is currently under hospice care. The Millers use a ramp to get in and out of their Macon home, but it needed repairs to be safely used. They paid a contractor about $400 to fix it, but the work wasn’t done properly and their ability to get out of the home was ...

United Methodists respond to invasion of Ukraine

February 24, 2022
By Sam Hodges, UM News Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought calls for prayer and statements of deep concern from United Methodists, as well as a first-hand account from a denomination member in harm’s way. “We were awakened from deep morning sleep by the sound of explosions and many phone calls from friends,” said the Rev. Oleg Starodubets, a district superintendent who messaged UM News from Kyiv on Feb. 24. “People took their beloved and tried to leave the cities.” Starodubets said United ...

Bishop David Graves calls for special session of the South Georgia Annual Conference

Bishop David Graves calls for special session of the South Georgia Annual Conference

February 23, 2022
Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference, in accordance with ¶603.5 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the annual conference on Saturday, August 20, 2022. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EST and, at this time, is planned as a virtual session.   The purpose of the special session is to vote on any matters related to local church disaffiliations within the South Georgia Annual Conference. According to the current South Georgia Conference...

Brunswick First UMC continues ministry despite fire

February 14, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor After a Feb. 1 fire destroyed Brunswick First United Methodist Church’s electrical system, the congregation will worship in a warehouse for the next several months, said senior pastor Dr. Wright Culpepper. The fire, which started outside, did little actual physical damage other than breaking windows and melting blinds, but critically damaged the church’s power supply. The fire filled the entire church with smoke. Carpets, ceiling tiles, pews – anything with a soft ...

South Georgia apportionment giving remains steady

South Georgia apportionment giving remains steady

February 14, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor The 2021 financial books have closed, and the story is much the same as last year.  United Methodist churches in the South Georgia Conference paid 85.16 percent for total 2021 giving, compared to 2020’s 84.21 percent, according to the unaudited figures. The amount collected was, however, a $319,006 decrease from the amount collected in 2020 because last year’s budget was $735,096 lower than 2020’s budget. That translates to $7.5 million of the Conference’s $8.8 ...

United Methodists extend BSA charters through June 2022

February 14, 2022
(UMCom) United Methodist leaders have reached an agreement with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to extend existing UMC-sponsored Scouting charters through June 30, 2022 to provide for uninterrupted ministry with young people through Scouting. The charters were previously extended to March 31, 2022 as legal proceedings continue in the BSA's bankruptcy case, particularly as the trial for confirmation has now been postponed until March 9, 2022. Churches do not need to take any action to extend ...

Historically Black churches, their clergy, and members

Historically Black churches, their clergy, and members

February 13, 2022
By Anne Packard, Conference Historian While the Moore Methodist Museum was closed to the public in 2020 and 2021, exciting exhibits were created to better tell the story of the Methodist movement in the South Georgia Conference. One of these wonderful collections includes an entire room in the Strickland Wing dedicated to historically Black churches, their clergy, and members. This new display shows the strong ties that bind in families and communities and both the struggles and successes of ...

Jurisdiction mourns the death of Rev. Dr. Brad Brady

February 13, 2022
The Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church mourns the death of SEJ Conference Secretary and retired South Georgia Conference clergyperson Rev. Dr. Brad Brady. Dr. Brady was a pillar of SEJ Methodism and a trusted and gifted leader known and respected throughout our Jurisdiction. “I knew Dr. Brady as a wise and dedicated servant leader,” said Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia and Alabama-West Florida Annual Conferences. “He loved the Lord, loved ...

40-year-old kneeling cushions get new life at Wilmington Island UMC

40-year-old kneeling cushions get new life at Wilmington Island UMC

January 31, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor So often these days, when an item has reached the end of its usefulness or when it’s a bit worn or dated, it’s tossed aside, thrown in the trash, or shoved in the corner of an attic, never to be seen again. But at Wilmington Island United Methodist Church, 16 kneeling cushions, lovingly hand-stitched 40 years ago, have received new lives. In January 1982, 18 women from the Wilmington Island UMC congregation began a project to create needlepoint covers for new altar ...

Conference Board of Pension presents proposal for Retiree Healthcare Trust

January 31, 2022
The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits will present a proposal for a Retiree Healthcare Trust during the upcoming 2022 South Georgia Annual Conference session, set for June 5-8 in Columbus. This proposal aims to secure healthcare coverage for retired clergy and conference staff of the South Georgia Conference no matter what happens in the denomination or annual conference.  “You are probably aware of the discussions going on in our denomination about what our future looks like - ...

General Conference Update and FAQs

January 31, 2022
In a November 18 virtual meeting, the Commission on General Conference – the group tasked with planning The United Methodist Church’s quadrennial global gathering – said they would decide in the first three months of 2022 whether The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly can go ahead as scheduled Aug. 29-Sept. 6 in Minneapolis. General Conference is the only body that can officially speak for the church. The coming gathering has 862 voting delegates – 55.9% come from the U.S., 32% ...

Waynesboro First UMC builds beds for children

Waynesboro First UMC builds beds for children

January 31, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Every child needs a bed. That’s the driving force behind a new ministry at Waynesboro First United Methodist Church.   The church’s bed ministry, launched in December, aims to give children without beds a good night’s sleep by providing them with new beds and bedding, said Bill Tinsley, Waynesboro First UMC’s chair of missions. “If there are children in our community who have to sleep on the floor, what are we doing? As a church, if we’re not meeting the needs of our...

Cordele Ukulele Band spreads joy, happiness with music

Cordele Ukulele Band spreads joy, happiness with music

January 17, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Churches tend to be known for their spectacular pipe organs, beautiful pianos, or accomplished hand bell choirs. It’s rare, outside of Hawaii, perhaps, to hear a ukulele band. But a group in Cordele is doing its best to change that. Known as the CUBs – the Cordele Ukulele Band – the group of about 10 musicians has been strumming and singing together for nearly a decade. The group was formed after Phil Davison and his wife, Cathy, returned from visiting Phil’s native ...

Thomasville First UMC members give time, serve others during Advent

Thomasville First UMC members give time, serve others during Advent

January 17, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor For the past 14 years, Thomasville First United Methodist Church’s congregation has celebrated Christmas differently. Since 2007, church leaders have challenged members to spend less during the Christmas season and put the money saved towards a mission project. Called Advent Revolution, the mission project focuses on remembering why Christmas is celebrated and on making an eternal difference in the world. Over the years, the congregation has built homes for orphaned ...

Bishop Graves: A look forward into 2022

Bishop Graves: A look forward into 2022

January 04, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Bishop David Graves doesn’t know what 2022 holds, but one thing he knows for certain: God is faithful. “I don’t know what 2022 is going to bring to us. It could be challenging in many ways,” he said in a new video. “There have been many years (in history) that have been challenging, but God’s faithfulness has always been there and God’s faithfulness will be with us. And I want us to lean into that.” As he looks forward to the new year, Bishop Graves acknowledges the ...

Central UMC’s Work-Out Bible Study aims to firm body, mind, soul

Central UMC’s Work-Out Bible Study aims to firm body, mind, soul

January 03, 2022
By Kara Witherow, Editor Like many at the beginning of a new year, in 2021 Kindall Strahan resolved to take her health more seriously. The wife and mother of four had battled a long-term infection and various health issues since her second daughter was born eight years ago. A former dancer, she was tired of being sick and tired. “I knew I had to be wholly healthy,” said Strahan, the secretary at Central United Methodist Church in Fitzgerald. “I had to turn to God to be healthy.” A busy mom, ...

Wesley Glen Ministries announces Cameron Bishop President and CEO

Wesley Glen Ministries announces Cameron Bishop President and CEO

January 03, 2022
The Board of Wesley Glen Ministries is pleased to announce that Cameron Bishop has joined the organization as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am thankful and excited to announce that Cam Bishop has been appointed by the Board as the new CEO of Wesley Glen Ministries,” said Robin Hughes, chair of the Wesley Glen Board of Trustees. “Cam has a long history of serving those in need. We look forward to him assuming his new role on January 24, 2022.” Wesley Glen Ministries is a ...

Epworth By The Sea to reopen this month

Epworth By The Sea to reopen this month

January 02, 2022
By Joel Willis, President/CEO, Epworth By The Sea On March 16, 2020, COVID-19 caused all reservations for church and nonprofit groups at Epworth By The Sea to be cancelled. To say the least, the future looked bleak. Little did we know that when the Golden Ray capsized in the Saint Simons Sound on September 8, 2019, that Epworth By The Sea would play a vital role in the wreck’s removal. In order to remove the wreck, the salvage workers needed to be housed in a safe place to prevent infections ...

ICYMI: Our main articles from 2021

January 02, 2022
Can you believe it’s 2022? Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the new year and read the main 2021 stories from the South Georgia Advocate, listed in chronological order, in case you missed any! 2021: a look ahead with Bishop Bryan Bikers deliver gifts, cheer to Wesley Glen residents COVID-19 battle impact’s Pine Forest UMC pastor’s life, faith Hazlehurst UMC turns shipping container into clinic Albany First UMC’s new Alzheimer’s Outreach Center building expands longstanding ministry’s ...

United Methodists reach settlement in Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy case

January 02, 2022
United Methodist leaders have reached a settlement in the matter of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) pending bankruptcy proceedings. Upon final court approval, the settlement would absolve any claims of sexual abuse that may have occurred in congregation-sponsored Scouting programs. Under the terms of the settlement, United Methodists would raise and give $30 million over a three-year period into a fund that will be utilized to compensate survivors, and United Methodist congregations that ...

Conference awards $25,000 for children’s, poverty ministries

Conference awards $25,000 for children’s, poverty ministries

December 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor The South Georgia Conference, through the Office of Connectional Ministries and the Conference Outreach Team, has awarded grants totaling $25,375 to 27 local churches for ministries focused on children and poverty. Funding for the grants was made available through the Bishop’s Initiative for Children and Poverty, to which local churches have supported generously over the years. Ministries or projects, which may be ongoing or new, must be completed between December ...

South Georgia Conference sends $20,000 to aid tornado victims

December 19, 2021
A deadly string of tornadoes left a trail of devastation and ruin across six Midwestern and Southern states Dec. 10-11. Homes, businesses, churches, and lives were lost. The South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church is responding with support by sending $20,000 of disaster response funds to the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference, led by Bishop Bill McAlilly, to help those on the ground meet immediate needs.  “We are overwhelmed with the generosity of the people of South ...

St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces fall grant recipients

December 19, 2021
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Fall 2021 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $824,433 were made to 14 organizations the week of Dec. 6, 2021. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant. Organizations Serving Southeast Georgia: Camden Community Family Center, Inc. (www.camdenfamilycenter.org): A $50,433 partial challenge grant to Camden Community Family Center, Inc., (CCFC) to provide...

White Bluff UMC’s Christmas Light Extravaganza shares joy, light of Christ with Savannah

White Bluff UMC’s Christmas Light Extravaganza shares joy, light of Christ with Savannah

December 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Barry Giddens loves Christmas. Each year he and his three boys – Maddux, 11, Paxton, 9, and Lennox, 7 – cheerfully channel their inner Clark Griswold and decorate their home for the holidays with their thousands of lights, more than 100 inflatables, and various other Christmas decorations. To the Giddens family, lights, as Paxton said, “represent Christmas.” This year, however, they are in a new-to-them parsonage in Savannah. The homeowners’ association prefers ...

Higher Education in Georgia: Colleges, universities, and Wesley Foundations reach students, communities for Christ

Higher Education in Georgia: Colleges, universities, and Wesley Foundations reach students, communities for Christ

December 07, 2021
Better, together By Rev. Dr. Michael McCord, executive director, UMCommission I am not sure there are words that can fully describe all that we have been through over the past two years. The whole world has suffered unimaginable loss and seemingly never-ending uncertainty, and our campuses are no less fraught with anxiety, depression, sadness, and isolation. And yet, there is emerging from this experience a new way of being together that has captured my imagination. I lived in Nashville after a...

2021 Conference Journal now available for ordering, download

December 06, 2021
The 2021 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference is now available to order and download. Those wishing to purchase a Conference Journal will order their copy(ies) online directly from the printer. The cost of the Journal is $25 each plus tax and shipping. This method has streamlined the ordering process and promotes better stewardship of Conference resources. The Journal is also available as a free PDF download.  If you have questions, please contact the Conference Journal Editor, ...

Magnolia Manor of Marion County earns national award for excellence in quality care

Magnolia Manor of Marion County earns national award for excellence in quality care

December 06, 2021
Magnolia Manor of Marion County in Buena Vista, Ga. has been recognized as a 2021 recipient of the “Gold – Excellence in Quality Award” for superior performance in the long-term and post-acute care industry. Representing the best of the best, the award is the final step in three progressive levels of awards through the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award Program. The program recognizes organizations that meet rigorous ...

Theme announced, hotel blocks open for 2022 Annual Conference Session

December 02, 2021
The 2022 South Georgia Annual Conference session, scheduled June 5-8 at The Columbus Convention & Trade Center, will gather in person under the theme of “Great is Your Faithfulness.” The annual gathering will begin Sunday evening, June 5 and conclude mid-day Wednesday, June 8. “Thanks to vaccinations and proper protocols, at this time we feel confident that an in-person gathering can occur next year,” said Conference Secretary Meredyth Earnest. “We continue to monitor the pandemic and are ...

Brunswick First UMC shares hope, comfort, peace through Angel Ministry

Brunswick First UMC shares hope, comfort, peace through Angel Ministry

November 15, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor There are angels among us, as the song says, and in Glynn County, at least, it’s because Ellen and Alan Huth and Brunswick First United Methodist Church’s new Angel Ministry have gifted nearly 500 small crocheted white angels to individuals and area ministries. Depictions of angels have long afforded Ellen Huth a sense of comfort and peace, and for the past 10 years she and her husband, Alan, have passed the symbols of peace out to others. “It all started about 10 ...

Practice radical generosity on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 30

Practice radical generosity on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 30

November 15, 2021
#GivingTuesday harnesses the generosity of millions of people around the world to support the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. We invite you to select a ministry affiliated with the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. This year, Giving Tuesday is on Nov. 30. Click on a link below to give directly to an organization. Andrew College Epworth By The Sea Georgia Southern Wesley Foundation Good News Television Ministry Magnolia Manor Open Door ...

Teaching is Colquitt UMC member's

Teaching is Colquitt UMC member's "God-given gift"

November 15, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Jessica Lawhorn’s paternal grandfather was a Methodist pastor. He used his booming voice to preach the Good News from behind pulpits in Alabama and Florida. Lawhorn, a teacher, proclaims the gospel in a different way – by teaching children their letters, how to read, and by loving them unconditionally. Lawhorn, a special education teacher at Seminole County Elementary School in Donalsonville, has been teaching since 2002. She was recently voted the 2021-2022 Seminole ...

Clergy promote peace during trial

Clergy promote peace during trial

November 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Amid those protesting outside the Glynn County Courthouse this week – many from as far away as Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, and Canada – walks Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed. Wearing a multicolored sticker that reads, “Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk humbly… together. Glynn,” Rev. Lattany-Reed is one of about 20 area clergy and religious leaders who have formed a diverse ecumenical group, Glynn Clergy for Equity, dedicated to peace and prayer. Whether sitting under the group’s...

Revs. Baxter, Duke-Barton to serve as South Georgia mission liaisons

Revs. Baxter, Duke-Barton to serve as South Georgia mission liaisons

November 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Shannon Baxter and Rev. Garth Duke-Barton have been tapped to serve as South Georgia Conference mission liaisons. Rev. Baxter, minister of Missions Outreach Ministries at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church in Savannah, is also now serving as the South Georgia Conference’s United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Conference coordinator. Rev. Duke-Barton, pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church in Jesup, is also now serving as Conference Secretary for ...

Statesboro First UMC’s revival a “work of God through hundreds of lay people”

Statesboro First UMC’s revival a “work of God through hundreds of lay people”

November 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Eight months ago, a group of four Statesboro First United Methodist Church members began to pray for revival. Meeting every Monday evening in an upstairs room at the church – aptly named the Upper Room – they had no plans and no real idea what to do but pray. “We knew we needed revival. The whole world needs a revival,” said Don Marsh, a member of Statesboro First UMC who served on the church’s evangelism committee. “When we started, we talked about having revival in ...

2021 KidzQuest

2021 KidzQuest "a gift from God”

October 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor After pressing pause in 2020, Connectional Ministries put on an epic beach bash this year to welcome back KidzQuest. More than 200 children and adult leaders from across the South Georgia Conference gathered on Jekyll Island to learn more deeply how to worship, study God's Word, and understand what a relationship with Jesus really means. “Seeing all the church vans and buses arrive at Camp Jekyll gave me goosebumps,” said Associate Director of Connectional Ministries ...

South Georgia UMW gather virtually for annual meeting

South Georgia UMW gather virtually for annual meeting

October 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Around kitchen tables and from living room couches, South Georgia’s United Methodist Women gathered for their annual meeting Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Apart but together via computer screen, they celebrated 151 years of mission and ministry during their first virtual annual meeting. “Women, children, and youth all over the world who depend on us for many services are able to receive the help they need because you have been faithful,” said Carol Banks, South Georgia ...

Statesboro First UMC pastor, children’s minister dance to raise money for local domestic violence shelter

Statesboro First UMC pastor, children’s minister dance to raise money for local domestic violence shelter

October 17, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Dr. Scott Hagan is a pro at dancing through tough theological issues, but on Nov. 18 and Nov. 21 he’s going to put his actual dance moves to the test as he struts his stuff on stage in front of hundreds of Statesboro friends and family. Dr. Hagan, senior pastor of Statesboro First United Methodist Church, and his dance partner, Eastyn Durrence, a Georgia Southern University student and former competitive dancer, are one of 10 teams in this year’s Dancing with the ...

A message from President Fowler, president of Wesleyan College

October 14, 2021
On Thursday, October 7, Dr. Vivia L. Fowler, President of Wesleyan College, released this statement: At the end of this academic year I will mark fifteen years at Wesleyan—ten as your provost and five as your president—and I will be forever grateful for the students, faculty, staff, alumnae, trustees, and friends of the College who support this institution and each other every day. Together we have accomplished great things at Wesleyan, and I know that her greatest days can lie ahead. As ...

Begun by UM Sunday school class, Lawson Neel MedBank serves Thomasville citizens

Begun by UM Sunday school class, Lawson Neel MedBank serves Thomasville citizens

October 04, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Millions of Americans regularly have to choose between basic necessities and their medications: buy food or heart medication? Pay the rent or purchase insulin? A recent Gallup poll shows that nearly 18 million Americans can’t afford at least one prescription medication in a three-month span.  Like Eliquis, a widely prescribed medication that helps lower the risk of stroke and blood clots and costs about $600 a month. Or Ozempic, a diabetes medication that costs nearly ...

Connecting, communicating, collaborating are focus of Conference, district lay leaders

October 04, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Communication and connection. That’s the focus for J. Knapp, who just completed his first year as the South Georgia Conference’s lay leader. Knapp’s goal – to train and develop district lay leaders who, in turn, will train local church lay leaders – will be realized through increased communication and better connection with district and church leaders, he said. “The role of the lay leader in the local church is to help strengthen and develop the local laity,” he ...

Kate Tyler joins episcopal office staff as executive administrative assistant

October 04, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Upon Bobbi Googe’s retirement Oct. 8, Kate Tyler will join the South Georgia Conference’s episcopal office staff as executive administrative assistant.  Tyler succeeds Googe, who, after three years serving in the episcopal office, will begin a new role as a full-time grandmother.  Tyler currently serves as administrative assistant to both Conference Pastoral Counselor Rev. Deborah Wight-Knight and Assistant to the Bishop for Ministerial Services Dr. Jay Harris.  ...

Tips for including church members in your service

October 03, 2021
Laity Sunday is Oct. 17, 2021 By Darby Jones, United Methodist Communications  The word laity is from the Greek word, laos, meaning “people of God.” It is used to describe members of a congregation or parish who are not a part of the clergy. By letting laity plan services and offer ideas for worship, the pastor and worship team members can get a little respite, and participating members may find a deeper connection within the church. Laity Sunday is a specific day to include church members in...

Conference’s assistant disaster response coordinator lives faith through service

Conference’s assistant disaster response coordinator lives faith through service

September 20, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Whether pressure washing sidewalks at Dooley Campground, setting up a collection and distribution warehouse after a catastrophic hurricane, or clearing limbs after a tornado, Bob Grieco is a helper. It’s just who he is, how he’s wired. “I want to help, so that’s what I do. I’m pretty good at organizing things and I feel like I’m helping people,” said Grieco, who serves as South Georgia’s assistant disaster response coordinator. That’s why Grieco, an Air Force and ...

New book by Bishop Looney shares humor, inspirational stories from his life and ministry

New book by Bishop Looney shares humor, inspirational stories from his life and ministry

September 20, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Those who know Bishop Richard Looney know he doesn’t take himself seriously, but he is serious about Jesus. Well-known for his humor, Bishop Looney, who served the South Georgia Conference from 1998 until his retirement in 2000, has written a book of “holy hilarity” and inspirational stories. “The purpose is to bring a little joy in the midst of all this darkness we’re going through these days,” he said. “I’ve always thought a little humor is helpful.” All proceeds ...

LaGrange College ranked in Top 10 by U.S. News & World Report

September 17, 2021
LaGrange College continues its run as an outstanding college in annual rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.   The institution was rated in the top 10 among 93 Regional Colleges in the South, the only Georgia college in the category’s top 20.   “It is always exciting to have an independent source like U.S. News recognize the value of a LaGrange education,” said college President Susanna Baxter. “It is also a validation of our mission of preparing students to become successful, ...

Brunswick First UMC team focuses on creation care, conservation

Brunswick First UMC team focuses on creation care, conservation

September 03, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Wednesday Night Suppers are nearly as Methodist as the itineracy. But in many United Methodist churches, when the food comes out, so do piles of plastic and Styrofoam. Foam plates, plastic bowls, and foam cups. And it all ends up in the trashcan and then in a landfill. Looking around her church’s Wednesday Night Supper, Kathryn Schiliro wanted to do better. “I noticed that we were using a lot of Styrofoam. Everybody likes coffee and we use a lot of Styrofoam cups,” ...

South Georgia UMW stays connected virtually

South Georgia UMW stays connected virtually

September 03, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor As women of deep faith who put their beliefs and love into action on behalf of others, the South Georgia Conference’s United Methodist Women weren’t going to let a global pandemic or a capsized cargo ship off the coast of St. Simons Island thwart their mission, fellowship, and spiritual growth efforts. But after nearly a year of cancelled meetings, mission studies, and retreats, they knew they had to pivot and think differently about how to gather. And now, meeting ...

Q & A with Bishop David Graves

Q & A with Bishop David Graves

September 01, 2021
Episcopal leader of the South Georgia Area As Bishop Graves began his service as the new episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference in 2021, the Advocate asked him a series of questions to get to know him and his guiding principles. ADVOCATE: Welcome to South Georgia, Bishop Graves! We’ve watched you lead and serve our neighbors in the Alabama-West Florida Conference for the past five years. What are your plans and goals as you begin this new, unique season?  BISHOP GRAVES: I plan to ...

SEJ College of Bishops appoints Dr. Brad Brady as SEJ Conference secretary

SEJ College of Bishops appoints Dr. Brad Brady as SEJ Conference secretary

August 19, 2021
During their virtual meeting Thursday, Aug. 19, the Southeastern Jurisdiction’s College of Bishops appointed Dr. Brad Brady to serve as the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference Secretary, effective upon current secretary Anne Travis’ retirement Sept. 1. This is not a new role for Dr. Brady, who retired in June as senior pastor of Perry United Methodist Church in the South Georgia Conference. In 2008, he was elected to serve as the 2009-2012 Jurisdictional Conference Secretary, with primary ...

Bishop Bryan retires after 46 years

Bishop Bryan retires after 46 years

August 16, 2021
Next month, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan will retire after 46 years of ministry, the last five of which have been in the South Georgia Conference. As bishop, he has focused on helping all South Georgia United Methodists become Alive Together in Christ. We sat down with Bishop Bryan and talked with him about his ministry, his time in South Georgia, and what he looks forward to in retirement. It’s been said, “You can’t go home again,” but you have come home. Tell us about what it’s been like to come ...

Fifty years with Lawson: a blessing and a joy

August 16, 2021
By Mrs. Sherrill Bryan 50 years ago, I slipped and almost fell in Cathedral Caverns. Fortunately for me, “he” was there to grab my hand. We have not let go of each other since that day. We married and immediately went to work together in ministry serving United Methodist churches and, in the end, the South Georgia Conference as bishop. Words are inadequate to express the loving hospitality, support, and fun we have had with these soulful people. Everywhere we served was a blessing and a joy. ...

Sexual Ethics Workshop details announced for 2021-2022 conference year

August 16, 2021
Every three years, according to the South Georgia Conference Sexual Ethics policy, any person serving under appointment by the bishop (clergy, local pastors, extension ministers, appointed lay speakers) are required to attend a Sexual Ethics Workshop. These workshops are hosted by the South Georgia Conference Pastoral Counselor.  There will be three workshops offered between now and Annual Conference 2022 (September, February, and April.) The new format involves a series of seven videos with a ...

St. Luke UMC opens Ranger Outreach Center to serve military, veterans, families

St. Luke UMC opens Ranger Outreach Center to serve military, veterans, families

August 16, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus stands just 10 miles from the fifth-largest military base in the world. With more than 25,000 active duty military and a total population of nearly 110,000 people, Fort Benning is an integral part of the Columbus community. That’s why St. Luke’s new Ranger Outreach Center (ROC), opened last month, is a crucial ministry, said director Ret. Maj. Tony Mayne. A true outreach center, the ROC, through its partnerships with ...

Alive Together at the Table: A response to the survey sent before AC2021

Alive Together at the Table: A response to the survey sent before AC2021

August 15, 2021
Earlier this year, prior to the 2021 Annual Conference session, the Conference conducted a survey to gather feedback regarding the life of the local church and the upcoming General Conference session. More than 300 responses were received from clergy and laity across South Georgia, and the responses were and are being used to make decisions for the future of the Conference, Bishop Bryan said in a pastoral letter. “Thanks to each of you who responded,” he said. “You provided a wealth of insight...

Covid-19 Update: Watching carefully the rise in COVID infection rates

Covid-19 Update: Watching carefully the rise in COVID infection rates

August 02, 2021
South Georgia clergy and laity, Like you, the Cabinet and I are watching carefully the rise in COVID infection rates that are occurring in Georgia and around the nation. Hospitals in some areas are once again seeing higher admissions due to COVID. Schools and other public venues are having to re-consider what practices will be best for the safety of the community. Local churches are also impacted by these rising infection rates.  We commend the laity and clergy of South Georgia for the way you...

Wesley UMC hosts school uniform drive

Wesley UMC hosts school uniform drive

August 02, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Wesley United Methodist Church is showing the love of Christ by serving. Each month this year, the congregation has chosen a mission project as a way to give back to the Macon community. For July, Wesley UMC collected gently used or new school uniforms and hosted a free uniform giveaway July 30 and July 31. Families were lined up, waiting for the doors to open, said Natalie Nicholl, a Wesley UMC member who helped spearhead the event. One family of five drove about 30 ...

After a year off, South Georgia UM churches resume VBS

After a year off, South Georgia UM churches resume VBS

August 01, 2021
VBS is back. A summertime staple, vacation Bible school has returned to South Georgia United Methodist Churches. Most congregations canceled VBS last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but as restrictions ease and more are vaccinated, many churches felt they could safely return to in-person vacation Bible school this summer. Richmond Hill United Methodist Church’s VBS has long been a huge outreach effort with hundreds of children and volunteers participating. Last year, church leaders ...

Special session of the SEJ votes to unite the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences

August 01, 2021
Newly formed Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference will launch in January By Sybil Davidson, adapted from a UMNS report by Heather Hahn At a special session on Wednesday, July 21, the delegates of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference worshiped, received video updates from across the jurisdiction, and approved realigning the boundaries of Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences to create the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference.  Bishop James Swanson of the Mississippi Conference ...

Epworth By The Sea will reopen to the public this fall

July 19, 2021
Epworth By The Sea, which has been closed to the public since Sept. 22, 2020, plans to reopen to the public in late fall 2021. When Epworth By The Sea reopens, guests are invited to experience Epworth’s peace, connection, and beauty, said Executive Vice President Rev. Wayne Racz. The campus has undergone significant improvements including: cabins enlarged and upgraded with central heat and air, larger bathrooms, and tankless gas water heaters; lodge room interiors remodeled and updated; and ...

South Georgia UMs resume mission trips

South Georgia UMs resume mission trips

July 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor In March 2020, one day before 18 Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation students were to board a plane to fly to Jamaica, their Spring Break mission trip was abruptly cancelled. More than a year later, with a lot of planning and tests and protocols in place, 15 of the 18 original team members gratefully stepped off a plane in Jamaica. In Seville Heights in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica May 22 to May 28, they built a home, served others, and forged lasting friendships, ...

Focus on friendship, outreach help Brunswick’s Emanuel UMC grow

Focus on friendship, outreach help Brunswick’s Emanuel UMC grow

July 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor A couple of weeks ago, Rev. Ken Sharpe stopped in Winn-Dixie to buy cheese straws. As he searched the aisles, a woman helped him look for the elusive snack. They struck up a conversation and the two ended up chatting for an hour. He never found the cheese straws, but he did invite his helpful new friend to church. She showed up the next Sunday, homemade cheese straws in hand. This isn’t an unusual story for Rev. Sharpe, pastor of Brunswick’s Emanuel United Methodist ...

SEJ Called Session set for Wednesday; live stream link now available

July 18, 2021
The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶521 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, will meet for a special session of the jurisdictional conference on July 21, 2021. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EST and will be held virtually. Delegates have been sent a link and a voter ID to participate in the Conference. Others who want to watch the special session can do so by going to www.sejumc.org and clicking the link on the home page. The...

Americus quilters make quilts for veterans, others

Americus quilters make quilts for veterans, others

July 05, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor A group of women in Americus are stitched together by their shared faith, a love of quilting, and the desire to serve their community. The Grateful Threads Quilting Guild has gathered weekly for the past several years to sew, stitch, and create as many quilts as possible to give away to others. The group, which meets in Lee Street United Methodist Church’s parsonage, started with a weekend quilting class taught by Valerie Duff, a member of Americus First United ...

Nashville UMC’s men’s group cooks up conversation, connection

Nashville UMC’s men’s group cooks up conversation, connection

July 05, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor For five weeks in June, a group of men gathered in Nashville United Methodist Church’s kitchen. They huddled around the stove, chopping, dicing, sautéing, and stirring.  They were farmers, lawyers, and businessmen, and all were hungry. They were hungry for good food, of course, but they were also hungry for connection – with God and each other. The men’s small group was cooked up by self-described foodie and cooking enthusiast Rev. Mark Addington, who serves as ...

S3 applications due Friday, July 9

July 05, 2021
S3 is a program for sustaining excellence in ministry sponsored by the South Georgia Order of Elders and the Board of Ordained Ministry. S3 is a collaborative, small group, action learning experience that will help sustain and promote excellence in ordained ministry. “S3 has fostered many deep and authentic friendships over the years,” said Rev. Dr. Jimmy Asbell, Jr., Director of S3 and senior pastor of Vineville United Methodist Church. “It provides companionship, support, and strength for the...

CPE class helps prepare pastors for rigors of ministry

CPE class helps prepare pastors for rigors of ministry

June 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Greg Harrison officiated five funerals in the first six months of his last appointment. By the time he finished his second year at the church, he had conducted 15. “That was a significant portion of my congregation,” said Rev. Harrison, who now serves as associate pastor of Wynnton United Methodist Church in Columbus. “I was feeling stressed out, burned out, and I just didn’t know how to navigate through what I was experiencing. I didn’t even know how to name ...

Pierce Chapel UMC’s KILT ministry helps young men grow closer to Christ, each other

Pierce Chapel UMC’s KILT ministry helps young men grow closer to Christ, each other

June 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor The kilt may be the traditional garment of Scotsmen, but to a group of young men in Midland, receiving a kilt is an honor, a distinction earned for years of commitment, service, and leadership. Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church’s Knights in Leadership Training (KILT) program is a fellowship and leadership ministry for high school males. Begun seven years ago by church member Stephen Childers, it’s designed to help young men – all in ninth through twelfth grades – ...

Bishop Bryan leads fifth and final South Georgia Annual Conference session

Bishop Bryan leads fifth and final South Georgia Annual Conference session

June 09, 2021
Leading his fifth and final annual conference session as South Georgia’s episcopal leader, on Monday, June 7, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan welcomed more than 700 delegates and guests to the 155th session of the South Georgia Annual Conference. This year’s gathering was again virtual, with clergy and laity participating from their living rooms, home offices, and churches. Earlier in the week the conference worshiped virtually in three separate services: the Retiree Recognition Service on June 1, the ...

Nine South Georgia congregations disaffiliate from UMC

June 09, 2021
Nine South Georgia congregations have disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church. In nine separate votes - one per church - Recommendation 5 passed, which allows the churches to disaffiliate from The UMC “for reasons of conscience regarding a change in the requirements and provisions of The Book of Discipline related to the practice of homosexuality or the ordination or marriage of self-avowed practicing homosexuals as resolved and adopted by the 2019 General Conference, or the actions or ...

Bishop Bryan sets 2021-2022 pastoral appointments

June 08, 2021
On Monday, June 7, during the 2021 South Georgia annual conference session, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan fixed the 2021-2022 pastoral appointments for the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. 2021-2022 Appointments Click here to download and view the list of appointments by district. The Reading of the Appointments Click here to watch the reading of the appointments. For full Annual Conference coverage, visit www.sgaumc.org/annualconference.  

Bishop Graves introduced

Bishop Graves introduced

June 08, 2021
Just as Georgia and Alabama share the Chattahoochee River, they will soon share an episcopal leader. In a new video, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, who will retire this September, introduced Bishop David Graves, who serves as bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Upon Bishop Bryan’s retirement and during the approximate 16-month interim, Bishop Graves will provide episcopal leadership to both the South Georgia and the Alabama-West Florida Conferences. Winning people to Jesus is Bishop Graves...

Conference completes its pre-1982 pension and benefits obligations

June 08, 2021
During the 2021 Annual Conference session, the Conference approved a motion to no longer collect apportionments for payment of pre-1982 pension and benefits. The obligation for the funding of the pensions and the yearly increase of the past service rate has been met. In these trying and uncertain times, the South Georgia Conference Council on Finance and Administration and Board of Pension and Health Benefits have worked hard to save South Georgia local churches money and ease the burden of ...

Conference remembers, celebrates, and honors during worship services

Conference remembers, celebrates, and honors during worship services

June 08, 2021
Before the Conference got down to business, it worshiped together virtually over the course of several days as it remembered, celebrated, and honored South Georgia United Methodists. Virtual Retiree Recognition On Tuesday evening, June 1, the Conference gathered virtually to honor these 11 pastors retiring this year:   James Robert Beckum Remer Logan “Brad” Brady III Columbus B. Burns III Darrell Carter Eddie J. Conaway, Jr. Bob Mark Moon Gary V. Page Norris Ashley Randall, Jr. Carol Morgan ...

General Conference delegation update: Pray and prepare

June 08, 2021
In a video to the annual conference, Mr. Bill Hatcher and Rev. Jim Cowart, heads of South Georgia’s General Conference delegation, gave a brief update on the status of The United Methodist Church, the postponed 2020 General Conference session, and the Protocol for Separation through Grace and Reconciliation. They welcome thoughts and questions from South Georgia United Methodists (www.sgaumc.org/2020-delegation). Watch Delegation video For full Annual Conference coverage, visit www.sgaumc.org/...

Swimming and sisterhood: Climax UMC exercise group is a lifeline

Swimming and sisterhood: Climax UMC exercise group is a lifeline

May 31, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor To a handful of women in Climax, Ga., “yada yada” means anything but boring, predictable talk. These are the Yada Yadas, a close-knit group of women who have been meeting, praying, and exercising together since 2005. Sure, they talk, but it’s the meaningful kind of talk – the kind described by the Hebrew word yada: to know, to make oneself known. “We have each other’s back,” said group founder Ann Ariail, a member of Climax United Methodist Church. “We’ve helped each...

Annual Conference week has begun

Annual Conference week has begun

May 27, 2021
The 155th session of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church will begin online Tuesday, June 1, with the clergy session and the Retirement Recognition Service, and will run through Monday, June 7, with the virtual business session. Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, leading his fifth and final annual conference session as South Georgia’s episcopal leader, will guide South Georgia United Methodists in times of worship, business, and celebration. Gathering under the theme of “Alive ...

SEJ College of Bishops calls for special session

May 26, 2021
(SEJ) The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶521 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the jurisdictional conference on July 21, 2021. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EST and will be held virtually. The purpose of the special session is to vote on a proposed resolution to unite the Memphis Annual Conference and the Tennessee Annual Conference into the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference. Delegates...

St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces spring grant recipients

May 24, 2021
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Spring 2021 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $628,597 will be made to 14 organizations the week of June 1, 2021. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant.   Organizations Serving Southeast Georgia:   Adoption-Share, Inc. (www.adoption-share.com): A $40,000 challenge grant to provide program support to deploy Family-Match Application in Georgia. ...

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