The first services held in the community were held by the Reverend L. B. Wilson, a Congregationalist Methodist minister, in the school building erected in 1885. In 1887, Mr. Will Ison gave the land for a church and a wooden building was erected. In 1893, the congregation reorganized as a Methodist Episcopal Church. Older members remember early revivals lasting two or three weeks and the church would be so full that children lined the aisles and men sat in the window sills during the services. The present building was completed September 13, 1953, and dedicated in 1961.
In 2014, we created a mission statement, “growing in love, sharing in worship, and reaching out in prayer” and defined our values, “faith, hope, and love.” To grow in love, we added a seven-minute Sunday school before our worship service, a fellowship supper on Wednesdays, and congregational suppers throughout the year. To share in worship, we created a task-oriented leadership list and developed ways for people to become more actively involved in worship services. To reach out in prayer, we organized the local National Day of Prayer which is held on the first Thursday in May. In addition, we’ve placed prayer boxes in local businesses and close our worship services with a prayer circle, praying for the requests left in those boxes.
During 2015, we continued our leadership in the National Day of Prayer, the Educators’ Prayer Breakfast, and the Community Heroes Prayer Breakfast. We also saw our Wednesday night study grow and thrive as we studied the tabernacle, truth project, and Epic of Eden. After we study, we sit down to talk and laugh and share the best meal available anywhere in our area!
We started 2016 committed to our mission. We created a new administrative board position for a Road Trip Chair and Jimmy Cook plans regular outings for groups of members. The Tri-Ladies continue to lead us in ministry, meeting every third Sunday afternoon. They create Easter and Thanksgiving food bags and Christmas fruit baskets for shut-ins and
fill emergency buckets and school packs for UMCOR. We focused on “reaching out in prayer” and we’ve now placed prayer boxes in every school in Grady County. It’s grown beyond our church with partner churches adopting those boxes and the schools where they are placed. We’re also presenting the prayer box ministry to Community Transformation, Inc. in Thomasville hoping they’ll start their own prayer box ministry to the neighboring county!
We’re committed to taking care of our building and started the year with a new steeple. The new memorial flower gardens in front of the church are dedicated to former members of Woodland United Methodist Church and the Woodland community. Both gardens include a birdbath and concrete bench, where members of our church and community can sit, pray, or meditate. We thank Benny, Judy, Annette, Linda and Bob Prince for their labor of love.
And finally, we’re looking ahead to 2017, hoping to start a 24-7 Prayer Room in our area! We held our first 24-7 prayer day on January 20th for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, another on Pentecost Sunday, and another on September 11th for Patriot’s Day.