Affected by Disaffiliation? Find out how you can move forward in mission in South Georgia


Bishop Graves sets church planting and revitalization as a priority

published 1/26/2023
When Bishop David Graves arrived in South Georgia he established three priorities for the South Georgia Conference: disrupting and dismantling racism, clergy mental health, and resourcing the local church for ministry. This year he is adding an additional priority: church planting and revitalization.  “God has opened up some new windows of opportunity to plant and revitalize churches,” said Bishop Graves. “With a renewed sense of commitment, I believe God is calling the South Georgia ...

2023 prayer emphasis: February focus

published 1/21/2023
In a focused effort, the South Georgia Conference is centering itself around prayer in 2023. Each month a prayer guide will be developed that contains a specific focus, including a weekly scripture, a breath prayer, and a prayer prompt.  February’s prayer guide, written by the Revs. Michael Culbreth, Michelle Dailey, Cedric Jackson, and Precious Hawkins, is now available at Bulletin inserts are also available for local churches to use. Throughout the year, four ...

January storms: South Georgia helps neighbors, early response teams needed

published 1/20/2023
On Thursday, January 12, 2023, severe storms and multiple tornadoes stretched across the Alabama-West Florida and North Georgia Conferences. The South Georgia Conference stands in solidarity with our neighboring conferences, offering prayer and support.    At the request of the North Georgia Conference, the South Georgia Conference has been asked to assist and coordinate the UMC response in Meriwether County. Rev. Glenn Martin, Northwest District Disaster Response coordinator, is taking the lead...

Service for Bishop Graves celebrates his return to South Georgia

published 1/20/2023
By Kelly Roberson In one of the the oldest Methodist churches in Georgia, on Sunday, January 8, 2023, Bishop David Graves and his wife, Nancy, were officially welcomed to the South Georgia Conference as the conference celebrated and gave thanks for his assignment to South Georgia. Bishop Graves was assigned as interim episcopal leader in September 2021 following the retirement of Bishop Lawson Bryan. During the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in November 2022 it was announced that ...

VSU Wesley Foundation offers hope one shoe at a time

published 1/20/2023
By Ashtyn Ray, Student, Valdosta State University   “Choose Hope. Take Action. Change Lives.” That’s the motto the Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation recently chose to embody through its partnership with Sole Hope, an organization that works in Ugandan villages.   Students from the VSU Wesley Foundation recently worked with Sole Hope to transform one of their worship services into a night of shoe-making. Altogether, they were able to make 50 pairs of shoes for the vulnerable populations...

United Women in Faith enjoy ‘family reunion’

published 1/18/2023
By Tara Jones, South Georgia Conference UWF President   The gracious hostesses at Baxley First United Methodist Church in Baxley welcomed United Women in Faith members from across South Georgia October 15, 2022, for quite the celebration. After two years of virtual annual meetings, the women enjoyed a “family reunion” greeting sisters in person.    After beautiful opening music by Sandra Smith and an offering of prayer by Laurie Jo Upchurch, attendees were inspired by Dee Dee Salgado’s lovely ...

This is NOT a business deal!

published 1/12/2023
Dear Friends of the South Georgia Conference, Earlier this week, I wrote an article reminding you about our process and timeline around disaffiliation and departures. The decisions and policies our Conference leadership and Trustees have made are meant to help those who wish to wait and see what happens at General Conference 2024. If you have not reviewed that information, please do so here. In that spirit, I would like to elaborate on some personal reflections about why churches in the South ...

Updates for the New Year

published 1/9/2023
Dear Friends of the South Georgia Conference,  Happy New Year! As we begin a new year, I pray God will reveal to you a sense of peace and clarity in 2023.  In early November, the Commission on the General Conference announced that the 2024 United Methodist General Conference will be held April 23 - May 3, 2024, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. This much-anticipated gathering will be an important time for the future of The United Methodist Church. I would ask ...

Wesley Glen’s Christmas spirit can’t be dampened

published 1/8/2023
By Kelly Roberson, Director of Conference Ministries/Communications   Chris, Jesse, Nathan, and Brian got a big surprise for Christmas, but not one they put on their Christmas list.   Just two days after Christmas, the Macon house these four Wesley Glen residents call home - Vineville Home - found itself with major damage.   Following a cold snap in the middle Georgia area, the Vineville Home suffered a pipe break during the sub-freezing temperatures. To complicate matters, the pipe was part of ...

Dr. Brad Brady, Mrs. Rose King among notable UMs remembered in 2022

published 1/7/2023
United Methodist News recently honored 40 notable church leaders and members who died over the past 12 months in an article, “2022: Noteworthy United Methodists remembered.” Among those remembered are Dr. Brad Brady, a clergy member of the South Georgia Annual Conference, and Mrs. Rose King, wife of Bishop James King, former episcopal leader in South Georgia. Read the full article here.  

Heritage UMC spreads love during Half Deep Dish Christmas event

published 1/7/2023
By Raime Cohen, staff reporter for 13WMAZ in Macon, Ga.   Heritage United Methodist Church in Macon, Ga. celebrated their 11th annual Half Deep Dish Christmas on Sunday, December 25, 2022.   At least 40 different churches came together to make this event possible.   ‘Tis the season for unity.   "Love, fellowship, for the lonely lost and broken,” Director Ray Rover said.   "I know I could be doing other things but this is right where I want to be,” church member Diana Coady said.   Rover started ...

South Georgia United Methodists continue in disaster relief

published 1/7/2023
After the news stories subside it's easy to forget about the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole this fall. But South Georgia United Methodists haven't forgotten and keep showing up. Glenn Martin, the Northwest District disaster relief coordinator led a team to Ft. Myers November 28-December 1 to help with the relief efforts. Team members were Glenn Martin and Bob Gilstrap from Wynnton UMC in Columbus; Mike Tovey from Midland UMC; and Larry Thompson from Gray UMC.    The ...

Top Stories of 2022

published 1/7/2023
You have been living out the mission of the church this year! Take a look at some of our top stories of  South Georgia United Methodists in 2022!    Quilters make more than 150 stockings for children at The Methodist Home 'Tin can miracle': Perry church builds mobile medical clinic ‘Hands on Homerville’ brightens up a community Pastor steps out in faith and discovers the promise of Ephesians 3:20 Wesley Glen is in the business of spreading joy Cooks Union UMC offers meals to nourish and bring ...

2023 Clergy Ethics Training Scheduled for March and April

published 1/5/2023
Every three years, according to the South Georgia Conference Sexual Ethics policy, persons serving under appointment by the bishop (clergy, local pastors, extension ministers, appointed lay speakers) are required to attend a Sexual Ethics Workshop. Under the guidance of the Office of Ministerial Services, the South Georgia Conference will offer Clergy Ethics trainings in March and April 2023.    Trainings were postponed in 2022 while conference leadership worked on a new training model. The new ...

Quilters make more than 150 stockings for children at The Methodist Home

published 12/18/2022
 By Kara Witherow, Advocate contributor    This Christmas, 172 children will smile a little brighter because of a group of South Georgia quilters.   For 15 years, the Stars and Stripes Quilting Guild has made stockings for children and youth at The Methodist Home. Since 2007, the group of about 25 women has made and given away more than 2,000.   While all the women love to quilt and sew, the stockings are more than just a craft project or hobby. The colorful socks, crafted from festive fabric, ...

South Georgia Conference begins January with prayer emphasis

published 12/17/2022
When people pray, God listens.   In a focused effort, the South Georgia Conference is centering itself around prayer in the coming year.   “While it seems so obvious that prayer is the center of our work, sometimes we need to make intentional efforts,” said Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference. “It is easy to get sidetracked by the business and agenda items of our meetings. We add more to our plates, we find ourselves in a cycle of busy-ness, and we stay in ...

Derek McAleer receives 2022 Denman Evangelism Award

published 12/15/2022
The Rev. Dr. Derek McAleer has been awarded the United Methodist Church’s highest evangelism honor, the Harry Denman Evangelism Award.  The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year Annual Conferences and the Foundation for Evangelism recognize persons in each conference....

Suzanne Jones named new Conference Director of Administration

published 12/15/2022
The South Georgia Conference Council on Finance & Administration is pleased to announce the new Director of Administration and Treasurer for the South Georgia Annual Conference. Mrs. Suzanne Jones will begin her service to the conference on January 1, 2023.  Jones is currently the Director of Administration and Treasurer for the Alabama-West Florida Conference. She will continue working for Alabama-West Florida while also giving financial leadership to the South Georgia Conference as part of a ...

Apply today for Camp Connect Leadership Team!

published 12/12/2022
Now hiring college students for summer staff at Camp Connect! Do you know of a college student who loves Jesus and desires a summer of ministry in a beautiful location? As a camp counselor, college students will be able to minister to hundreds of youth and children throughout the summer, while making Christian friendships with other staff that last a lifetime.  As a paid position, the Leadership Team will commit to nine weeks of service which will include serving at high school, middle school, ...

Winter Retreat for Youth Directors, Feb. 2-3

published 12/12/2022
Registration is now open for the Called Conference, sponsored by the South Georgia Conference's Youth Ministry Network. Set for February 2-3, 2023 at Epworth By The Sea, this retreat is a time for youth workers to remember their calling and reignite their passion for ministry. Youth ministry has changed significantly and youth workers need the tools, the relationships and reliance on God (and God alone) to continue. This one-day retreat will give youth workers time together to worship, to reset,...

Celebration service and reception for Bishop David Graves is Jan. 8 at 4 pm

published 12/10/2022
On Sunday, January 8, 2023, the South Georgia Conference will host a celebration service and reception for South Georgia’s returning episcopal leader, Bishop David Graves. It will be held at 4 p.m. at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon. The special service is a time for our Annual Conference to gather for worship and to welcome back Bishop Graves and Mrs. Nancy Graves and to give thanks for his assignment to the South Georgia Conference. Bishop Graves will preach, the Mulberry ...

Confirmation Retreat set for March 3-5, 2023

published 12/9/2022
Registration for the 22nd annual South Georgia Conference Confirmation Retreat opened December 1st for South Georgia churches and January 1st for all other churches. The 2023 retreat will take place March 3-5 at Epworth By The Sea. Designed for students in the fifth grade and above, the “Join the Journey” Confirmation Retreat will provide churches of ALL sizes an opportunity to connect with others through worship, study, and fellowship. Bishop Graves will be joining us to kick off the event! For...

Registration for summer camps opens January 1

published 12/7/2022
Registration opens up January 1st for Camp Connect - the South Georgia Conference Camping Ministry at Epworth By The Sea. These week long residential camps are offered for elementary, middle and high school students in June and July. For more information, click here.

Scott’s Chapel UMC receives Renfro Grant

published 12/5/2022
Scott's Chapel United Methodist Church is the 2022 South Georgia recipient of the Renfro Trust Grant.  The Renfro Trust awards grants for the purpose of establishing and supporting United Methodist churches in rural areas of the United States within the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Grant applications are considered for projects involving new or existing church buildings. Located in Blackshear, Ga., Scott's Chapel UMC recently held their 160th celebration of ministry in November of 2022. The church...

'Tin can miracle': Perry church builds mobile medical clinic

published 12/4/2022
Rev. Bobby Gale was asked to build 10 OBGYN clinics for them to send to Ghana. He says the clinics help the indigenous, marginalized, and disenfranchised.  By Jessica Cha, WMAZ, Macon It can be easy to take our everyday access to health care for granted.  However, Unto the Least of His, a ministry in Savannah, is working to expand healthcare access in places that need it most, like a number of African countries.  So far, the ministry has formed 10 mobile OBGYN clinics. They've been working on ...

Camps & Retreats Happenings

published 12/4/2022
Encounter Youth Retreat: Returning back to Epworth after a couple of years away, we had our largest Encounter Youth Retreat in 9 years! We dug deep into Psalm 46 and worshiped together with 21 different churches attending.  Confirmation Retreat: Registration for the 22nd annual South Georgia Conference Confirmation Retreat opened December 1st for South Georgia churches and January 1st for all other churches. The 2023 retreat will take place March 3-5 at Epworth By The Sea. Designed for ...

South Georgia pastor pens book on prayer

published 12/4/2022
By Kelly Roberson Prayer changes us. That’s what the Rev. Dr. Ted Goshorn, senior pastor of Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon, Ga., writes about in his new book. Goshorn grew up in Rome, Ga. and never expected to become a pastor. Having first pursued a career in higher education, he found a calling for helping individuals grow in their faith and churches to transform their communities. As a result of that call, Goshorn joined the ministry as an ordained United Methodist elder ...

Theme & adjusted dates announced for 2023 Annual Conference session

published 12/4/2022
Bishop David Graves announces that the 2023 Annual Conference session will be held Sunday, June 4, 2023, through Tuesday, June 6, 2023. The conference theme will be: When They Prayed, based on Act 4:31. “While it seems so obvious that prayer is the center of our work, sometimes we need to make intentional efforts,” said Bishop Graves. “It is easy to get sidetracked by the business and agenda items of our meetings. We add more to our plates; we find ourselves in a cycle of busy-ness; and we stay...

2022 Conference Journal now available

published 12/3/2022
The 2022 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference is now available for purchase. Those wishing to purchase a Conference Journal will order their copy(ies) online directly from the printer. The cost of the Journal is $26 each plus tax and shipping. (Promo code WELCOME15 will give you a 15% discount at this time).  “I am appreciative of the time and effort that our new Journal Editor, Rev. Dr. Ted Goshorn, put into this year’s publication,” said Meredyth Earnest, Conference Secretary. “The ...

150 Years demonstrating the Love of God with Actions and in Truth

published 11/14/2022
By Alison Evans   If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.  ~ 1 John 3:17-18 (NIV)    As I reflect on 15 decades of healing and hope at The Methodist Home for Children and Youth, I am amazed by the many, many instances where you have loved our children with actions and in truth.      Over the years, your giving ...

The Methodist Home for Children and Youth: Breanna & Noah tell their stories

published 11/14/2022
By the staff of The Methodist Home as published in the Gateway magazine Founded in 1872, The Methodist Home provides care for children and families in need across South Georgia including a continuum of residential care (Children’s Homes), community foster homes, specialized treatment programs and counseling services to better serve our community. The Methodist Home is a faith-based organization working to better equip at-risk youth and families for the future. Their mission is to be a model ...

Look back, give thanks, move forward

published 11/13/2022
By Laura Buchanan, United Methodist Communications Remember God’s past provisions, let go of expectations, and find new ways God is working today     Neighboring has changed. Technology has transformed our daily living. Relationship building must overcome screen time. As societal norms shift, each generation has a moment of realization: “Things just aren’t what they used to be.” “It’s funny how we glorify things in the past and we tend to dread things in the future, the unknown,” says Anne ...

United Methodists to Meet in Charlotte for Worldwide Conference

published 11/13/2022
The Commission on the General Conference announced that the 2024 United Methodist General Conference will be held April 23 – May 3, 2024, at Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.  “The Commission selected Charlotte as the site that best met our varied needs. We believe that delegates and attendees will be pleased with all the city has to offer,” said Kim Simpson, Chair of the Commission on the General Conference. “Charlotte is a part of the Western North Carolina Annual ...

Bishop David Graves assigned to South Georgia

published 11/4/2022
Bishop David Graves has been assigned to the South Georgia Annual Conference and will serve as the Episcopal leader for the next two years. He will also continue giving oversight to the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. This announcement came on the final day of the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference held Nov. 2-4 at Lake Junaluska, NC.  Bishop Graves was elected bishop in July 2016 by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the Alabama-West Florida ...

SEJ Conference meets Nov. 2-4

published 11/1/2022
All updates: Meeting under the theme “This I Know,” the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference began November 1 with a session offered by the Committee on Episcopacy for delegates to get better acquainted with persons who have been nominated for the episcopacy.   The Conference officially opened with worship at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2.  The five jurisdictional conferences of The United Methodist Church typically meet once every four years. However, the ...

‘Hands on Homerville’ brightens up a community

published 10/31/2022
By Allison Lindsey, Advocate contributor   A drive through rural South Georgia where US Highways 441 and 84 intersect brings you to the heart of Homerville, Ga. in Clinch County. With a population of 2500, this town boasts of its hospitality, quality of living, and spirit of community expressed in their slogan, “There’s No Place Like Homerville.”    The residents take great pride in their town. This pride and the generosity of the people are now showcased through an event called “Hands on ...

Bishop Graves calls for special Annual Conference Session

published 10/28/2022
Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Annual Conference, in accordance with ¶603.5 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the annual conference on Sunday, May 21, 2023. The meeting will begin at 4 pm using the Zoom Webinar platform in conjunction with an online voting system. The sole purpose of the special called session of the Annual Conference* is to complete the process of ratifying the current requests for disaffiliation of ...

Jurisdictional Conference to elect bishops Nov. 2-4

published 10/18/2022
The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be held November 2-4, 2022, at Lake Junaluska Conference Center in North Carolina.  The primary business of the session will be the election and assignment of bishops. There are nine nominees for bishop. Originally set for July 15-17, 2020, the SEJ Conference was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council of Bishops has called for Jurisdictional Conferences across the U.S. to meet November 2-4, 2022.  The South Georgia Conference ...

Pastor steps out in faith and discovers the promise of Ephesians 3:20

published 10/16/2022
By Allison Lindsey, Advocate contributor   Early each morning you will find Nick Pumfrey live on social media sharing God’s word, offering a word of encouragement, and issuing a challenge for the day. Until recently, as soon as he stopped the live feed he would hop in his car for his morning commute to his full-time job at Gulfstream in Savannah, Georgia.   As a bi-vocational pastor, Pumfrey enjoyed a solid career path in which, professionally, he worked his entire life to fulfill and had ...

Wesley Glen is in the business of spreading joy

published 10/16/2022
A Word from Cameron Bishop, CEO, Wesley Glen Ministries   I have had the privilege of traveling to various churches and community groups over the past month to share about “what’s happening” at Wesley Glen Ministries. Aside from meeting some incredible people during my travels, I have been amazed to learn just how many individuals have a personal connection to someone with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). Although the stories vary in terms of the who, what, when, and where, one...

Georgia UM Foundation Offers Highest Certificate Rates in the Last 10 Years

published 10/15/2022
Churches, nonprofits, individuals, and families have an opportunity to elevate and advance the mission and ministry of the Methodist Church across Georgia through investments in the Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s Certificate Program. Loan demand is growing as churches renovate and expand existing facilities and as Methodist churches work with the Foundation to refinance with favorable terms. When you purchase 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year fixed-rate certificates, you earn higher returns than ...

UMCOR helps local partners respond to Hurricane Ian

published 10/10/2022
Hurricane Ian, whose maximum sustained winds of 150 mph tied it as the fifth-strongest hurricane on record to strike the United States, made landfall in Florida on Sept. 28, 2022. Prior to the hurricane’s arrival, UMCOR and its local partners used a preemptive approach to storm response and recovery. Staff were in close contact with conference disaster response coordinators in states where an impact was expected and helped them plan their response.  As Ian struck Florida, the magnitude of the ...

Bishop Graves issues a call to "pause" during Advent season

published 10/5/2022
Dear Friends of the South Georgia Conference,   What a joy it has been to visit with over 2,000 laity and clergy across the South Georgia Conference during the month of September. The attendance at these regional gatherings surpassed my expectations, and it was good to be in connection and conversation with the people of South Georgia. Thank you to those who attended as we sought to bring clarity to the issues facing our denomination and annual conference.    A Time to Pause During Advent It ...

Hurricane Ian Update

published 10/3/2022
On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast. Storm surges and Category 4 winds caused significant flooding and damage, devastating the southwest area of the state and beyond. Immediately, UMCOR sent supplies to Florida and initial solidarity grants were issued to both the Florida and South Carolina Annual Conferences to address immediate needs. UMCOR and its local partners have been hard at work preparing the storm response and recovery. How to Help Give ...

New Wesley at Frederica UMC ministries aim to help the community

published 10/3/2022
By Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News   Two new ministries of Wesley United Methodist Church on St. Simons Island aim to help different people with different issues.   Wesley Arbor gives people with dementia a chance to have some fun while giving their caretakers a break, with the Norma Lucas Academy of Fine Arts at Wesley offering a chance for people with special learning needs and tuition assistance to learn to play a wide array of instruments.   Beth King, the director of Wesley Arbor, started...

Cooks Union UMC offers meals to nourish and bring hope

published 10/2/2022
By Kara Witherow, Advocate Contributor   Food sustains, nourishes, gives life.    It can also connect, bring hope, and convey love.    Since last September, that’s what Cooks Union United Methodist Church, through its Meals of Love ministry, has delivered to about 20 people each week.    Every Wednesday, Rev. Jean Watson, pastor of Cooks Union UMC in Colquitt, Ga., and church member Kaye B. Cook dedicate their entire day to cooking, baking, packing, and delivering meals. Both women enjoy cooking...

Disaster Response Update: Hurricane Ian

published 9/26/2022
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida Wednesday, September 28 as a Category 4 storm. The South Georgia Conference is in contact with the Florida and South Carolina Conferences as the storm tracks north. We are also still monitoring any effects to our coastline on the eastern part of our conference. Our best response today is to wait, pray, and give.  If you have storm-related damage in your community that requires church response, please contact Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Luis ...

Disaster response team travels to Kentucky to help rebuild veteran’s home

published 9/18/2022
By Kelly Roberson, Director of Conference Ministries/Communications  When disaster strikes, United Methodists have a long legacy of being present to help their neighbors and communities from day one until the very last nail is put in place. At the core of this legacy is the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church.   In December 2021, after a massive high-end EF4 tornado tore directly through the center of Mayfield, Kentucky, members of Mayfield First United Methodist Church reached ...

Dr. Derek McAleer to retire, new Administrative Services director sought

published 9/18/2022
By Kelly Roberson, Director of Conference Ministries/Communications  Overseeing the finances of an entire United Methodist Annual Conference is a high calling.   The Rev. Dr. Derek McAleer has faithfully lived out this calling as the Director of Administrative Services/Treasurer for the South Georgia Conference, where the amount of information and responsibility is constantly growing and the load of financial, legal, and administrative decision making is a large task.    This week, after 8 ...

Safe Sanctuaries: putting fresh eyes on your local church policy

published 9/18/2022
By Allison Lindsey, Nurture Team Chair   During the 2022 Annual Conference Session, conference members approved the following two items related to Safe Sanctuaries:  1.     Every local church will revisit and update (as necessary) their Safe Sanctuaries policy by Dec. 31, 2023 2.     Changes to the conference Safe Sanctuaries Policy were made to reflect updated practices   As you know, Safe Sanctuaries is the name commonly given by local United Methodist Annual Conferences and local churches to...

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