DCC focuses on evangelism, fasting, vitality

published 2/28/2013
“There is a difference between being a Christian and being a disciple,” said Bishop James R. King, Jr. as he preached during the opening worship service of the third annual Disciple Covenant Conference. Held Feb. 8-9 at the Macon Centreplex, the conference provided a spiritual and learning environment for pastors, laity, congregations and teams to develop their disciple-making plans. The Church has done little to prepare baptized believers for ministry and growth, Bishop King said, and that ...

Ministry helps give rest to the weary

published 2/28/2013
Rees Carroll knew he had to do something when he was told that the second grade student he mentors was falling asleep in class. The 6-year-old was tired because, instead of sleeping in a bed, he slept on a pallet on the floor next to his sister, who kicked him in her sleep. Exhausted from restless nights with little sleep, the boy couldn’t stay awake in school. “This is my boy, this is my kid,” said Carroll, who sprang into action and quickly got beds for both the young boy and his sister. After...

On the heart of your Bishop (March 1)

published 2/28/2013
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! Thanks for your prayers I know that many of you are praying for the cabinet and me. I know that many of you are praying for our Conference to be all that it can be for the glory of God. I know that many of you are praying for a Christlike world. I believe God hears us and answers the prayers of those who seek to do God’s holy will. Thanking you for your prayers!  The best one ever Several persons who attended the ...

Worship, fellowship, spiritual growth the focus of Saints Alive Conference

published 2/28/2013
Older adults in the South Georgia Conference have an exciting opportunity for spiritual renewal, worship and fellowship at the 2013 Saints Alive Conference, formerly the Older Adult Retreat. Set for April 15 through April 17 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, the annual retreat has been a gathering place of older adults for many years.  Worship and spiritual growth are the main focus of this retreat, and participants are able to totally immerse themselves in the atmosphere and become ...

Lent and the strangeness of being a Christian

published 2/27/2013
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN I’m writing this column around 2:30 p.m. on Ash Wednesday. We’ve completed two of the three services we’re offering today. It’s been a busy day of activities and our night will end just as the day began – with a worship service reminding us that we are dust and to dust we shall one day return. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” You know, sometimes it’s strange to be a Christian. This is only my third Ash Wednesday in the role of “pastor.” I’...

Words of Witness

published 2/27/2013
This is the first in a monthly series from the Conference Witness Team. Through these “Words of Witness” columns, the Witness Team hopes to inspire and encourage local churches and church members to engage in radical hospitality. We’ve been EXPECTING you! When a church is focused and intentional on reaching out to new people who don’t know Jesus Christ, get ready - they will show up! They will take your parking space, they will sit in your seat, and they will need direction as to where to go ...

John Wesley's Diary

published 2/26/2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley’s diary is one of the most outstanding diaries in English literature. He actually had two diaries. One was a series of small leather-bound volumes in which he wrote every hour. This diary was written in a personalized shorthand – a code. Then each week he would take these notes and write his journal in clear English sentences, paragraph style. He would often make copies of his journal and send them to friends. Some were published English papers so the ...

"Chuck Knows Church" and you will, too

published 2/18/2013
"Chuck Knows Church” answers the questions of people unfamiliar with the objects, symbols and terms used in church. However, frequent worshippers and longtime church members are also finding the online video series enjoyably informative – and entertaining. The series, which premiered in November, features Chuck, a witty fount of knowledge about all things church. It is produced by the General Board of Discipleship office of communications and worship resource team in collaboration with the ...

A passion for foreign mission work leads to relationships with Honduran UM church

published 2/18/2013
With God’s guidance and grace, one Brunswick man is faithfully living out a calling he received more than 50 years ago. While attending a church revival, 12-year-old Gene Barber, now 68, felt God calling him to be a foreign missionary. “The evangelist was talking about committing one’s life to service, and I very much felt a calling to be a missionary,” Barber said. “I really felt like that was what God wanted me to do with my life.” With a mother who was active in their church’s missionary ...

Americus First UMC volunteers pack 10,050 meals

published 2/18/2013
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Dr. Hal Brady continues ministry in retirement

published 2/18/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor Former St. Luke United Methodist Church pastor Dr. Hal Brady has continued his ministry in retirement through writing, teaching, weekly television broadcasts and a website ( Wanting to continue proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ after 50 years of active ministry and his June 2011 retirement from the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, he formed Hal Brady Ministries. Whether teaching seminars, writing Sunday school ...

Jennifer and Rev. Jim Cowart pen church leadership book

published 2/18/2013
While many United Methodist churches in the United States are in decline and losing members, Harvest Church, a United Methodist Congregation in Byron, is one of the fastest growing UM congregations in the country. In its 12 years, Harvest has seen more than 2,000 people accept Christ for the first time, including 30 in just the first three weekends of the year. The church averages about 2,400 each week in its four worship services. There’s no big secret to the church’s success, though, says ...

Kingdom Business: Kingdom Builders' Sunday is Feb. 26

published 2/18/2013
By Karen Hahn, New and Revitalized Congregational Development “Your generosity . . . not only provides for the needs of God’s people, but also produces prayers of thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:12) We have been hearing so much lately about practicing “Random Acts of Kindness” and “Paying it Forward” in the news and on social media sites, and it has caused me to think about our churches across the South Georgia Conference. They have been practicing this kind of thing long before it ...

Nehemiah: Interruptions

published 2/18/2013
LIVING THE VISION BRAD BRADY This is the fifth in a series of articles about the book of Nehemiah. Bishop King has invited all South Georgia United Methodists to join him in studying this book. Nehemiah received a God-inspired vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The vision was cast and widely received by the people. An enthusiastic group was repairing the walls. However, real life constantly made the rebuilding project a test for everyone. Nehemiah had to do more than one thing at a ...

This is My Story!

published 2/18/2013
By Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries In preparing to write this column, my favorite hymn, Blessed Assurance” came to mind. At the age of 3, I knew every word of this classic hymn and would sing (loud and proud), “Blessed insurance - Jesus is mine!”  You know the chorus: This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long! Then, following my chain of thought, the hymn “We’ve a Story To Tell To the Nations” came to mind. We all have a story, and ...

Advocacy Team seeks input around Prison Ministry

published 2/5/2013
YOUR INPUT NEEDED!  The Conference Advocacy Team is seeking input from congregations who are involved in Prison Ministry throughout our conference. They invite you to complete the prison ministry survey at  Thank you in advance for your input and support!  

Judicial Council Docket for April 2013

published 2/5/2013
The UM Judicial Council has posted the docket for its April meeting  on the council’s website. The meeting will take place in the denomination’s U.S. Western Jurisdiction, but the exact location has yet to be determined. Here is a summary of the issues. --Docket 0413-1—IN RE: Review of a Bishop’s Decision of Law in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference Regarding the Resolution Entitled “Inclusiveness Resolution” --Docket 0413-2—IN RE: Review of a Bishop’s Decision of Law at the Western ...

High-tech tithing

published 1/31/2013
South Georgia UM churches embrace electronic avenues to collect tithes and offerings By Kara Witherow, Editor Last Sunday morning, in an act of worship, Daniel Rock swiped his debit card on a small white device attached to an iPad. In this electronic age when the majority of people carry cell phones and use cards instead of cash, churches are beginning to embrace electronic avenues to collect tithes and offerings. Rock, a member of Gateway Community United Methodist Church in Pooler, does all ...

John Wesley's Holy Club

published 1/31/2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John and Charles Wesley were students at Christ Church College, a part of Oxford University. John became a teacher at Lincoln College, which was also a part of Oxford. John left for a few months to help his father who was pastor of St. Andrews Church up at Epworth.  While John was gone, Charles started a small gathering of fellow students who met for prayer each week.  Some say it was really only one other student and they would simply go to worship together.  ...

Multiculturalism: Creating a Church for all people

published 1/31/2013
By Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed, associate director of Connectional Ministries Interestingly enough, the last lesson for 2012 from the United Methodist Adult Bible Study Series for December 30 was entitled “Christ's Love for the Church.” In this lesson, the writer, Jack Gilbert, states that in the last few years we have been puzzled by the influx of other nationalities and cultures into our American milieu. He asks, “are we a melting pot in which we all practice the same general customs, or are we a ...

On the heart of your Bishop

published 1/31/2013
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! Thank you! As we close the book on another year of ministry through our apportionment giving, it is important to say thank you for your faithfulness. So many of you have been extremely intentional about making the connection between good stewardship and our commitment to support ministries near and far in order to grow a Christlike world. The United Methodist Church remains strong because of your loyalty to the ...

Do the right thing

published 1/30/2013
Written by Rev. J. Michael Culbreth, Speedwell UMC, Savannah “Creating a church for all people requires United Methodists to do the right thing.” Bishop Melvin Talbert, who spoke those words, preached at the 2012 Multicultural Conference, held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Bishop Talbert was the closing keynote speaker at the gathering of about 130 leaders representing 13 annual conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. ...

New laws around mandatory reporting: what does this mean for my church?

published 1/30/2013
By Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries  The Office of Connectional Ministries is committed to resourcing the churches across South Georgia with the most relevant and timely information to equip clergy and laity for ministry. At a training event hosted by Centenary United Methodist Church in Macon, changes to the current laws surrounding mandatory reporting were presented. These changes went into effect July 1 and will have an impact on the faith community and local ...

Camilla UMC rings in New Year with community-wide day of prayer and worship

published 1/28/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” On Saturday, Jan. 5 and Sunday, Jan. 6, Camilla United Methodist Church took Paul’s instructions literally. The church invited the entire community and all area churches to their “24 hours of prayer and worship” service, which ran from 9:30 a.m. Saturday until 9:30 a.m. Sunday. During the 24-hour period, nearly 500 people ...

2013 Confirmation Retreat set for March 15-17

published 1/22/2013
Connectional Ministries, in partnership with Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, will again offer youth from around the Conference the opportunity to learn, worship and fellowship at their annual Confirmation Retreat. The retreat will be held March 15-17, and the deadline for registration is Feb. 28.  Designed for students in the sixth grade and above, the “Join the Journey” Confirmation Retreat will provide churches of all sizes an opportunity to connect with others through worship, study...

2013: A Look Ahead

published 1/22/2013
In Matthew 28, Jesus instructs his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations …” As the South Georgia Conference enters a new year, that 2,000 year-old commission continues to be Bishop James King’s focus for the Conference. Making disciples, he says, requires growth in faith and a deepening spiritual walk. “I feel blessed as a bishop to be serving in the South Georgia area,” said Bishop King, who enters his second quadrennium as the episcopal leader of the Conference. “I’m still very ...

Advance Special renewal notice: deadline is Jan. 31

published 1/22/2013
The Advance is an official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated, second-mile mission giving. Advance Specials are those approved mission projects and personnel which local churches, groups, classes and individuals are encouraged to support with their financial gifts. This entails giving beyond apportionments, World Service and/or Conference Benevolence.  Seven categories have been designated through which persons are encouraged to channel their gifts; these categories...

Summer camp counselors needed

published 1/22/2013
College students interested in a summer serving in ministry are invited to apply to be counselors at Camp Connect on St. Simons Island. As a camp counselor, students will minister to hundreds of youth and children throughout the summer while making lifelong friendships with other staff members.  As a paid position, staff members on the Leadership Team will commit to eight weeks of service which will include serving at mid-high and elementary camps.  The summer will run from May 27- July 21, ...

Tennille UMC members respond to God's call to help others

published 1/22/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor Scripture recounts dozens of ways Jesus met people’s needs. He fed more than 5,000 men, women and children on the Sea of Galilee’s shore. He restored blind Bartimaeus’ sight. He healed the invalid at Bethesda. And He ministered to the woman caught in adultery. Through meeting their physical and emotional needs, Jesus was able to minister to and meet their spiritual needs, too. Tennille United Methodist Church is following Jesus’ example with their many health ...

Methodist Home plans Methodist Home Advocates training events

published 1/8/2013
The Methodist Home is preparing training events for the newly elected Methodist Home Advocates in each local church.  They will be doing a training event in each district, and an additional one to help catch any who might have missed theirs.  They will go over the details of how Advocates can be most effective in their work, and provide information and materials to assist them.  They ask each Advocate to attend, and to bring the little silver Methodist Home Advocate Handbook they received from ...

2012 marked by holy conversations, comforting and building a Christlike world

published 1/3/2013
Conferences, CLUs and compassion – oh my! The South Georgia Conference had much to celebrate as 2012 came to a close. There were many highs and lows throughout the year, and through it all, South Georgia United Methodists continued to reach out to the hurting, hungry, hopeless and helpless with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Holy Conferencing Much of the year was spent preparing for or engaging in holy conferencing, as quadrennial General and Jurisdictional Conferences were held in addition...

District Study Task Force at work

published 1/3/2013
Bishop James King, the District Superintendents, six lay persons and four clergy are making progress toward fulfilling the 2012 Annual Conference session’s action calling for the continuation of the study to possibly reduce the number of districts.  The “Hinshaw” amendment called for the Bishop, District Superintendents and five laity to work on developing detailed models for a reduction to seven or six districts, which will be presented at the 2013 Annual Conference session, set for June 2-4 in...

GC vies with Judicial Council as 2012's biggest news-maker

published 1/3/2013
By Sam Hodges, UMR Managing Editor Summarizing a full year in the life of the sprawling, conflicted United Methodist Church is always a challenge. Every fourth year, it gets tougher. That’s because General Conference—the quadrennial gathering for setting church policy, law and finances—occurs and influences so much of church life. But the 2012 General Conference faced surprising competition as a news-maker. It came from the UMC’s Judicial Council, which overruled as unconstitutional two major ...

Helping churches, individuals make disciples is goal of 2013 Disciple Covenant Conference

published 1/3/2013
The third annual Disciple Covenant Conference is set for Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.   Helping people, individually or in teams, develop disciple plans based on the 10 timeless values of the faith is the focus of the conference, which will convene in Macon at the Macon Centreplex (Macon Coliseum). The purpose of the Disciple Covenant Conference is to provide a spiritual and learning environment for people to develop their disciple-making plans. The two primary goals of the event are to ...

I Believe

published 1/3/2013
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR.  Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! The hope of every Christian should be growing a Christlike world. There is an obvious contrast between a Christlike world and a world filled with layers of hurt and disconnects of all sorts. “Growing a Christlike World” is not just a vision slogan pulled out the sky. Rather, it is the promise land of every believer revealed in the disciple’s prayer for the kingdom of God to come on earth as it is in heaven. The values...

Rev. Gene Cochran to retire, new Director of Ministerial Services sought

published 1/3/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor The process of becoming a United Methodist minister is a long and somewhat complicated one. The Director of Ministerial Services oversees that process, shepherding candidates through their journey to become ordained elders. In June, the South Georgia Conference will appoint or hire a new Director of Ministerial Services. Rev. Gene Cochran, who has served in this role the past four years, will be retiring following the 2013 Annual Conference session. The Conference’s ...

Epworth By The Sea to host 2013 Winter Camp Meeting

published 1/2/2013
One of South Georgia’s oldest and most popular United Methodist gatherings will be held Sunday, Jan. 27 through Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island.    “For more than 60 years, the world’s most outstanding preachers, teachers and musicians have come together in “God’s Place” to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help us all face the morning with the assurance that God is with us,” said Epworth’s Superintendent, Dr. Charles Adams. “This year we are honored to have ...

Nehemiah: Leaders mobilize people

published 12/29/2012
LIVING THE VISION BRAD BRADY This is the third in a series of articles about the book of Nehemiah. Bishop King is inviting all South Georgia United Methodists to join him in studying this book. Reading Nehemiah 3 feels as though we have entered the footnote zone. Footnotes are something important the writer wants you to know, but footnotes are not known as the most invigorating reading. Reading this chapter calls forth the same low level of warm-fuzzy feelings you experience when reading the ...

North Georgia and South Georgia churches work together

published 12/29/2012
Submitted by Debby Stikes In a time when mission statements are encouraged, written, and often put in a drawer and ideas of building bridges and cooperative ministry are talked about but never put into action, Riverside United Methodist Church in Macon and Griffin First United Methodist Church in the North Georgia Conference are proving you can build a bridge to another conference and to the world. Beginning in early 2012, a group of women from both churches began a quest to travel to Baldwin, ...

United Methodist churches and agencies eligible for Staples discounts

published 12/29/2012
The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church has recently arranged with office supply retailer Staples to provide United Methodist churches and organizations with preferred pricing and discounts on purchases.  In addition, one percent of all purchases will go to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). To sign up, visit 

Springfield/Isle of Hope members collaborate on cookbook to help children

published 12/19/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Six-year-old Danny was in prison. So was his 3-year-old half-brother Moises. The two hadn’t committed any crimes, but were living with their parents in a cramped, overcrowded room in the Tapachula, Mexico men’s prison where their father was incarcerated. After he was released, the boys continued to live in the prison with their mother, who was in jail for running drugs. Today, Danny, 21 and in his third year of dental school, is a shining example of God’s redemptive and ...

Members hold on to faith after fire damages South Columbus UMC

published 12/18/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Reggie Williams and the South Columbus United Methodist Church congregation are holding on to hope, scripture and each other after a fire damaged the church’s sanctuary in the early morning hours of Friday, Nov. 23. Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” is a life verse for Rev. Williams, and the entire South Columbus congregation is holding on to that ...

Thomasville First UMC is transforming lives through Advent Revolution

published 12/18/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor  Justin was 3 years old when his parents were killed in the Rwandan genocide. Homeless and hopeless, he didn’t have anyone to take care of him or anywhere to go. That is, until someone told him about Village of Hope, a group of homes built because of Thomasville First United Methodist Church’s Advent Revolution and members who decided that Christmas should be about compassion, not consumption. Now in its sixth year, Advent Revolution focuses on remembering why ...

Bishop King announces plan for 900 CLUs by 2013

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor We all need love. That was Bishop James King’s message to each United Methodist who attended one of nine Bishop’s Hours held this fall throughout the South Georgia Conference. “We all need love,” he said. “We not only need love as a one-time experience, we need Christlike love as an ongoing experience.” To help foster and spread this love, Bishop King has set a goal of having 900 Christlike Love Units (CLUs) in the Conference by Dec. 1, 2013.  That’s a minimum of 100 ...

Defining Advocacy

published 12/11/2012
Written by the Advocacy Team (Rev. Jeff Cook, Rev. Stacey Harwell, Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed, and Richard Shinhoster) When Jesus sat down with the disciples and talked about the kingdom of God, he had the weight of the prophets behind him. For hundreds, even thousands of years, prophets spoke of a coming one and a coming kingdom. The coming one would bring the longed-for peace – a time when the child would play at the snake’s den and not be harmed, where natural enemies – the lion and the wolf – ...

Moore Methodist Museum welcomes new assistant director

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Elizabeth Rhye is enthusiastic about history and teaching others about United Methodism.  The recent Elon University graduate has combined her passion for history, her United Methodist heritage, and her degree and training into the perfect job as the new assistant director of the Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum, Library and Archives. Born and raised a United Methodist in Charlotte, N.C., Rhye came to St. Simons Island after graduating with a history degree. She put ...

Mulberry Street UMC holds post-election Day of Prayer and Unity

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor In a years-long election cycle filled with vitriol, rancor, discord and divisiveness, voters quickly grew weary of the partisan politics that dominated airwaves, conversations, Facebook feeds and daily discussions. But with its Day of Prayer and Unity, Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon sought to bridge the divide and come together as a church and a community one day after the election, on Wednesday, Nov. 7. With its sanctuary open for prayer at 8 a.m., ...

Rediscovering the awe of Advent

published 12/11/2012
BEYOND THE NEWS CREEDE HINSHAW Merchants have always touted shopping.  It’s de rigueur to complain about greedy moneymakers and aggressive, insane shoppers on the recently dubbed Black Friday.  Decry the madness if you must but remember that it’s not a recent phenomenon; shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has simply grown in a logical, efficient progression over the decades.  Internet shopping and increasingly earlier store openings were anticipated in a quainter way some 40 years ago by ...

White Bluff UMC's needlecraft ministry members create gifts of love

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Helen Norman’s husband Dale was diagnosed with cancer nearly eight years ago, he was given a prayer quilt by the women of White Bluff United Methodist Church’s Pins and Needles sewing and quilting group. He was so impressed by and appreciative of the quilt that he took it everywhere and even had it signed by his doctors, nurses and everyone who visited him at home and in the hospital. That quilt made such an impression on both Helen and Dale that after Dale’s death...

St. Marys Foundation announces grant recipients

published 12/3/2012
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Fall 2012 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $850,408 were made available to 18 charitable organizations the week of December 3, 2012. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant. You can also view a video presentation of grants awarded by visiting their website at  Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia (

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