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No Change in Number of Delegates for 2012 General Conference

published 11/9/2010
The secretary of the General Conference, Rev. L. Fitzgerald Reist, announced Friday that the number of delegates for the 2012 General Conference will be near the 1,000-delegate limit.  "Although a variety of opinions have been expressed, I've heard strong pleas to retain similar numbers as before, and I believe any significant reduction in the number of delegates should occur in concert with a more comprehensive look at the whole process,” said Rev. Reist. “It’s essential that we not undermine ...

United Methodist Women "Get Together"

published 11/8/2010
Nearly 300 women from around the South Georgia Annual Conference gathered together for the 38th annual meeting of the South Georgia United Methodist Women. Meeting under the theme, “Let’s Get Together,” on Saturday, October 16, UMW from across the conference celebrated 141 years of mission and ministry at Dublin’s Pine Forest United Methodist Church. “What do we want to be next?  What do we want people to say about United Methodist Women by 2020?” asked keynote speaker Harriett Olson, deputy ...

Lake Junaluska Assembly Names New Executive Director

published 11/7/2010
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Dr. John “Jack” L. Ewing, Jr. has been named the new Executive Director of Lake Junaluska Assembly Inc.  Dr. Ewing will begin his new duties on January 1st, 2011, and fills a position that is being vacated by the retirement of Rev. Jimmy L. Carr.  Ewing currently serves as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Evangelism, which is also based at Lake Junaluska, NC.  “The entire Board of Directors is excited about the future and believes that Jack brings a passion for...

Court acts on delegate, clergy issues

published 11/4/2010
Regional United Methodist officials, questioning how much authority a key church executive should have in setting the number of delegates to the denomination’s lawmaking body, may have to wait and see. The Judicial Council at its fall meeting ruled it had “no jurisdiction” to act on a request from the South Carolina Annual (regional) Conference inquiring about the General Conference secretary’s authority to adjust the number of delegates participating in the legislative gathering. The General ...

Soles helping souls

published 11/4/2010
 On August 8, members of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Savannah arrived at church wearing shoes, but left barefoot. They weren’t the victims of a Sunday morning shoe-snatching spree, but willingly went barefoot after leaving their shoes at the altar during the church’s Barefoot Sunday service. The special day of worship was part of St. Luke UMC’s effort to support Soles4Souls, a Nashville, Tenn.-based charity that collects and distributes shoes to people in need.  Since 2005, Soles4Souls ...

Goodpaster Urges Bishops to Shift Focus to the Future

published 11/2/2010
Panama City, Panama:  In the presidential address to the Council of Bishops in Panama City, Panama today, Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster challenged the bishops of The United Methodist Church to “lean into God’s future” by turning the focus of attention to what is about to happen rather than what has always been. “We have the opportunity to lead the church toward greater vitality, impact and influence in the world,” said Bishop Goodpaster. “By our decisions and actions this week in Panama, we will ...

South Georgia Annual Conference Trustees Invest in Development Fund

published 11/2/2010
As part of its investment strategy, the South Georgia Annual Conference Trustees recently purchased eight, 4-year certificates from the Georgia United Methodist Foundation Development Fund. “We chose to invest in the Foundation because of the ways these monies are invested back in our local churches,” said Dr. Rick Lanford, chair of the South Georgia Annual Conference Trustees Investment committee. “We also respect the leadership and the integrity of the Foundation’s staff.” Since September, ...

Church women and men focus on domestic violence

published 10/15/2010
Survivors of domestic violence should not have to choose between their faith and being safe. Such a dilemma can occur, says the Rev. Aleese Moore-Orbih, if they are told by their churches to stay “in a situation where it is possible for them to lose their lives.” Moore-Orbih, a United Church of Christ pastor, is director of training and consulting for FaithTrust Institute, an organization working to end sexual and domestic violence. During the Oct. 8-11 meeting of the Women’s Division, United ...

10-Fold shows mission in action via technology

published 10/8/2010
Claudia and Eduardo Maia, missionaries in Chicuque, Mozambique, could have mailed a report documenting their work for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Instead, they used the Internet calling service Skype, which allowed them to share their work in Mozambique via video with those who had gathered for the board’s annual meeting last year. Board members heard stories of Claudia’s work in the community, promoting public health initiatives like HIV prevention, while actually seeing ...

Pastor uses media to minister

published 9/29/2010
In a culture inundated with noise, news and non-stop negativity, Dr. Hal Brady’s brief words of encouragement transcend the clutter to bring help and hope to those who listen. For nearly 37 years, Dr. Brady, senior pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus, has used various media outlets to “reach a skeptical public with a word of encouragement.”  First it was by writing a newspaper column, the “Pastor’s Pitch.” Next came his “On the Spot” radio segments.  Then he began filming ...

College Place UMC launches unique ministry tool

published 9/28/2010
Typically associated with medieval sieges and ancient warfare, the catapult has had a modern resurgence as a ministry and evangelism tool at Brunswick’s College Place United Methodist Church. Instead of being used to “shoot arrows and hurl large stones” as in biblical times (2 Chron. 26:15), on Wednesday, September 8, College Place UMC’s catapult was unveiled and used to hurl water balloons across the church’s parking lot. With a sin or stronghold written on them, the water balloons were ...

UMVIM coordinator is passionate about serving and sharing Gods love

published 9/16/2010
 While visiting the home of a young woman in Costa Rica, Jamie Gibson noticed a large black garbage bag in the corner of the woman’s kitchen.  She watched the woman pull something out of the trash bag and put it on the fire.  Gibson soon realized that the woman was using diapers – dried, soiled diapers from the city dump – as fuel for her family’s cooking fire. Gibson, the United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, has witnessed countless similar...

Living Tall Ministries helps clients grow, discover, reach goals

published 9/15/2010
Three-and-a-half years ago, Emily Calhoun was at her wits end.  Constantly stressed, caught up in a flurry of activity and feeling like her life had no focus, she didn’t know where to turn. One morning she woke up and realized that she needed to take control of her schedule, time and priorities.  Rev. Karen Prevatt’s name popped into her head, and Calhoun decided she needed to make a phone call. “I believe the idea to call her was straight from God,” said Calhoun, a wife, mother, teacher and ...

Emanuel UMC spends second Saturdays serving

published 9/4/2010
This summer, homeowners in the Brunswick area have been given a helping hand by good Samaritans from Emanuel United Methodist Church. The good Samaritans are part of Emanuel UMC’s Second Saturday Servants ministry, a local missions outreach of the church. On the second Saturday of each month, men, women and children come together to help those in need.  They meet in Emanuel UMC’s fellowship hall at 7:30 a.m. and then go out into the community to mow lawns, paint houses, repair leaky toilets and ...

VSU students share pursuit of God in new music project

published 9/3/2010
A relentless pursuit of God, and His relentless pursuit of them, led six South Georgia singer-songwriters on a spiritual and musical journey. What came out of their journey is “Relentless: A Worship Project,” a self-described “collaboration of passionate worship artists deciding to worship together.” The six Valdosta State University students began their almost year-long odyssey one evening after a VSU Wesley Foundation worship service.  Realizing that there was a wealth of musical talent within...

Bishop King's Mother - Ruby G. King - dies at the age of 94

published 8/30/2010
Ruby G. King, mother of South Georgia Bishop James R. King, Jr., of Ashland, Alabama died Friday afternoon, August 27, 2010, at the age of 94. The funeral service and visitations will be held at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church.  The church is located at 41324 Highway 77 / Ashland, Alabama / 36251. Visitations will be held Wednesday, September 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Thursday, September 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, September...

Joyful Noise Jazz Cafe serves poetry, jazz and Jesus

published 8/19/2010
Just like its motto says, New Covenant United Methodist Church is “Doing Church Differently.”  In September, the downtown Savannah church’s Joyful Noise Jazz Café will turn one year old.  On the first and third Thursdays of each month, this unique ministry transcends typical race and age barriers by showcasing local jazz musicians and poets.   During his initial visit to the church, New Covenant UMC pastor Dr. Andrew Young saw possibilities for the church’s lower level.  It was being used as a ...

Mulberry UMC member's spiritual seeking leads to book

published 8/4/2010
Numbers and spreadsheets don’t usually add up to a second career as an author.   But that’s exactly what happened when Ann Smith, a certified public accountant, combined her love of writing with her desire to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord. As a teenager, Smith, who has been an accountant for more than 25 years, began reading the Bible all the way through each year.  Years later, she still reads from Genesis to Revelation every year, but realized that she was doing it more out ...

River of Life brings help, hope

published 8/4/2010
What happens when hundreds of middle- and high-school students descend on Macon? Homes are repaired.  Lives are changed. More than 200 students from eight churches across the state recently participated in River of Life, a four-day local mission project hosted by Forest Hills United Methodist Church. Dedicated to repairing and rebuilding the homes of some of the city’s elderly, disabled and low-income residents, River of Life, held July 14-18, gave volunteers the opportunity to put their ...

Oconee Outreach Opportunity rebuilds homes, impacts lives

published 7/14/2010
Years of prayers have been answered for members of one local church in Whigham. And Whigham resident Josephine Jackson says that a “miracle” has happened. Jackson’s home and Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church caught the eye of Rev. Garth Duke-Barton last summer when he visited Whigham prior to moving to the community.    Upon seeing the historic church, which had fallen into disrepair, Whigham-Springhill Charge pastor Rev. Duke-Barton said that he knew he needed to find a ...

Brazilian Methodists focus on children

published 7/13/2010
By Alice M. Smith* Gordon and Teca Greathouse have served as United Methodist missionaries to Brazil for 32 years and have seen great changes in the country as it moved from dictatorship to democracy. But what hasn’t changed is the overwhelming need among most of the people in a country where only a tiny percentage of the population, about five percent, owns almost all the wealth. “Among developing countries, Brazil is in the top echelon, but in terms of distribution [of wealth], it is in the...

Veteran honored for Sunday school service

published 7/13/2010
A special to The Advocate by Carlton Fletcher* Back in 1954, the Senior Adult Sunday school class at Brookfield United Methodist Church didn’t have a permanent teacher, so class members passed the lesson book around each week to a different member. When Perry McCranie got the book, though, he never gave it back. Now, some 56 years later, McCranie is still teaching the class. The long-time teacher and World War II veteran was honored by the church for his years of service recently. He ...

New research on congregations, church structure

published 7/12/2010
Both of the full reports are available for review at, and readers can share observations and suggestions through the website. Click here to read the full United Methodist News Service article: "Call to Action offers signs of crisis and hope" The Call to Action Steering Team has released the findings of independent research commissioned by the committee regarding congregational vitality and an operational assessment of the connectional church, and invites ...

Four pre-retirement workshops for clergy scheduled for August

published 7/9/2010
The Conference Board of Pensions and the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry are sponsoring four Pre-retirement Workshops for clergy in August. These workshops are designed to help individuals make certain they are on track for retirement.  Peter Hang, Benefits Educator from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, will be leading these meetings.  Individual projections will be available with advanced reservations. Arrangements are being made to have a representative from Social ...

Q & A with Dr. Ben Martin, Statesboro District Superintendent

published 6/30/2010
ADVOCATE: Where did you grow up?  Have you always lived in South Georgia? DR. MARTIN: I was born in Lyons, Georgia, in the Dublin District of the South Georgia Conference.  With the exception of my years in college, I lived there until entering full time ministry in 1988.  Growing up in a small South Georgia county-seat town gave me a love for the close-knit community you find in small towns. ADVOCATE: What’s your faith journey? Did you grow up in the church? DR. MARTIN: I was blessed to grow ...

Evangelism and mission awards presented

published 6/10/2010
Evangelistic awards were presented during the 2010 Annual Conference session to churches in each district which charted the largest net gain in membership, the largest number of professions of faith, and the best ratio of professions of faith with regard to membership.  Gateway Church in Pooler, of the Savannah District, was the overall conference leader in the largest net gain in membership.  Leading the conference in the largest number of professions of faith for the year was also Gateway ...

South Georgia United Methodists support The Advance

published 6/9/2010
Rachael Barnett, staff member of The Advance at the General Board of Global Ministries, addressed members of the 2010 Annual Conference Session on Tuesday afternoon, June 8. “On behalf of the General Board of Global Ministries,” Barnett said, “I would like to thank you for your gifts in 2009 totaling $290,103 through The Advance, including $82,883 for missionary support.” The Advance is an official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated, second-mile giving. Through The...

Camping makes lasting impact on campers, counselors, families

published 5/6/2010
 Spending a week away from home at summer camp is a rite of passage for many children and teens, a time of fun, freedom and friendships. But for many, attending a South Georgia Conference Summer Camp at Epworth By The Sea is more than just a fun-and-sun-filled vacation away from home and responsibilities.  It’s an impactful, life-changing and challenging place where youth grow closer in their relationship with Christ. “It (camp) has really helped me grow closer to God and become a stronger ...

Council of Bishops Announces Constitutional Amendments Voting Results

published 5/5/2010
(Columbus, Ohio): The United Methodist Council of Bishops announced today that only 5 of 32 amendments to the church's constitution passed by the 2008 General Conference have been ratified by the annual conferences. The ratified amendments will become effective immediately. The process for amending the Constitution of The United Methodist Church requires a two-thirds majority vote of General Conference delegates. Annual conferences must then ratify the amendments by a two-thirds affirmative ...

Bainbridge teen leads by example

published 4/20/2010
Adults and teens alike could learn a thing or two about time management from 17-year-old Maggie Bridges. Bridges, a junior at Southwest Georgia Academy and the daughter of John and Cathy Bridges of Brinson, is constantly on the go with school, sports, community service and church activities.  A member of Bainbridge First United Methodist Church, she participates in the youth praise band and youth leadership team, sings in the chancel choir and joined other members of her church on a mission ...

Vineville UMC member awarded for philanthropy efforts

published 4/13/2010
 George Youmans, a long-time member of Vineville United Methodist Church in Macon, was recently awarded the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries’ 2010 Hall of Fame in Philanthropy Award. Presented on March 6 during the UMA’s Celebration of Excellence assembly at their 70th Annual National Convention in Burlingame, Calif., Youmans was honored for his longstanding and varied contributions in health and human services. Youmans, a Macon native, has a long history of service ...

What makes a vital United Methodist Congregation? Your input needed.

published 3/31/2010
The Call to Action Steering Committee, a committee formed by actions of the Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table, needs your opinion about what makes a vital United Methodist congregation.  The team is charged with making formal suggestions for possible changes to the life of the United Methodist Church. The entire process is known as “A Call to Action: Reordering the Life of the Church.”  Amy Valdez Barker, associate minister at Athens First, is a member of the Call to Action Steering ...

Worship, fellowship, spiritual growth the focus of Older Adult Retreat

published 3/29/2010
Set for April 16 through April 18 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 spiritually renewed.  “This retreat gives people a break from everyday life to be renewed spiritually, physically, and mentally, and become more knowledgeable about scriptures,” said Ann Davis,...

United Methodist Men to host annual retreat at Epworth

published 3/28/2010
The United Methodist Men of the South Georgia Conference will host their annual Spring Retreat April 16-18 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. Coming together under the theme of “Living By Faith,” retreat participants will hear dynamic and inspirational messages from speakers Bishop James R. King, Jr. and Dr. Rick Lanford.  “This is a great opportunity for men to grow spiritually and be involved with other men who are trying to do the same thing,” said UMM president Chuck Cowart.  “It’s...

United Methodists & Health Care Reform: A Fact Sheet

published 3/26/2010
On Sunday, March 21, 2010, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation related to health care reform.  In a speech prior to the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to organizations expressing support for “this legislation.”  The United Methodist Church was among the list of organizations mentioned by Speaker Pelosi. United Methodists may have questions regarding the United Methodist Church stance regarding health care in the U.S.  The following factual information is offered as...

Living Locally During Lent

published 3/18/2010
Instead of giving up chocolate, French fries, television or other typical worldly pleasures for Lent this year, about 60 Savannah-area residents are observing the Lenten season in a different way: by living locally. Striving to eat locally produced food, patronize locally owned businesses and build relationships within the community, they are attempting to live more simply during their 40-day experiment.   Trinity United Methodist Church pastor Rev. Enoch Hendry is leading two six-week courses ...

Mondays are marvelous with Willacoochee UMC and Beulah UMC

published 3/17/2010
Every Monday afternoon, a diverse group of about 70 children from Willacoochee Elementary School bound off the bus and swarm the grounds of Willacoochee United Methodist Church. They are participating in Marvelous Monday, an after-school program run by Willacoochee UMC and Beulah UMC. Begun by former pastor Rev. Eddie Morrison, who now serves at Winona Park United Methodist Church in Waycross, the program has continued to thrive under the leadership of Rev. James Duvall, who was appointed in ...

Young Harris College Adds Five New Baccalaureate Programs

published 3/15/2010
Young Harris College has earned approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to offer five new bachelor’s degree programs beginning in August 2010.   The College received notification Friday afternoon that the SACS Commission on Colleges has approved the addition of the following five degree programs: bachelor of arts in communication studies, bachelor of arts in history, bachelor of science in outdoor education, bachelor of arts in theatre and bachelor of arts in ...

Special session of General Conference unlikely

published 3/10/2010
 Do not expect a special session of General Conference in advance of the 2012 meeting in Tampa, Fla. The limited amount of time available to put together a special session, the cost and the U.S.-focused agenda for a worldwide meeting of United Methodist leaders are among the reasons such a session is unlikely, church leaders said in interviews this week. “My personal read suggests there may not be a call” for a special session, said Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist ...

First UM church plant in Columbus District in 50 years hosts launch service

published 3/9/2010
 The Ridge, the first United Methodist church planted in the Columbus District in the past 50 years, held its launch service on Sunday, February 21. More than 300 people, including 60 children, joined together to worship, fellowship and celebrate the birth of the new church.  Four people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and one infant was baptized. Meeting in the United Cheerleading facility on Knology Way in Columbus, The Ridge had four monthly preview services, held the fourth Sunday ...

Teamwork Stretches Across the Miles to Realize a Dream for West Angola

published 3/2/2010
Moving thousands of pounds of agricultural equipment 9,000 miles may seem to be a daunting task. When members of the team needed to accomplish that task are 2300 miles apart, it may seem undoable – or at the very least, unlikely. But that's not accounting for United Methodist Connectionalism! This "journey of a thousand (plus) miles" began, as all such journeys do, with a single step – in this case taken in October, 2008 by four members of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, who were ...

Bishop King to appoint Ben Martin as Statesboro District Superintendent

published 2/21/2010
Bishop James R. King, Jr. announces the projected appointment of the Rev. Dr. Ben Martin as the next Superintendent of the Statesboro District.  The appointment will become effective at the conclusion of the Annual Conference session in June.  Dr. Martin is presently serving as senior pastor of Springfield First United Methodist Church.   Previously, Dr. Martin served Wrens UMC, Vidalia First UMC – Associate, and the Brewton Charge. “Ben Martin has demonstrated extraordinary spiritual ...

McCord Named to Campus Ministry Staff

published 2/10/2010
General Secretary Jerome King Del Pino is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Michael McCord as director of Campus Ministry Resources and Training in the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Division of Higher Education. McCord joins GBHEM on May 1, upon the recommendation of the search team and approval of the appointment by Bishop James R. King.   “With this appointment, we continue to strengthen the Board’s commitment to campus ministry and chaplaincy as integral to ...

Digital Resource Packet for Haiti Response Available from GBGM

published 2/3/2010
The General Board of Global Ministries has put together a Digital Resource Packet for use by conferences, churches and groups to help interpret and promote mission and ministry in Haiti. Please click on the link below to view and download the contents individually or all together.   This digital packet includes:   - UMCOR Haiti multimedia presentation, incorporating new images and music - to be used in worship, on the web, small ...

Letter from the Methodist Church of Haiti

published 1/29/2010
  On behalf of the Methodist Church in Haiti and the Haitian people, we thank you. Thank you all for your outpouring of love, support and Christian brotherhood in our great hour of need. Haiti has suffered a great tragedy, and to rebuild, recover and strengthen, it will take us all. You have kept us in your prayers and we are grateful. You have sent donations through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). We thank you for your generosity. You have expressed your selfless interest in ...

UMCOR begins pilot aid project for Haitians

published 1/28/2010
Six young Haitian Methodists spent an afternoon dividing 55-pound bags of rice and 100-pound bags of beans into family-sized portions to feed more than 160 families who have had little assistance since the Jan. 12 earthquake. “This is meeting their first need,” said Val Keteline, 24. “The people will be very happy.” Workers move bags of flour in the Boutique Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where the United Methodist Committee on Relief is buying supplies to feed 160 families in Mellier....

Sewing stitches of love at Allentown UMC

published 1/27/2010
They call themselves the Agape Stitchers, this group of women in their 60s to late 90s who snip, stitch and sew for those in need. Meeting two days a month for almost six and a half years, the women of the Agape Stitchers group of Allentown United Methodist Church have made more than 4,500 girl’s dresses, 2,000 boy’s shorts/shirt outfits, and 600 baby blankets, all of which have been sent to needy children around the world.   Started in August 2003, the women who make up the Agape Stitchers have...

Wesleyan College Named the Nation's #3 'Best Value'

published 1/26/2010
Wesleyan College, a United Methodist College in Macon, Ga., is the nation's #3 "Best Value" private college for 2010 according to The Princeton Review, one of America's most widely known education services and test preparation companies. The Princeton Review teamed with USA TODAY, the nation's most widely read print newspaper, to present its list, "The Princeton Review Best Value Colleges for 2010." "The Princeton Review Best Value Colleges for 2010" list which features 100 schools in all  -- ...

Nurture Cafe serves up practical training

published 1/25/2010
The South Georgia Conference Nurture Team, charged with equipping the local church in nine areas of ministry, has created a unique and specialized way to bring practical training in a variety of ministry areas to churches in the South Georgia Conference. Called the Nurture Café, it is designed to “feed” the local church by offering a “menu” of “entrees” (workshops) from which local churches can “place orders.” Churches can order “a la carte” (a single workshop) or a “combo” (two or more ...

United Methodist music video gives hope to Haitians

published 1/20/2010
 PLAY VIDEO>> "We will rise once again,  From the place that we're in. Hand in hand with faith we will stand And with God as our guide, side by side Together we will rise.” --“We Will Rise” Stefan Youngblood wanted to give hope to Haiti. First, he donated money. Now he's donating a song. “We Will Rise," a song he composed, is being used in a music video to raise funds for Haiti through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. "It's a song that's meant to inspire people in the midst of all the ...

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