Summary of ministry in South Georgia
FROM THE BISHOP
JAMES R. KING, JR.
Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!
Every four years each bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church is asked to give a report to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference summarizing ministry in the area they served. Below is my report:
SOUTH GEORGIA AREA REPORT
Bishop James R. King, Jr.
Over the past eight years, I have had the blessing of working together with the Beautiful People of South Georgia. Our emphasis has been growing a Christlike world through disciple-making.
During several yearly Disciple Covenant Conferences, teams from our local churches gathered together to develop Disciple Plans based on the Ten Timeless Values.
In 2014 we reduced the number of districts from nine to six. Each district was subdivided into eight geographical clusters. In the midst of a structural change we made a concerted effort to sharpen and strengthen our focus on discipleship.
A significant part of our story as a conference is in the leadership given by some of our cutting-edge churches. Harvest Church, started just 15 years ago, now averages more than 2,800 a weekend. Gateway Community, started 10 years ago, now averages more than 600 in worship attendance. The Ridge, in its third year, averages 370 in worship and is already self-sustaining. Grace Corner is helping unchurched people discover church in new ways through ministries like Grace Corner Café and “God on Tap.” A number of churches across our conference are redeeming souls as well as churches. The Chapel, for example, averages more than 1,200 a weekend. In addition to being a vital congregation it has identified new satellites and recently birthed a new congregation.
On the mission front, we continue to find new ways to reach those beyond our conference and our country. There is also renewed focus on Hispanic Ministries through realignment with Connectional Ministries and the creation of a new Hispanic Ministry Task Force Team.
On the leadership development front, the Board of Ordained Ministry began a Young Clergy Academy. Young adults considering ministry are given the opportunity to “try on” ministry through a nine-month internship.
To address our financial crisis, Project Turnaround was created and we have now turned the corner. As a young episcopal area we were not able to break ground on our first Conference Center but we are closer to our goal.
As we continue to grow in South Georgia we are called to remember:
God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
Beautiful people, this ends my report. As you well know, annual conference begins soon, and I look forward to seeing you there.
James R. King, Jr.