Positive Transitions: Celebrating New Churches
It’s been said that CHANGE means choosing to have a new growth experience, and growth is an integral part of vibrant churches, whether that growth comes through an expansion, a charter, a succession or an integration. Bishop Janice Huie gave several “shout outs” to delegates and attendees at the 2014 Annual Conference in regard to TAC’s new and repurposed congregations.
Additionally, during this last year, Grace Community started a new bi-lingual faith community. Covenant Glen UMC started a second campus and Westbury UMC continues to engage with African immigrants in missional community.
“During this next conference year, we anticipate the birth of four or five new faith communities,” notes Bishop Huie. “St. Peter’s UMC will be starting a new campus in Katy. St. Luke’s UMC, Houston, is creating a new faith initiative to reach the mid-town area of Houston. Faithbridge UMC expects to open a new venue using video to expand their worship to multiple locations simultaneously. And, St. John’s UMC will begin a missional community in downtown Houston targeting young, urban professionals.”
She adds, “We are also excited to work alongside 10 of our largest congregations as they commit to starting 15 new faith initiatives by the end of 2015.”
At Annual Conference, Dr. Lawrence Young, Superintendent of the Central South District was privileged to announce several churches in his district are serving to leave a legacy by passing on to future generations something of great significance.
The three churches, taking visionary and sacrificial action to declare themselves Legacy congregations, have chosen to close and transfer their assets to offer Christ to the new generations. St. Timothy’s UMC is now home to St. John’s Northwest, which worships over 300 people on Saturday mornings at 11am. Almeda UMC is now home to a new church start, Abiding Faith UMC, which regularly worships about 110. Mallalieu UMC is transferring its property to the Texas Annual Conference with the understanding that it will be sold and the funds set aside to start a new African American congregation.
Adds Bishop Huie, “Because of their vision and sacrifice, these three congregations, have chosen to plant seeds of new life.”