Moody Memorial UMC Celebrates Professions of Faith
Although Galveston has lost 20% of its population following Hurricane Ike, Moody Memorial UMC continues to build a vital congregation by nurturing and investing in making young disciples of Christ. “What made our last confirmation class so special,” says Pastor Bert Bagley, “is that 28 young people actually professed their faith, which inspired a number of adults to do the same – and many were baptized.”
Heather Gates, director of student ministry explains this exciting story this way. “Moody works to offer a strong children’s program which feeds into our Crossover student ministry to keep youth excited and involved. And when the students begin coming to church for confirmation class every Sunday from January until May, oftentimes their parents and friends take notice and they jump in and do the same.” According to Heather, this class had an exponential impact on worship attendance because so many families followed the lead of their children. “It was so special to see a mom baptized along with her daughter, a brother and sister confirmed and a mom and dad deciding to join with them, and another boy inspiring his siblings and parents to be baptized as a family unit,” she says.
While many negative challenges resulted with Hurricane Ike, one of the positives has been that the churches on Galveston Island have linked together to do joint ministry. “Moody joined forces with six other churches in mid August to host an island wide End of Summer Blowout,” adds Heather, “complete with burgers, inflatables and water games on our campus. One of the neatest results of this type of event across denominations is that students will recognize other students as Christians at school and around town and be more likely to invite their friends to future ministry events.” Pastor Bagley adds, “It is important to note, that the all-time high as far as worship attendance was set at Moody in 2005 at 565, and we are right at that same level today in spite of the population suffering in a dramatic way, and we believe it is a result of intentionally focusing on being a vital congregation to the community around us.”