Churches Answer the Bishop's Call to Invest in the Young


TAC churches of all sizes are finding unique ways to partner with neighborhood schools. What is your church doing?


Appreciating Teachers

Perritte Memorial UMC, in Nacogdoches, has had an ongoing relationship with the Nettie Marshall Elementary School near the church, for many years. Perritte UMC member Ms. Mary Ann Miles served as the luncheon coordinator and member Ray Stoner served as the emcee as he welcomed Perritte member and guest speaker A.M. Smith who shared stories about his experiences teaching in a one-room schoolhouse 60 years ago. To top it off, church members also generously presented the school with donated school supplies and extra school uniforms.


District-Wide Youth Rally 

If you feed them, they will come! On August 11, some 260 youth from 16 different churches throughout the Northwest District converged at Marvin UMC in Tyler for the first of many district-wide youth events that have been ‘resurrected’ with the renewed emphasis on investing in the young. After hours of games allowing many to rekindle relationships made at Lakeview camps over the summer, District Superintendent Sandra Smith served Communion and one of the youth brought a powerful message that inspired recommitment in youth and adults attending. Notes Superintendent Smith, “Our district youth in Jacksonville UMC have been modeling ambitious commitment to missions by supporting Nothing but Nets campaign for over two years. They challenged our youth groups to come up with $100 for this cause by our next event which will translate into the youth of the North District saving, at the very least, 160 lives!” Adds DS Smith, “This amazing event demonstrated to everyone that, if our youth are truly the picture of things to come in the United Methodist Church, then we are in for a real treat.”


FUMC Atlanta is Texas School Ready

Anna Parker was pondering retirement when she felt led in a different direction – to take on the position of director of the day school at First United Methodist Church Atlanta. Her background in early childhood development is helping First UMC Atlanta to lead by example when it comes to investing in the young. The school has been selected to participate in the Texas School Ready project. “Our children and teachers will greatly benefit from this program because preschool leaders and students are receiving the latest and greatest curriculum, classroom mentoring, professional development and much more.  Public education representatives and our parents love the research-based system proven to enhance educational quality,” says Anna, with pride. “All of our program visitors and consultants tell me our school is above and beyond others they’ve visited across Texas,” she adds. In fact, First UMC’s classroom activities have been videotaped by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas for use by the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas as a training resource to improve classroom instruction throughout the state.


“If other church schools want to know more about this excellent program for early childhood, I will be happy to point them in the right direction to explore it for their children,” says Anna. Contact her at  or 903-796-8247.