Should we close the church or revive it?

5/6/2021
Photo by Troy Griffin By Lindsay Peyton   Revive! is the new name selected for the transformation of the church formerly known as First UMC Pasadena. “It’s a verb,” Pastor Arturo “Artie” Cadar explained. Revive! is all about bringing new life to the congregation and the community that surrounds it. The church’s new name also speaks to the restorative power of Christ.   “A multicultural church for a new beginning in Jesus” is the mission statement of Revive! The initiative at Revive! is one of ...

Churches vaccinate the vulnerable

5/6/2021
                                                                                                                 Photo by United Methodist News Service By Lindsay Peyton   Churches in the Texas Annual Conference are rolling up their sleeves and transforming into vaccination sites, an effort of the Church and Community Health Initiative. Already, hundreds have received vaccines as a result.   It all started with a question, Wellness Director Jessica Somerville recalled. Every week during the ...

Church builds diversity despite crises

5/6/2021
Photo courtesy of Bear Creek UMC By Lindsay Peyton     Pastor Leo Tyler arrived at Bear Creek UMC only weeks before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. For the past year, he’s been dealing with a whole other kind of storm, COVID19. Through it all, the leader has stayed focused on his mission – to build diversity at the congregation. By serving more individuals in the community, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender or background, Bear Creek UMC has become stronger, Tyler said. Despite the obstacles, ...

Church partners with Mexican Consulate

4/22/2021
 Photo by Sam Hodges, UM News. The Christian imperative of welcoming the stranger can take many forms, some rather unusual. For Kingwood United Methodist Church, it recently meant hosting a six-person team from the Mexican Consulate in Houston. “We were pumped when the Mexican Consulate reached out,” said the Rev. Chris Harrison, associate pastor for service ministries at the 4,600-member church. “This wasn’t something where we were like, ‘Oh, gosh.’ This was like, ‘Yeah! Amazing.’” From ...

Church grows by finding multicultural community

4/22/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Rev. Luis E. Ramirez was appointed to Cedar Bayou Grace in Baytown at the beginning of the year. When he looks at the 30 acres of land on church campus, he imagines the possibilities. He envisions a school building. He pictures a soccer field near the detention pond. He considers potential sources of revenue. “How can we think of something bigger and better to get bigger and better results?” he asks.   Ramirez’s last experience at the helm of Cypress Trails UMC ...

Technology tips for churches on a budget

4/22/2021
  By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   The pandemic is proving that online communication can indeed be a platform for sharing the gospel. More and more congregations are livestreaming their services and developing social media. Churches that were online before the pandemic have stepped up their virtual presence. Rev. David Johnson, Associate Pastor at Trinity UMC in Beaumont, said that a number of resources, Apps and software are available to help clergy. He also shares ways to try technology ...

Technology heroes enhance worship experience online

4/22/2021
  By Lindsay Peyton   The coronavirus pandemic made it apparent that churches would have to move online and embrace technology to thrive. That meant audiovisual staff had to abandon their normal spots behind-the-scenes to take centerstage. Their work become even more valuable as they helped congregations make needed transitions and increase their production values. For this series, we highlight our heroes in audiovisual ministry, whose skills enhance worship, and who stepped up to help the ...

Church founder’s family finds pains and triumphs of Black history

4/22/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Pastor Johnnie Simpson Jr. has stood at the helm of historic churches before, but his current congregation, Faith UMC in Dickinson, is unique. It’s not about the building itself, but the people in the pews, he explained. A number of the current members are related to church founder Alexander Winfield, who played a key role in forming the church that carried his name. Still, his story remained buried for years until his great-granddaughter started digging.   Faith UMC retains...

East Texas Tornado rips off church steeple

4/8/2021
  By Lindsay Peyton  Members of Mt. Enterprise FUMC were about to sit down for a Passover meal, when the clouds started to darken outside. A series of tornadoes would soon touch down in the small towns of East Texas, and Mt. Enterprise, located north of Nacogdoches, was no exception. The story of the angel of death “passing over” the homes of the ancient Israelites was on the minds of parishioners as they hunkered down. Lay Pastor Billy Bledsoe led them in prayer. “That angel of death ...

Changing children’s lives through prayer and faith

4/8/2021
 By Lindsay Peyton     Before Scott Toliver heads in to work at the Martin House Children’s Advocacy Center in Longview, he says a prayer. He asks God to make him a tool for the children he serves in order to lighten their burden. As Intake Specialist/Forensic Interviewer, he works to streamline the process for abused children, allowing that they only tell their story once instead of over and over again.   “I pray that I just do a good job,” Toliver said.   Each month, he logs about 140 cases ...

Mother and daughter reunited, Maria’s story continues

4/8/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   To ensure their safety and protect the identities of those involved, some names in this story have been changed.    When mounting violence and lack of opportunity forced “Maria” to flee from her home in Central America to the U.S., she faced a decision no mother would welcome. Only one of her two children could accompany her on the arduous trip. She had to take her infant son, who was still nursing, while her daughter stayed behind with godparents. As Maria ...

Transforming the Church from Cuba to Texas

4/8/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Rev. Dayimi Pimentel clearly remembers when she first stepped into a Methodist Church in her native Cuba. “That day my life changed when I met Christ,” she recalled. It would eventually become the beginning of her journey into the ministry. Now, as she assumes the new position of Racial and Ethnic Ministries Coordinator for the Texas Annual Conference, she will play a role in a changing church, helping it better reflect the Kingdom of God.   Pimentel was born ...

Literacy day camps to stop summer slide

4/8/2021
 By Lindsay Peyton   A year has passed since COVID-19 shut down schools and moved classrooms online. For students of all ages, it has been challenging at best. The Texas Annual Conference, already committed to education with the We Love All God’s Children Initiative, is stepping up this summer and next year to help in new ways.   “We know this year has been horrible for children, especially if they were already challenged in school,” Rev. Jill Daniel, head of the initiative, said. “If we know ...

Dr. Will Reed named Properties Manager

4/6/2021
Bishop Scott J. Jones officially announces Rev. Dr. Will Reed’s appointment as Properties Manager for the Texas Annual Conference.    Rev. Dr. Will Reed most recently served as Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church, Pasadena, and began serving in an interim position in the Center for Connectional Resources on November 1, 2020, after two retirements allowed the Center the flexibility to staff differently.  As of July 1, 2021, Will has been appointed to continue serving in this ...

Appointment Announcements

3/31/2021
New appointments have been announced. More appointments will be listed as they are announced. The latest list of appointments is available at https://www.txcumc.org/appointmentannouncements

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