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

Delegates let’s Pre-Conference

3/25/2021
En Español Delegates, you are once again invited to the virtual Pre-Conference Meeting to preview Annual Conference 2021 and learn more about what we will be voting on in this important season of ministry. Once again, the meeting will be held online and presented in three separate sessions. Sunday, April 25th at 6:30 p.m. for Central North, Southeast and North Districts (Spanish translation and Closed Captioning). Monday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. for Central South, East and West Districts. ...

Easter brings hope after a year of pandemic fatigue

3/25/2021
 Photo Taken prior to COVID-19 By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   The Easter Bunny is hopping into the Texas Annual Conference this year, bringing a dose of much-needed joy and hope after a year of COVID-19 restrictions. Both Wesley Memorial UMC in Huntsville and Millican UMC missed their traditional Easter gatherings last year and now look forward to a returning to their usual – albeit slightly modified – celebrations.   “Last year was really tough,”  Rev. Kimberly Carney said. “We were ...

Texas Church works to remove racist language from deed restrictions

3/25/2021
By Lindsay Peyton   Ashley Cavazos’ current journey to correct a long-standing wrong started months ago – while listening to a sermon at her church, St. Stephen’s UMC in Houston. While her efforts are focused on one neighborhood, she hopes the outcome would have a ripple effect on other areas of the city, the state and even the country.   It was Pentecost and the 70th birthday of her church. It was also the first Sunday after George Floyd’s death. That day, the Rev. Nathan Lonsdale Bledsoe ...

FUMC Canton holds onto a history of hope

3/25/2021
By Lindsay Peyton    Even after a burst pipe flooded two of the buildings on FUMC Canton’s campus due to the winter storm, congregants still gathered for worship in the sanctuary. What helps members hold onto hope, in the midst of so much destruction plus a year adjusting to COVID-19? The answer is delving into history, Pastor Adam Muckleroy explained.   Right before the coronavirus pandemic began, FUMC Canton was approached by the Canton Historical Society. “They informed us that there were ...

Church members become artists at unique art ministry

3/25/2021
By Lindsay Peyton     Right behind Cypress UMC stands the Angel House, a studio for the congregation’s unique stained glass ministry. Inside, volunteers are hard at work creating colorful works of art. Guests stop by to shop for ornaments, crosses, stepping stones and other stained glass creations – or they might attend a workshop to learn a new skill. All of the proceeds from the ministry’s sales fund church missions and outreach projects.   The door is always open, Debra Kinsey, a long-time ...

Church serves the community despite severe damage

3/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Helping neighbors while watching the action outside of Ebenezer UMC in Houston, you would never suspect that inside church doors, the building is severely damaged. The past couple of weekends, since a winter storm wreaked havoc in Texas, Ebenezer UMC has hosted drive-up food drives and COVID-19 drive-through vaccinations. Senior Pastor Enid Henderson is keeping her eyes focused on mission, and the church continues to help neighbors in need – even though the ...

How 2021 has taught a TAC church to transform missions

3/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton    FUMC Grand Saline was prepared to become a shelter during the winter storm. When no one arrived, however, church members saw an opportunity to begin a new conversation. The congregation has a heart for outreach – and continually seeks ways to do more and serve better, even in the midst of the pandemic.   Members of FUMC, Grand Saline contacted their Pastor Susan Smith when forecasts began reporting an Arctic blast was on its way. “They saw there was a need to help people, ...

Pastoring while Positive

3/11/2021
By Lindsay Peyton - En Español   Pastors are usually the caregivers – tending to the well-being of their flock. Seeking care for themselves can be a challenge. But there are times when clergy do not have a choice, especially if they test positive for COVID-19. In the past few months, Pastors Ray Hughes and Carmen Rickel in the Texas Annual Conference had that experience firsthand. Now fully recovered, both have gained insights from their time as patients.   Rev. Ray Hughes, Lead Pastor at The ...

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