Immigrants from Ghana Set to Worship at Disciples UMC
Disciples UMC and a new fellowship of believers from Ghana have entered into a shared space covenant in hopes that the new group will grow into a chartered congregation at some point in the future.
This summer, Wesley Methodist Church, a small congregation of approximately 50 immigrants from Ghana, expressed a desire to better align with the United Methodist Church and began searching for a more suitable worship location. According to District Superintendent Rev. Andy Noel, they had initially been worshiping in a leased retail storefront space in Southwest Houston. “Led by Pastor Jacob, a United Methodist pastor from Dallas, and Phillip, an evangelist here in Houston, they were seeking a path for fruitful growth and a connection to the United Methodist Church in Houston,” shares Andy, “since the Methodist Church in Ghana is not in connection to the UMC.”
The Revs. Jeff Olive, along with DS's Jay Jackson and Andy Noel, introduced the Wesley Methodist Church to Pastor Rose Veal and her lay leadership at Disciples UMC in a nearby neighborhood. “There was an almost immediate connection as Disciples' worship space was available on Sunday afternoon for worship and they had ample program space for other small group meetings,” adds Andy. Over just three months, representatives from both churches met in prayer-filled gatherings and worked out a partnership agreement to share the space. They signed a lease agreement in late September and what is now called the John Wesley Methodist Fellowship worshipped for the first time at Disciples UMC on October 2 with many leaders on hand to make it a special and a joy-filled occasion.
Trying Something New
According to conference leaders, this shared space covenant is a one-year experiment between the two congregations. Rev. Jeff Olive, TAC Director of New Church Development says, “We hope to get this new Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship to a level where we can launch it as a TAC congregation this next year.” Andy agrees, adding, “Our prayer is that both congregations will continue to flourish. Specifically we hope that John Wesley Fellowship can become a missional congregation and ultimately a chartered congregation in full connection with the Texas Annual Conference.”