May 14-15: 2011 Change the World

published 2/11/2011
May 14-15 is an important connectional weekend for The United Methodist Church. Congregations around the world will put faith into action outside sanctuary walls.   Resources to help churches promote their events are available at These include fliers and web graphics – all free for download.   Churches may register their events at this Web address to receive info from United Methodist Communications (UMCom).   Stories from last year’s campaign may be found ...

United Methodists offer job seekers hope

published 2/11/2011
Raleigh UMC in Memphis is spotlighted in the "Job fairs and listening ears" section of this article by Barbara Dunlap-Berg of the United Methodist News Service. Click HERE to read the article.

Lambuth honors student's memory

published 2/5/2011
Lambuth University students and employees honored former student Morgan Kelley by wearing the color red Friday as part of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Day, according to a news release. Click HERE to read article that appeared in The Jackson Sun.

Austin serves in Honduras as 'Individual Volunteer' through the United Methodist Church

published 2/2/2011
Kayla Austin, 18, a member of Grace UMC in Jackson, worked for three months in 2010 (August through November) at the Project Send Hope, House of Hope, a home for partially physically disabled children and malnourished babies in Puerto Lempira, Honduras. Austin was one of 126 individual volunteers trained in 2010 through the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of The United Methodist Church. Click HERE to read a letter from Austin about her experience. The letter appears on the GBGM Web ...

Lakeshore blog is 'next best thing to being there' in winter

published 2/1/2011
It may be winter, but that’s no reason to go without news about Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly.   The Memphis Conference Camping and Retreat Center in Eva, TN, has a blog at   There also is a link to the blog on the home page of Lakeshore’s Web site at   Troy Taylor, Lakeshore Program Director since 2001, started the blog in the late summer of 2009.   "The idea (for the blog) first came to me while listening to A Prairie Home Companion, ...

A Call for Submissions for a 'Young People's Address' at 2011 Memphis Annual Conference

published 1/30/2011
  The Memphis Conference Board of Lay Ministry has issued a call for submissions for a "Young People’s Address" to be delivered at the 2011 Memphis Annual Conference in Paducah, KY, in June.   The deadline to apply is April 22.   Any member of a church in the Memphis Conference who is age 12 to 25 on Jan. 1, 2011, may submit a manuscript for consideration. The address will be delivered on June 7 during the afternoon session.   SUBMISSION GUIDELINES ***Manuscript should be three pages single ...

Dyersburg District had its first rally for older adults

published 1/28/2011
Kristen and Darin Lightfoot of Dyersburg First UMC, in photo at right, were part of the entertainment last November when the Dyersburg District held its first Older Adult Rally. Fifty older adults gathered at Union City First UMC in Union, TN on Nov. 8 for a day of learning, fun and fellowship. Barbara Stephens, Dyersburg District Older Adult Representative, welcomed the group and encouraged each attendee to find at least one new way to minister to older adults in their home churches. Dr David ...

Seymour is speaker at Lambuth's Jan. 25 'Who's Who' convocation

published 1/28/2011
“Who’s Calling Whom” was the title of a talk by Lambuth University President Dr. Bill Seymour at the Methodist-affiliated school’s Who’s Who Convocation in Womack Chapel on Jan. 25. Seymour, along with faculty, staff, family and friends, celebrated a group of 21 junior and senior student leaders from four states and Australia for excellence in scholarship, leadership, academics and extracurricular activities at Lambuth in Jackson, TN. Lambuth is one of more than 2,000 institutions of higher ...

January newsletter for retired ministers and spouses now online

published 1/25/2011
The latest issue of News ‘N’ Views, the quarterly newsletter for retired ministers and spouses in the Memphis Conference, is available on the Conference web site. Edited by Carroll H. and Russell N. Gallimore, the photo-filled newsletter provides updates on what former pastors and their spouses are doing in retirement.   Click on “News ‘N’ Views” at left. Then click on “January 2011.”   The Gallimores may be reached at 367 Rockwell Rd. Jackson, TN 38305-1836. Their phone number is 731-660-1551....

Lambuth is preparing brief and presentation for February SACS hearing

published 1/25/2011
Lambuth University is currently preparing for its late-February hearing with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as part of its appeal of SACS’ December decision to revoke the Methodist-affiliated school's accreditation. “We received the required documents and transcripts from SACS that are intended to help us prepare our brief and presentation for the hearing,” said Lambuth President Bill Seymour on Jan. 25.   Explaining the process, Seymour said an appeal can only be made on ...

Memphis First UMC celebrates 185 years in mission on Feb. 6

published 1/24/2011
Memphis First UMC in downtown Memphis will celebrate 185 years in mission on Sunday, Feb. 6. "185 years is hard to imagine. First Church has a remarkable history, and many people have laid the foundation for where we are now. I am excited to be part of such a historic congregation, but I am even more excited for where we are going. First Church is moving forward, and I trust that God has a great future in store for us!" said Senior Pastor Rev. Scott Alford.   Sunday School for all ages starts ...

Read about scheduling a ServeRetreat

published 1/22/2011
The Center for Transforming Communities in Memphis is offering ServeRetreats. Click HERE  to learn what they are and how to schedule one.

Sexual Ethics Summit, Jan 26-29, Houston, TX

published 1/22/2011
"Do No Harm," a United Methodist Sexual Ethics Summit at First UMC in Houston, TX, Jan. 26-29, is the largest gathering of United Methodists ever assembled to address sexual ethics in ministry.   The summit will cover the prevention of and response to abuse, misconduct, and harassment of a sexual nature, particularly by persons in ministerial roles (lay and clergy).   Attendees will learn the basics of safe sanctuary and response team operations and be educated about emerging issues of sexual ...

Jackson District stresses "intentional discipleship" at lay leadership training events in January

published 1/21/2011
“Intentional Discipleship” is the theme for the Jackson District’s lay leadership training this month.   Rather than do a single training event, the district decided to sort churches according to size and proximity, and then schedule four different sub-district training events on four different January dates at four different church locations, according to Don McLeary, Jackson District Lay Resource Leader.   McLeary worked with Jackson District Lay Leader Gerry Campbell, Jackson District ...

A Shared Calling: Memphis First UMC and Collins Chapel CME

published 1/20/2011
Two historic downtown Memphis churches celebrated a decades-old bond and their unique heritage while honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a shared worship service on Sunday, Jan. 16.     Collins Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church, under the leadership or Rev. Dr. Willa Ross, hosted Memphis First UMC, under the leadership of Rev. Scott Alford, as their diverse congregations joined together in joyful song, praise and fellowship.   The combined choirs filled ...

Germantown UMC builds a columbarium

published 1/19/2011
What happens when a church’s cemetery runs out of room for traditional in-ground burials? For Germantown UMC, the answer was to build a columbarium – a place designated for the inurnment of the ashes of the dead. The church is building its columbarium in four phases in its McVay Gardens. The first phase was completed last year and dedicated on Sept. 19. Pleased with the construction of the first phase, Don Rhoads said, “It looks like it has been there forever.” Rhoads is the church’s Chief ...

Here is info about election of delegates to 2012 General & Jurisdictional Conferences

published 1/19/2011
The various conferences of The United Methodist Church are the legislative bodies of the church. When your local Charge Conference elects delegates to Annual Conference, you are sending your representative to speak and act on your behalf on issues that face our Memphis Conference. One of those responsibilities is to elect the delegates who represent the Memphis Conference when the General (world-wide) Conference and Jurisdictional (Southeastern United States) Conference meet in the coming year ...

Take 2011 Communications Survey by Feb. 28!

published 1/19/2011
The Communications Action Team of the Memphis Conference is now conducting a survey about conference communications and is asking all Memphis Conference laity and clergy to participate by Monday, Feb. 28. Click HERE to take the survey. To say thanks for participating in the survey, each respondent may have his or her name entered in a drawing for one of numerous prizes - Bibles, books and DVDs - all donated by Cokesbury Bookstore in Memphis to help increase survey participation. The purpose of ...

A Home for the Holidays

published 1/18/2011
It was stifling hot that first day at the house in August, 2010. A small, gray shell of a building, its windows and doors were boarded up and it sat on a lot with nothing but hard-packed dirt, littered with paper, twigs and cigarette butts. Inside, walls were exposed brick with only patches of dirty plaster. Portions of the floor were sloped and rotted; the ceilings were caving in. The tiny kitchen was dominated by a water heater and there were no appliances. It was a house that was unloved – ...

Rev. David authors two study books about birth and life of Jesus

published 1/18/2011
Jesus and the Gospel Timeline and The 8 Days of Holy Week are the titles of two study books, written and recently published by Rev. Earl C. David, Jr., Minister of Disciples at Collierville UMC in Collierville, TN. David retired from the Memphis Conference in 1999 and has served Collierville UMC for the last ten years. He has made 20 trips to the Holy Land. David’s books “bring to light the story of Jesus’ birth, ministry and personality in a unique format found only in the four Gospels, and ...

Children and youth present manger scene as puppet show

published 1/17/2011
The children and youth of New Bethel UMC in Fayette County, TN, gave a creative gift to their church in December. The entire department of six, ages 7 to 17, along with a six-year-old cousin, produced an original puppet show about animals whose ancestors were eye-witnesses to the birth of Jesus. “We decided we wanted to do something for the church,” explained Paige Walker, 17, “but not the usual manger scene. “None of us wanted to sing, so we decided on a puppet show because a puppet stage had ...

Q&A: Why healing is part of the church's role

published 1/14/2011
  Published here with permission of the United Methodist Reporter (   By Mary Jacobs, Jan 14, 2011 Dr. Scott Morris When Dr. Scott Morris arrived in Memphis, Tenn., in 1986, with M.D. and seminary degrees in hand, he was determined to start a health care ministry for the working poor. With the help of St. John’s United Methodist and Methodist Hospital in Memphis, he started the Church Health Center in 1987. Today, the center is the largest faith-based clinic of its ...

Reflections on a Living Manger Scene

published 1/14/2011
December, 2010 - We started out the event in the Education Building of our church, Trinity UMC in Memphis, where more than 100 manger scenes of all sizes, styles, and materials were displayed.    Most of them belonged to our minister, Rev. Deb Christiansen, who said manger scenes have a room all to themselves in her home.  I suppose you could say that there’s no longer a problem of there being no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph, at least as far as Rev. Deb is concerned.   In the hallway, ...

Lambuth Appeals SACS

published 1/12/2011
Click HERE to read this story, by Tajuana Cheshier, in the Jan. 12, 2011 edition of The Jackson Sun.

Bishop Wills to retire Sept. 1, 2011

published 1/10/2011
Memphis Conference Bishop Richard J. (Dick) Wills, Jr. announced Jan. 7 that he will retire Sept. 1 for health reasons. Wills serves as bishop of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences of The United Methodist Church, a position he has held since 2004. Below is a letter from Bishop Wills that explains his decision to retire and how the vacancy for the Nashville Area Episcopal Area Bishop will be filled. Jan. 10, 2011   Brothers and Sisters of the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences,   I have been ...

Haiti earthquake recovery: one year later

published 1/10/2011
Click HERE to read story from The United Methodist Church.

United Methodist Church mourns loss of life in Tucson shooting

published 1/10/2011
Jan. 10, 2010 United Methodist Church agency mourns loss of life in Tucson shooting General Board of Church & Society condemns vitriolic political discourse, calls for more responsible gun laws. WASHINGTON, D.C. — The General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church joins the nation in grieving the shooting incident Saturday in which six people, including a nine-year-old girl were killed in Tucson, Ariz. We pray for comfort for those families from this terrible tragedy. We also ...

Davidson and Kendrick join team of Lay Resource Leaders

published 1/7/2011
Two new Lay Resource Leaders began work this month in the Memphis Conference. Susan Davidson of Bells, TN, and Vicky Kendrick of Somerville, TN, have been hired for part-time positions that are part of the Memphis Conference Connectional Ministries staff. They join three other Lay Resource Leaders: Elyse Bell in the Paris District, Sue Engle in the Paducah District and Don McLeary in the Jackson District.     Davidson serves the Brownsville District while Kendrick serves the East Sub-District of...

Thompson to join faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary in August

published 1/6/2011
Rev. Andrew C. Thompson will join the faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS) in August, 2011, as Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies, according to a Jan. 3 media release from MTS.   “Our search committee met with several outstanding candidates for this position before selecting Rev. Thompson, who is currently completing his Doctor of Theology program at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC,” said MTS President Jay Earheart-Brown.    “We welcome Andrew and his ...

'Risk-Taking Mission and Service' is theme for 2011 Memphis Annual Conference

published 1/4/2011
(Click HERE for other info about Annual Conference.) “Risk-Taking Mission and Service” is the theme for the 2011 Memphis Annual Conference scheduled for June 5-8, 2011 at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center in Paducah, KY. Host Committee The 2011 Annual Conference Host Committee, charged with planning and organizing Annual Conference in consultation with Bishop Richard J. Wills and the Conference Cabinet, had its first organizational meeting in November and will meet again Jan. 13 in ...

Conference Cabinet announces appointment process for 2011-12

published 1/4/2011
From Bishop Richard J. Wills & Memphis Conference Cabinet  In a few weeks the Memphis Annual Conference Cabinet will begin the Appointment Process for the 2011-12 year.    This is always a time of anxiety, speculation and amazement. It is also a process that has become increasingly difficult.   As the Cabinet, we recognize that we are all too human in our efforts. However, we do earnestly seek God’s direction through the Holy Spirit as we endeavor to make the best appointments possible.   This ...

Middle school youth make their own blankets

published 1/3/2011
Middle school youth in the FirstWorks After School Program in Memphis enjoyed a project in December making their own personal blankets. The project, led by teachers Lynn Roberts and Carrie Ann Rohrscheib, required just brightly colored fleece material and scissors.   "What a fun project for these kids," said Roberts, who noted they will be able to take the blankets home to use for studying and sleeping. FirstWorks enrolls "at-risk" inner city children and youth from downtown Memphis. The ...

Jan. 5 is final date for Treasurer's Office to receive 2010 apportionment payments

published 1/2/2011
Jan. 5 is the final date for the Memphis Conference Treasurer’s Office to receive payments for credit on 2010 apportionments. Payments received after Jan. 5 and marked for 2010 can be credited as paid for a prior year, but will not appear as such on the 2010 statistical report, according to James Finger, Conference Treasurer. Questions about apportionment payments should be directed to Finger or Alea Morris at 731-664-5540. Apportionment payments should always be mailed to: Memphis Conference ...

Three churches from two conferences worship together

published 1/1/2011
 Members of three United Methodist churches – one in the Memphis Conference and two in the Kentucky Conference – worshipped together on Nov. 14.   The connection was James A. Armes.   Armes is a full-time, second-year student (Cal Turner Leadership Scholar) at The Divinity School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He also is serving a two-point charge in the Kentucky Conference’s Bowling Green District.   Members of Armes’ two churches in Trenton, KY (Trenton UMC and Bell’s Chapel UMC) were...

Watch Night 2011: New Year's Eve tradition has roots in Methodism

published 12/31/2010
Rev. Sky McCracken, pastor at Reidland UMC in Paducah, KY, and incoming (March, 2011) Paducah District Superintendent, is quoted in this Dec. 31, 2010 article that appeared on the front page of the Faith & Family section of The Paducah Sun. Click HERE to see and read the story by Paducah Sun staffwriter Danielle Ray.

12 Who Made a Difference: Steve Stone

published 12/26/2010
Here's a link to a Dec. 26, 2010 article, by Michael Kelley, on the Memphis Commercial Appeal Web site:

Children of Memphis First UMC present 'The Birth of Jesus'

published 12/21/2010
The children of Memphis First UMC recently presented an original play, "The Birth of Jesus." Photo at right features, from left, Rebekah Pickett and Evan Alford. Photo at left includes, front row from left, Hannah Pickett, Carlton Lynch, Jesse Ammons and Evan Alford. Back row, from left, are Hanna Leggett, Rebeckah Pickett and Madison Alford.                    

Tea Party event raises money for adoption agency, Hannah's Hope

published 12/21/2010
Bless their hearts! Grace, glamour and southern hospitality were in abundance at the Hannah’s Hope Tea Party in Memphis on Sept. 25. Approximately 80 people – mostly women and girls in their best frocks and hats – attended the event at St. Luke’s UMC that raised more than $3,500 for the full-service adoption agency of the Memphis Conference. In addition to tea, lunch, crafts, a silent auction and door prizes, Rochelle Frazier read selections from The Sweeteas, a series of children’s books she ...

Adamsville First UMC recognizes those with 50+ years of membership

published 12/17/2010
Adamsville First UMC in Adamsville, TN, recently honored a group of members, each one with at least 50 years of membership in the church. Dr. Toni Watson, pastor, called the reception and luncheon a “once-in-a-lifetime celebration.” Each member of the group was presented with a medal that let them know “how much they have meant to the congregation” through the years, reported Watson. While everyone enjoyed the event, Watson said “the most important focus was on the Christ who has been worshipped...

Judge rules in matter of Union Avenue UMC property

published 12/17/2010
"This is a relief for all of us in this long journey of our merger with our faithful people of the former Union Avenue (United Methodist) Church. Let us move forward and, especially, let us pray for and take action for peace and good will throughout God's beloved community of all people. Pastor Bee (Birgitte French) agrees that the ruling will allow the church to expand its outreach and keep providing ministries that benefit the community." In Service, Pastor Mark Matheny, St. Luke's United ...

Lambuth's Board of Trustees approves appeal of SACS decision and confirms school open for Spring semester

published 12/17/2010
Lambuth University's Board of Trustees met Thursday, Dec. 16. Read Dec. 16 media release from Lambuth University. Click HERE. Read Dec. 17 story in The Jackson Sun. Click HERE.

Wright attends World Methodist Evangelism Institute Seminar

published 12/17/2010
Rev. J. Keith Wright of Pickwick UMC in Counce, TN, returned from the seven-day World Methodist Evangelism Institute Seminar in Brazil in August with a different kind of spirit. “The seminar electrified my spirit,” said Wright. “I attended three churches in Brazil, and in all three there was standing room only. The Holy Spirit moves through the congregations there, and they follow the Holy Spirit.” Wright was especially interested in the lack of a structured order of worship in the Methodist ...

50% Off at Cokesbury in Memphis Through Dec. 24

published 12/16/2010
Save 50% OFF Through Friday, Dec. 24! Advent/Christmas Books Advent/Christmas Supplies Advent/Christmas Gifts And more! Cokesbury Christian Store 6150 Poplar Avenue Suite 118 Memphis TN 38119   Phone 901-683-8271 Fax 901-682-9439   Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

A work of art and ministry

published 12/16/2010
A work of art and ministry. That was the headline in a recent issue of the Parsons First UMC newsletter describing the completion of a church remodeling project that included the incorporation of new stained glass above the church’s entry. The project has been “a dream for a few years,” according to Rev. Dave Stewart, pastor of the church, located at 49 E. Third St. in Parsons, TN. “The original structure of the front façade had begun to rust out and was really beginning to be an eyesore,” ...

Collierville UMC throws Christmas party for FirstWorks children

published 12/16/2010
Children in the FirstWorks After School Program in Memphis were treated to a Christmas party on Thursday, Dec. 9, compliments of Collierville UMC in Collierville, TN. Church members served as "Kitchen Angels" for the evening. They prepared dinner and spent time with the children and staff. There was music, storytelling and crafts. FirstWorks enrolls at-risk children and youth from downtown Memphis. It meets twice a week for dinner, tutoring, guest speakers, career counseling and crafts. Every ...

Register for Spiritual Life Retreat in March

published 12/16/2010
“Vocational Renewal - Take Thou Authority” is the theme for the 2011 Memphis Conference Spiritual Life Retreat set for March 1-3 at KenLake State Park in Hardin, KY. The event is for clergy and interested laity. Presenters include Rev. Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology at Marquette University, and Rev. Brent Laytham, Professor of Theology and Ethics at North Park Theological Seminary. “Attempts are being made this year to weave together seamlessly the practical and the theological,...

SACS Disclosure Statement - Lambuth University, Dec. 16, 2010

published 12/16/2010
Click HERE to read the Dec. 16, 2010 Disclosure Statement regarding the status of Lambuth University (Jackson, TN) from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Lambuth set to appeal decision by SACS to revoke accreditation

published 12/15/2010
Lambuth University in Jackson, TN, is appealing a decision by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges to revoke the school’s accreditation. The United Methodist institution learned about the decision Dec. 6. following the SACS annual conference in Louisville, KY. The Commission on Colleges visited Lambuth’s campus in October. At a press conference on Dec. 7, Lambuth President Dr. Bill Seymour explained that the school will retain its accreditation during ...

WIN event dramatizes problems of wage theft

published 12/15/2010
A November event in downtown Memphis was one of 30 across the U.S. designed to call attention to wage theft. Memphis faith leaders, workers and activists, including Rev. Rebekah Jordan Gienapp, Executive Director of Workers Interfaith Network (WIN) and a United Methodist deacon, participated in National Day of Action Against Wage Theft. WIN is a coalition of members of the faith and labor communities who seek justice in the workplace by addressing the root causes of poverty that force people to ...

Allen available to speak at area churches

published 12/14/2010
Joel Allen, Assistant Professor of Religion and Bible at Methodist-affiliated Lambuth University in Jackson, TN, is available to speak at Memphis Conference UM churches for “spiritual renewal” weekends and other events in 2011. One speaking series Allen offers is The Three Questions. The series seeks to answer the questions: Why do I believe in God?  Why am I a Christian?  Why am I a Methodist? Allen also is available to talk to parents and youth about the new Religion and Christian Ministry ...

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