A remarkable event took place at the 2013 meeting of the Central Texas Conference. During the Center for Evangelism and Church Growth report, four specific initiatives related to our core strategy of new church development were launched.
- 1. Lance Marshall was appointed to 7th Street, Fort Worth for a new church start parented by First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. (To the best of my recollection this is the first time someone has been appointed to a street!)
- 2. Shea Reyenga was appointed a Path 1 Intern at White’s Chapel. Path 1 is the core strategy of the larger United Methodist Church in the United States on new church development. (The title “Path 1” comes from the original seven vision pathways laid out by the Council of Bishops for the recovery/transformation of the United Methodist Church. New church development was designated the first of those seven pathways.) White’s Chapel, through the mentoring of Dr. John McKellar, is working in coordination with our Center for Evangelism and Church Growth and the Path1 team headed by Rev. Candace Lewis of the General Board of Discipleship. Each of those three entities is contributing expertise, time, and financial resources to this internship. It is our intent that this would lead to a new church start with Rev. Reyenga and partnered by White’s Chapel UMC sometime in the fall of 2014.
- 3. Rev. Louis Carr, Jr. was appointed to Thompson Chapel with the intention to relocate and re-launch Thompson Chapel. This action was taken in conjunction with work done by the congregation (and voted on by them) to take this historic risk-taking mission with the expertise and involvement from both the Center for Evangelism and Church Growth and the Cabinet leadership from the Dr. Luther Henry and District Superintendent Dr. Ginger Bassford. Pastor Carr tells me that they have already surpassed 100 in worship and are looking to close a deal on new land!
- 4. A second site start with Rev. Daniel Hawkins serving as the pastor as a part of the staff of First United Methodist Church Keller. Again the courageous and visionary leadership of the parent church for this second site (1st UMC Keller) is yoked with resources from the Center for Evangelism and Church Growth.