One of my passions has been writing about the future of Methodism. Methodists all over Georgia are sensing God’s leading and moving forward. Here is a sample of a few beautiful snapshots of where Methodists are heading after church disaffiliation votes in the past year. These are all happening around my area of ministry.

New Church Groups Starting Up

In Savannah, after a majority vote did not reach the required 2/3rds majority hundreds of Methodists planted a new church on Isle of Hope in Savannah, GA. The new church is called Good Shepherd of Savannah. 

Rev. Scott Tucker will be the lead pastor of Good Shepherd of Savannah. Rev. Sam Paul has joined the team to lead worship and youth ministries. The church is temporarily meeting at Isle of Hope Baptist Church (22 Rose Ave., Savannah, GA). 

Lindsay Paul with Rev. Samuel Paul. Photo from Samuel Paul’s Facebook page.

The pastor’s shared about their excitement in recent church social media posts. Rev. Scott Tucker said, “I believe Good Shepherd Savannah will serve our city with the kindness and the truth of God’s healing work in Jesus Christ.”

Rev. Sam Paul in his church staff highlight social media post said, “I have loved every minute of leading the band and singing songs to our Lord, and I have especially loved the chance to work with students and watch them grow in their faith. I never would have imagined this opportunity to help build a new church plant, and I can’t wait to see where God takes us!”

The church plant is aligned with the Global Methodist Church (GMC). See Good Shepherd’s Savannah’s website for the most up to date meeting locations and times.

In Statesboro, a group consisting of hundreds of Methodists have been meeting together after another majority vote did not meet the required supermajority. Under the leadership of a board of thirteen members they have been organizing speakers as they continue to worship together.

Photo of the Statesboro Worship Easter Service via the Friends of GMC Facebook Group

“We just want to keep everyone together” says Warren Ball, a member of the new communities leadership board. 

Statesboro Worship is the name of the Christian group. They are meeting at the Home Builders Association of Statesboro in the Market District (1223 Merchants Wy, Statesboro, GA 30458). They meet at 9:00 a.m.

The Statesboro group is discerning where they want to align. The majority of the group want to remain Methodist or in the Wesleyan stream. However, they are still discerning what this may look like moving forward.

Local churches are aligning with the Global Methodist Church

Rev. Paul Broussard aligned quickly with the Global Methodist church. His church, Bethesda Church (Guyton, GA), took more time to discern where they wanted to realign moving forward

Rev. Paul Broussard from Paul Broussard’s facebook page.

“Back when I returned to the Methodist church I knew then I wanted to align with the Global Methodist Church. It just felt right. Reading the Transitional Book of Doctrine and Disciplines. I just felt deep in my Spirit that the Global Methodist Church will usher in a new great move of God,” Paul said.

His church leadership voted recently to move forward with a church wide vote about joining the Global Methodist Church. 

Paul added, “The transition team of Bethesda went through the Transitional Book of Doctrine and Disciplines. [They] loved the conservative and traditional Wesleyan heritage. Another plus was the fact that the GMC wants the churches to begin to govern themselves more…”

Another local Methodist Church in Twin City, GA decided to align with the GMC even though that meant they would lose their pastor.

Church member Sybil Johnson talked about the Twin City Methodist Church’s decisions.

“I attended the Isaiah 43 Conference [the first gathering of the South Georgia Global Methodist Church] at Epworth by the Sea in October last year. It was a revival of blessings! I felt the presence of the Lord with us! His spirit was moving around us and within us.”

While Sybil had a great experience at the conference she elaborated on why she personally leaned to the GMC. “My faith is rooted with the John Wesley traditional teachings and beliefs. So is Global! So thankful for Global Methodist coming to our rescue!”

They are looking forward to their new minister being appointed by the GMC this summer.

The South Georgia Conference convening session is July 27th – 29th

The South Georgia Conference of the Global Methodist Church (SGAGMC) will hold it’s convening session from Thursday, July 27th to Saturday, July 29th. As of this article publishing, the SGAGMC has 99 clergy aligned or in the process of joining the conference. There are currently 92 churches aligned on in the process of joining. This list will continue to grow.

Epworth by the Sea is a historical place for Methodism. Charles and John Wesley both lived on St. Simons briefly. Epworth by the Sea also holds the Bishop Moore Methodist Museum.

During this historic conference there will conclude with an ordination service presided over by Bishop Scott Jones.

The SGA GMC is led by President Pro Tem Rev. Jay Hanson. Reflecting on the upcoming momentus conference he said, “As Methodist we are a called people, a holy priest hood, who have historically encountered and responded to God in special ways at Epworth by the sea on St. Simons Island. This is sacred soil for us.  As Methodist from across Georgia gather on July 27-29 for our First GMC Annual Conference at Epworth I have  deep sense that we may again experience a fresh move of God which enables us to worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.”

Other speakers will be announced soon. For the latest on the convening conference session including registration, speakers, and schedule, visit the SGAGMC Annual Conference website.  

While this is just a small picture of what is happening in my area, I am curious. Do you know of a Methodist story that needs to be told? Reach out to me and let me know.


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3 Lessons from Jay Hanson 3

Over the past two weeks I have had the privilege of talking with two of the finest leaders in the United Methodist Church. Today I want to share with you about Jay Hanson. He is the pastor of one of the fastest growing United Methodist Congregations in the country. He was preaching at Tattnall County Camp Meeting and was gracious enough to take a couple of mornings to spend an hour with me on each of these days. Here are three of the biggest lessons he shared with me.

1. You will be forgotten.  One of the first things he told me was about the meal he shared with the pastors and leaders the night before. He said the others were trying to describe to him a former pastor but no one could remember his name. He said we will all be the same way one day. We may remember but the focus will be on the next pastor and it should be.

2. Pray more. Jay’s father, Dave Hanson, is a pastor and one of the most respected people in our conference. Jay told me he asked his father if he could go back what would he do different. His father’s answer was short and meaningful. Dave answered, “I would pray more.” Jay is someone who takes his spiritual formation serious. He had just got back from a week long retreat where he spent a week in silence at retreat center. I walked away excited, challenged, and encouraged to spend more time working on myself first.

3. He asked me for advice. At the conclusion of our time we had several great closing thoughts but the most astonishing was when he asked me what advice I may give him. I can not remember anyone ahead of me in ministry asking me what they could do better. I honestly do not remember what it is I told him. The question just struck me as a great example of how leaders are learners. The most productive leaders are the ones who are constantly trying to get better.