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Northwest South Georgia District

January 8, 2015
Buena Vista UMC
  • Rev. Jerry Akin in his second year at Buena Vista is “Blurring the Lines” between evangelism and mission outreach combining the two tools for vitality ministry. A new team has been established to implement this new paradigm. As a result the AWA(Average Worship Attendance) for Sunday morning worship has grown from thirty five to fifty persons, including ten children.

  • The Buena Vista Next Step Ministry team utilized local demographic information from to begin to discover the needs of their local community. After discovering who their neighbors are and attempting to better understand the needs of their neighborhood they developed several new programs and ministry outreach efforts.

  • New programs implemented as part of their NEXT Step Ministry includes KAIROS ministry (Emmaus Walk for prisoners), reestablished Vacation Bible School (VBS) with many congregational members helping prepare and decorate for the event, two new Sunday school classes for children and adults ( started as a result to VBS this past summer 2014), new scouting program with forty young men attending with plenty of parent support.

  • Jerry has been preaching sermon series versus following the Lectionary. He believe these campaign sermons{{{ not sure what this means?}}} has help encourage and inspire congregational members to lean forward into their discipleship in even greater ways.

  • Jerry has shown creative spirit and boldness in this process to enliven the congregation toward evangelism and mission outreach. There is an excitement at Buena Vista not seen in years.

  • American business persons with agreement of Chinese government are establishing a boarding school in Marion Country. Over the next few years the surrounding area will grow in business and population including both Chinese and others. Jerry and the congregational leadership are attuned to this and are making plans to serve their new neighbors.

  • Jerry and his wife have used their musical skills to produce a DVD fundraiser to assist with the Imagine No Malaria campaign. This DVD has been distributed throughout the community raising awareness of the mission effort as well as the Ministry of the church.

  • Jerry has developed several strategies to establish himself as the pastor of the community(\(\(\(not only Buena Vista UMC) by becoming involved in the local school, nursing home, and other civic organizations. This is a critical move on the part of the pastor to become visible as God's representative in the local community.

  • Jerry is planning a Mosey with Mark as the sermons series for Easter 2015. He hopes to help people plug into ministry even better and grow in their discipleship.



 Brantley UMC
  • Rev. Bruce Vaughn shared that due to new VBS program (had not conducted one in many years) there are now children attending services at Brantley. The Children’s Christmas program was very well attended to such an extent they are now thinking about how to enlarge the current Fellowship Hall. They say, "If we are going to have more people we must have more room!”

  • As a result of their demographic study they are reaching out to their community with specific ministries targeted to the needs of the community.

  • Conducted a unique Christian painting class “Telling the truth through paint.”  17 people participated

  • Brantley is planning activities and doing them instead of letting programs die. They are praying for the small groups gatherings and seeing results. They are thinking bigger and doing ministries with Spirit. They are feeling energized.

  • Brantley finished $6,000 over budget with excess monies this year for the first time in many years.

  • At their last Family night they experienced two persons expressing “Professions of Faith.” There had not been POF’s in many years as well.


 Tazewell UMC
  • Rev. Bruce Vaughn shared that the Tazewell congregation has said YES to the community outreach efforts. They have renewed their passion for local Nursing Home.

  • The awareness of so many Not-Yet-Christian-Friends became evident as they studied the Missioninsite reports. They are reaching out and as a result worship attendance has increased from fifteen to over thirty persons, many not yet members. 

  • They are holding a monthly luncheon at the nursing home, called “The Golden Treasures Lunch.” This is being received very well and congregational members are really following thru with their support and help.

  • There has been Professions of Faith in the nursing home as well, even in the hallway. The Spirit is moving both residents and congregational serving members. Tazewell UMC congregational members are seeing that ALL resident’s at the nursing home are made to feel like family and cared for in meaningful ways.

  • A new Sunday School for young married couples has recently started as well.

  • This summer’s VBS was outstanding and has invigorated the Children’s program.

  • The Men’s Bible study is as strong as ever.


 Union UMC
  • Rev. Bruce Vaughn shared that the Union congregation has as a result of Bible study sending young people to Peru for mission experiences. This is an exciting new chapter in the life of the congregation to reach out to the world. Union serves as a focal point for shared youth ministry in the Marion County charge.

  • Christmas Cantata attendance was full for the first time in years. There were twenty-two in the choir.

  • There is a new Sunday School class of seventeen.

  • There is a new young adult week day small group bible study started. They raised $17,00 for mission projects this past year.

  • Small groups continue to support congregational vitality that were started as a result of the Next Steps planning. Three new persons have been accepted into Union as a result.

  • They are currently planning a second large outside gathering for 2015 Mother’s Day. Their demographic studies help them to understand the need for specific targeted outreach ministries to young families with children. The first Mother's Day celebration was a total success. From that effort they developed a nutrition class, a yoga class and the painting class “Telling the truth through paint.”  These specific ministries were intended to reach the needs of their local community. The yoga class is ongoing and the nutrition class will be repeated later in the year.


Wesley UMC
  • Rev. Jeremy Alexander shared that the Wesley congregation has grown from eight to about twenty to twenty five in monthly worship attendance. They are considering a starter outreach to the community due to this increased vitality.

  • They hope to join others in the Howard Charge and do mission outreach together to help them get started and develop God stories in this evangelistic effort. They want to I made several edits and additions and added one picture start “acting our way into the future” versus thinking our way into the future.



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