It can easily be said the United Methodist denomination, like our nation has experienced periods of great unity and periods of great division. African Americans have experienced the implications of both these divisions more than most, yet has remained hopeful for a future of unity in ways The United Methodist Church as a whole should quickly learn from.
This was evident at Trinity United Methodist Church in Snyder, Texas on Sunday, August 25th, where over 66+ individuals from Trinity UMC Snyder, Visionary Hollowell United Methodist Church in Midland, Mackey Chapel in Odessa, Mt. Vernon UMC in Lubbock, Trent UMC in Trent and others came together to worship together and celebrate the future of The Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR), the organized Black caucus of The United Methodist Church.
Boasting an average of 80 years in ministry in the Northwest Texas and New Mexico Conferences, these black congregations have served in ministry faithfully in their neighborhoods in beautiful and profound ways, honoring God by their witness in the world.
Larry Rodgers, pastor of Trinity United Methodist spoke of the history of The Black Methodist for Church Renewal movement, tracing its heritage from the Central Jurisdiction to The United Methodist Church’s in the United States, while also speaking of the Methodist’s Church split due to the Civil War and its aftermath and the impact it had on the Black Methodist movement. Larry reminded us that though division occurred, and eventual uniting again, we have always been one. One in the Spirit, One in baptism, One in the Kingdom of God.
This sentiment was continued by Pastor Quinton Gibson, pastor of Mt. Vernon UMC in Lubbock, who called us to get R.E.A.L. We need to be Restored, seek Excellence, be Accountable to the Lord, and be Liberated, living in the freedom God has bought for us.
President of the Northwest Texas & New Mexico Conference’s BMCR Wendell Smith, Pastor of Visionary Hollowell in Midland, concluded the day by having all in attendance join hands together and understand that the future of these congregations and also the future of The United Methodist Church rests in the hands of those gathered together here. Supporting one another as we raise up leaders in these communities and congregations is done by working together and being willing to step into that leadership role.
Would you consider praying for the BMCR, their leaders and their spouses as they undertake this important work in our conference? Wendell Smith, President and his wife Lisa, Larry Rodgers, Vice President and his wife Lillie, Stephania Gilkey, Treasurer and her husband Gerald. For more information about how to be involved, feel free to contact the Conference Office!