New Albany District church chartered

Director of Church Development Mark Gough said to conference members on June 26 that together we need to find new ways of reaching more people for Jesus Christ, younger people and more diverse people.

He noted that worship attendance continues to decline. He said, “We need to pull together in a process, a way of bringing people to the church.”

He outlined four strategic Church Development areas which include locations, people groups, existing churches and new churches. Pending budget approval, conference grants will be provided in 2010 for new churches, multi-sites, worship and relocation.

Gough introduced the first conference church development staff person, Ed Fenstermacher, who presented a tool box for church growth.

Fenstermacher reminded the conference of Bishop Coyner’s vision of sending of the 70 in Luke’s Gospel. North Indiana picked up the idea in a program called Sending of the Saints.

Fenstermacher said ways of starting new faith communities include Sunday school, home Bible study and new worship services. He said, “We’re inviting you to make this commitment in the next two years by establishing new faith communities.

A tool box of resources is available online at and select “Church Development.” Web seminars also are available online. Coaches will help churches develop their own ministries.

At the close of this report, the Faithpoint United Methodist Church of Floyds Knobs, Ind. was chartered as a new congregation in the new Indiana Conference. Pastor George Wasson explained the development of this congregation from a home Bible study to Easter of this year. Wasson thanked the conference for its support in this new ministry.

Faithpoint UMC was chartered as a new church by the conference on June 26. Pictured (from left) are the Rev. Mark Gough, the Rev. George Wasson, Donna Wilfong, Jessi Wilfong and the Rev. Charles Wilfong, superintendent of the New Albany District.