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New Church

Two North Alabama Church Planters are Asbury Church Planting Fellows for 2018-19


Two North Alabama Conference new church pastors are a part of Asbury Theological Seminary’s Church Planting Fellows Program for 2018-19. Rev. Christian Cheairs, who is is launching Viewpoint Church out of Trinity UMC in Homewood (South Central District), and Rev. Chris Stallings, founding pastor of reFresh Church in Priceville (Northwest District), are a part of a cohort of 12 participants from all across the eastern United States, as well as two from Jamaica and Singapore. The Fellows Program ...

The Church at Stone River charters and celebrates continuing growth


On Christmas Eve 2017, the new United Methodist church in Decatur, The Church at Stone River, welcomed almost 600 worshippers during two candlelight services.  In July 2017, a new church in Decatur, The Church at Stone River, was formed as members from two closing churches, St. Luke UMC and Ninth Street UMC, came together with a seed team of members from Austinville UMC and two new pastors.  Less than a year later, the average worship attendance for this new congregation is 356 worshippers ...

Fresh Expressions Vision Day to be Feb. 15, 2018 in Birmingham


Congregational Development will host a Vision Day on Feb. 15, 2018, at Riverchase UMC.  The cost is $30 per person.  Vision Days are a great way to discover more about what it means to be involved in starting fresh expressions of church. During the day you will discover what it means to be the Church in new and creative ways, hear from Fresh Expressions practitioners and discern what this could mean for your community. There will be active discussion as well as an opportunity to build networks ...

Fresh Expressions of Church workshop will be October 19 in Huntsville


There will be a Fresh Expressions of Church workshop on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at DesignLab in Huntsville.  The event is designed for pastors, church staff and laity who want to take the church to those not following Christ or those outside existing churches. This is also a great event for persons considering future vocations in ministry and those sensing a call to lead a new work to reach new people for Jesus! The cost is $20 per person and lunch is included. (Price ...

Churches of all sizes are starting new faith communities


Congregations – of all sizes – throughout the North Alabama Conference are reaching out to their community by starting new faith communities. Below are four good news reports from the Office of New Church Development. Executive Director of New Church Development Dr. Richard Hunter notes, “These are good examples that any church, any size can take on.”   Bethany UMC Bethany UMC in the Southeast District has started a new community of faith on Sunday nights. It is held at a local substance abuse ...

The Church at Stone River celebrates launch


On July 14, 2017,  The Decatur Daily featured an article on one of North Alabama’s newest congregations, The Church at Stone River. The new community of faith in southwest Decatur was launched July 2, 2017. Earlier this year two congregations, Ninth Street UMC and St. Luke UMC,  voted to close and form a new congregation under a new name. Read The Decatur Daily story about this new congregation at

Conference celebrates new communities of faith


New Church Development has been a long-time priority of the North Alabama Conference. Executive Director of New Church Development Dr. Richard Hunter noted, “The Office of New Church Development has the joy of leading our Conference’s effort to start and grow new communities of faith all around us.” He further explained that his team defines a new community of faith as “a church starting a new worship service or satellite ministry.” He reported that in 2017 North Alabama Conference congregations...

Conference celebrates the start of new faith communities in 2017


One of the North Alabama Conference ministry priorities is “New Faith Communities, Worship Services, and Ministries to reach new persons.” Executive Director of New Church Development Rev. Dr. Richard Hunter shares an update on how the Conference is living out this priority noting, “This is a lot to celebrate!” Since January, New Church Development has helped begin the following new starts: Lester Memorial UMC in Oneonta (Mountain Lakes District) has started a restaurant church.   One Direction...

Two opportunities for MissionInsite training coming in early February


MissionInsite is a powerful tool available to North Alabama Conference congregations. It provides church and community demographics and analytics to help leaders better understand their congregants and community at large.   New Church Development is providing a training in early February for congregation leaders to learn how to use MissionInsite and how this tool can benefit the local church. The trainings will be led by Chuck Salter, the President of MissionInsite. Even those who have been to a...

Racial Reconciliation and Faith: A Model for Small Groups


This article first appeared on It is reposted here with permission. (Click here to see original post.) By Christian Cheairs God is doing something huge that is transforming the way Americans look at church. It is impacting our schools, our jobs and our families. A growing movement of Christians is expressing a desire to pursue dialogue around racial reconciliation through the model of small groups. Discussing race with faith has resonated deeply with me as a church planter. The...

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