5% Challenge Celebration: Holy Spirit guides Russellville First UMC to growth in worship attendance


Members of First United Methodist Church in Russellville (Florence District) say they have surrendered to the fact that God is in charge of growing their church.

"We clearly understand there are no fail-safe programs or any cutting edge advertising/marketing, although these must be done, that will grow our church," says pastor Rev. Alan Beasley. "We believe God will draw people to Himself when He is honored, glorified and lifted up."

The Russellville congregation has experienced visitors who "are not looking for another religious experience, or another church experience, but a life-changing experience with the Most High God."

The congregation explains that their journey of being an open and inviting place for such seekers includes prayer, worship and being "salt and light."

Prayer is the foundational principle of what the church is doing. They say, "We are learning that nothing is possible without prayer and nothing is impossible because of prayer."

To this congregation worship has become a time to celebrate the grace of God and to seek God more fully. This celebration and seeking has led to more transformation worship experiences.

The congregation has also focused itself to love their community unconditionally in order to help people deal with their hurt and pain (being salt) and to share with the community the transforming power of the Gospel (being light.).

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