Huntsville First UMC kicked off its newest contemporary service of worship on August 9. “Exalt”, a name chosen for its strong biblical call and challenge to lift the name of our God in the world, began with an opening attendance of 302. The attendance at the second week’s service was 620, a number greatly helped by the youth “Discovery Weekend.”
The service is placed at the 11 a.m. hour and is focused on reaching 20’s to 40’s with a mixture of traditional anchors of worship as well as a band leading contemporary worship music. The service has been in the planning for several years, but really stepped up with the addition of Eric Brown as music worship leader in January. Dr. Glenn Conner, Rev. Coy Hallmark, and Rev. Wren Miller serve as the preaching pastors for this service.
It was eleven years ago that Huntsville first added it first contemporary service, New Song, which had outgrown the worship center seating of 450. In those eleven years the attendance increased by over 400 people. It is our prayer that again this congregation will be able to live out its mission to make more disciples by reaching new people for Christ. Huntsville first now has five worship services on Sunday morning: two traditional, two contemporary, and special needs service coupled with Holy Communion.
On the weekend of August 14-16 the church focuses on youth by holding a Discovery Weekend which was a huge success. That weekend more than 220 junior and senior high students gathered at the Wesley Center of Huntsville First UMC to participate in the worship, spiritual growth talks, prayers, forgiveness service, remembrance of baptism, and great fellowship. Matt Bell, Minister of Youth, co-coordinated and led the weekend with the help of many parents, friends, and senior high youth. Miss Lindsey Prozan was the special speaker for the Sunday morning service which drew over 600 people for a time of praise and worship.
In other news, Dr. Glenn Conner, senior pastor of Huntsville First was selected to participate in a fund raising program for the HEALS program for the city of Huntsville. HEALS provides free, school based medical and dental services for Children who cannot afford it otherwise.
Mrs. Loretta Spencer sat in her seat and heard the sermon about David dancing before the arc of God as it was brought back to Jerusalem…she heard the preacher say he loved dancing with the stars and kiddingly said he thought he could do that show. That was the beginning of a process in which Dr. Conner was selected to participate in the fundraiser.
This is the third year for the Dancing with the stars project. Dr. Conner has been paired with Michelle Hill, professional dance teacher with rocket City Dance Club, who also donates her time. The practices will continue until the dance off on November 2, at the Monaco Theater. Each dollar donated represents a vote.
Dr. Conner states, “This is certainly a new and different challenge for me. It is very hard work, but for a great cause. Our church is working with Morris Elementary to provide weekend food packs, study buddies, and room helpers. This program will also help with the medical and dental needs of students there and other places. It should be a lot of fun, and I hope I don’t fall.”