Breaking Down the Barriers: Alex City area United Methodists Come Together for Worship and Work


History has proved that there is something special about the people of God coming together for the purpose of worshiping and praising God. The Spirit will challenge us to unite and be about God’s business. This is what you are likely to hear from some highly excited United Methodist members in Alexander City, Alabama.

Individuals from Haven Memorial UMC, Jones Chapel UMC and Shady Grove UMC (African American congregations) united with Flint Hill UMC (a Caucasian congregation) for World Communion 2010. This endeavor came after two years of relationship building between the Flint Hill and Haven Memorial congregations that included pulpit swap by pastors, pastors and choirs, and revival preaching.

The World Communion Sunday worship service was designed in such a way that all people from young and old, male and female, black and white participated. There was a joint choir and Rev. Dee Dowdy (pastor of Flint Hill) and Rev. Tiwirai Kufarimai (pastor of Haven and Shady Grove) prayed and worked together to develop a combined sermon. As they began the liturgy of Holy Communion, Rev “TK,” who is from Zimbabwe, read part of it in his native tongue (Shona) with Dee reading behind him in English.

The spirit of togetherness that permeated the worship service continued as everyone gathered in the fellowship hall for a time of fellowship and a covered dish meal. Members from all churches expressed their appreciation for the role that pastors had played in facilitating the coming of the churches together. They expressed their desire to do more for the Kingdom together as brothers and sisters serving God as United Methodists.

Then on November 13, several people from both Flint Hill and Haven Memorial went to serve the Lord together by helping at “Bridges of Faith,” a local missions group in Clanton aimed at helping orphans. Men from both churches installed a roof on what is to be the home for the incoming orphans while the ladies cleaned other cabins. Meanwhile, the youth spent the day painting.

Both pastors felt that these two events served as examples of the connectional system at work but more importantly it reminded everyone that in Christ, we are all one body filled by the same Spirit to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

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