On February 20, Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Huntsville celebrated being debt-free by holding a special Sunday morning Mortgage-Burning and Communion Service. The church body was invited to assemble in the sanctuary during the normal small group and contemporary worship hour. Once everyone had gathered, Senior Pastor Todd Henderson, Director of Discipleship and Family Ministries Lydia Locke, lay leader Tim Cotton, and Pastor to Students Chris Jones led the congregation in prayer and celebration of God’s faithfulness. Past and present church leaders stood before the altar as Aldersgate’s financial manager, Wendy Sampson, held the burning mortgage note up before placing it in a dish. The congregation then recited a commitment to future faithfulness and took part in Holy Communion.
Aldersgate UMC was chartered in 1982. The loan for the current structure began in 1991 and was paid in full in February 2011. Since the church started, it has been deeply involved in local missions and community outreach. Recently the church council voted to start a second campus at the former Skate Odyssey building on South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. The new campus is scheduled to open in August. The “church with the warm heart” is committed to its mission statement to “Love God, Love Others, and Serve and Share Jesus.”