The Board of Directors of Urban Ministry, Inc. recently named Rev. Melissa Self Patrick the new Executive Director of Urban Ministry, Inc. Urban Ministry is an inner city mission in Birmingham. This Conference Advance Special agency has been providing ministries of compassion and wholeness for, and among, people who struggle because of poverty, for 35 years.
Melissa succeeds Rev. Tom Duley, who is retiring from full-time ministry at the 2011 Annual Conference, and who has compassionately and faithfully served Urban Ministry, Inc. for the last 11 years.
Bishop Will Willimon says, “"We are proud of the work that Urban Ministry has done over the years in reaching out in the name of Christ to those on the margins. Melissa is a perfect choice to carry on this great ministry and to expand our outreach to those in need."
Melissa is a United Methodist clergy who is completing her first year serving under appointment as Director of Development of Urban Ministry, Inc. At the 2011 Annual Conference, Melissa will be commissioned a Provisional Elder. She also leads weekly worship at Table of Grace, a house church of Community Church without Walls UMC in West End. A recent graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Melissa was the recipient of a Georgia Harkness Scholar Award, which allowed her to travel to Honduras in 2009 to meet with Methodist clergywomen in ministry there. She was also nominated by Candler’s Preaching Faculty for a preacher/scholar award in 2010.
Prior to responding to God’s call to full-time ordained ministry, Melissa has served with a variety of Birmingham non-profit organizations, including as Executive Director of Youth Leadership Forum of Leadership Birmingham; Development Director and Training Organizer for Greater Birmingham Ministries; Program Director of the National Conference for Community and Justice and Anytown Alabama Camp; Ruth and Naomi Senior Outreach; Birmingham Pathways; and Birmingham Youth Serve. She has also served as a volunteer and/or board member of Birmingham First UMC, Alabama Poverty Project, YWCA of Birmingham, Alabama Faith Council, Homewood City Schools, Camp Sumatanga, Birmingham-Southern College Alumni Choir, and Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform.
Melissa has been married to Bentley Patrick for 21 years, and they have two daughters, Mary Rose (15) and Sarah Lib (11).