Abide Teams meet for third Coaching Session


Fourteen North Alabama Conference small-membership churches are participating in the ABIDE process.  ABIDE is a small-membership church initiative for church revitalization and growth.  It is a part of Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI) who provides the coaching for this journey with our churches.  ABIDE was developed by Rev. Dr. Ron Crandall.

Ron is an ordained United Methodist elder and retired Dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary. After missionary work in Vietnam and serving pastorates in California and Arizona he worked for the General Board Of Discipleship in Nashville for six years.  His current ministry focus is twofold: smaller membership churches and effective Christian witness. This dual passion led to the development of ABIDE for SLI. His book Turnaround and Beyond—A Hopeful Future for Smaller Membership Churches captures half of this story, and his widely used small group study WITNESS: Learning to Share Your Christian Faith the other half.

The churches who are participating are the following:

Central District:

  • St. James UMC, Warrior
  • Crumley Chapel UMC
  • Graysville UMC
  • Kimberly UMC
  • Mt. Olive UMC

Cheaha District:

  • Moody UMC
  • Weaver UMC
  • Center Point UMC

South Central District:

  • St. James UMC, Irondale

Southwest District:

  • Carbon Hill UMC
  • Christ Church, Jasper
  • Durr's Chapel, Jasper
  • Macedonia UMC
  • Big Sandy UMC

The ABIDE Coaching team is led by Dr. Chuck Lord and includes Rev. Rene Easter, Western North Carolina Conference  and Rev. Vona Wilson, Tennessee Conference.

A second group of small-membership churches will be invited to participate in an ABIDE process with the first informational meeting that will be held in December.  If you are interested in receiving more information about ABIDE, contact Rev. Nancy Cole, Director of Church Revitalization and Transformation at 205-399-1994 or by email at ncole@umcna.org.

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