James “Woody” Woodin, or Pastor Woody as most people know him, has been serving as a Local Pastor in the North Alabama Conference for the past seventeen years. Woody’s first career was in service to our country until he retired from the Navy in 1995. Woody’s military bearing, tempered by his eternal youthful exuberance, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit, makes him an effective leader, and tireless advocate of the Gospel. As a team, Woody and his wife Kim, bring tremendous gifts and graces for ministry. Their passion for the mission fields in their own back yard is contagious.
In June, Pastor Woody moved from serving as senior pastor of Reform First UMC in the Southwest District to the Mountain Lakes District to serve as Upper Sand Mountain Parish Director.
The Upper Sand Mountain Parish (USMP) is a Cooperative Parish of eight United Methodist Churches serving a 1,000 square mile area on Sand Mountain in Jackson and Dekalb Counties. Founded in 1969, the Upper Sand Mountain Parish has Emergency Services and Family Care Programs that serve approximately 5,000 families each year. The USMP accepts Mission Service Teams year round to help in providing minor home repair and weatherization; building of ramps for accessibility; operation of an industrial cannery; gardening and gleaning; and summer day camp programs for area communities, as well as other mission opportunities.
The USMP also operates other ministries including the Heart and Hand Housing Program which has built 47 houses to date, four Thrift Stores, a USDA approved Food Bank, Gardens of Plenty, Christmas Toy Stores, Back to School supplies, Back to School workbook expenses, Manna on the Mountain Backpack Program, and H.O.P.E. Center Temporary Housing Shelter Program. Having experienced tornadoes in the parish area during each of the last six years, including significant damage in the April 27, 2011, tornadoes, long term disaster recovery services are also ongoing through USMP.
Pastor Woody says he looks forward to many years of fruitful ministry with the USMP adding, "Whether you are 3 or 93 years old there is an opportunity for you to be involved with with us in mission on Sand Mountain."
If you would be interested in being involved in the work of the USMP or having someone come speak to your church, organization, or group about the USMP’s vision and mission, please contact Pastor Woody at (256) 638-2126.