On Sunday, August 24, 2014, representation from four United Methodist Churches in Tuscaloosa and the Bama Wesley Foundation welcomed University of Alabama students to the city by treating them to lunch at Glory Bound Gyro Company. The lunch served as the culminating event of a week-long partnership between local churches and the Wesley Foundation to celebrate the students and kick off the fall semester.
“It was awesome to see the United Methodist Churches of Tuscaloosa come together to reach out to our college students,” said Rev. Creighton Alexander, Conference Director of Campus Ministries and Campus Pastor of Bama Wesley. “It was a vision of what we can be as a church.”
From around noon to 1:30 p.m., the restaurant’s upper room in the locally famous Brown’s Corner location resonated with music, lively conversation, fans humming, and a friendly atmosphere made complete by the smell of delicious gyros. The event achieved its goal not only of welcoming students to town, but also of showing the students the United Methodist Church’s appreciation for their presence in its ministry. It also afforded the 100+ students in attendance an opportunity to connect with others who share a United Methodist identity whom they might not have otherwise met on a campus of 30,000 students.
Tuscaloosa First UMC Director of Young Adult Ministries Kate Gates said, “Gatherings such as this are a step in the right direction to truly representing the unity in our name and garnering even greater relevance in the college community. We offer special thanks to all who participated and worked to make it such a great experience.”
Churches who participated in the welcoming event included The Capstone UMC, Forest Lake UMC, Trinity UMC, and Tuscaloosa First UMC.