On Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, the United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) presented Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville (Northeast District) with the “Guardian of the Bell” award during morning worship service.
The “Guardian of the Bell” is part of an overall campaign to recognize those churches who support the cause of the United Methodist Children’s Home and those it serves. The United Methodist Children’s Home awards the “Guardian of the Bell” annually to a church in the North Alabama Conference and the Alabama-West Florida Conference that demonstrate superior support for its missions.
UMCH President and CEO Dr. Blake Horne, says “This precious artifact, which is saturated with such a proud history, is a reminder of their great generosity, our appreciation, and most importantly the children and families that we serve at UMCH. “
Horne has dubbed the 158 year old bell “Windy” in honor of Katherine Tucker Windham, the great Alabama storyteller who wrote so wonderfully about her in “Autobiography of a Bell.” Cast in 1858 by the Meneely Bell Company of West Troy, New York, “Windy” summoned residents of the United Methodist Children’s Home Selma Campus to meals, class, worship, bedtime, and even to the swimming pool until it was replaced in 1948. It tolled the beginning and end of two world wars and honored those fallen in service to their country. Horne says “I am of the strong belief that ‘Windy’ belongs in the care of our United Methodist Champions. They are the body of Christ that gives the United Methodist Children’s Home life.”
“Trinity UMC is, of course, happy to guard the bell for a year. We are happier still to be a part of the care of so many children coming from bad situations throughout the state. We’ll ring it, remember the children, and pray for the love flowing their way,” states Trinity UMC Pastor, Mitchell Williams.
Founded in 1956, Trinity UMC was started by three NASA engineers talking around a water cooler one day about the need for a church in a new part of Huntsville. Today the church says it's focus is to "serve others to make disciples for Christ. We do this through 3 areas: Serve: building a handicap ramp, tutoring, helping pay utilities, providing food, a mission trip and much more; Engage: gathering with others to learn, have fun, and building relationships and Worship: worshipping together to nourish our faith to go out and serve."
The United Methodist Children’s Home of Alabama and Northwest Florida has been assisting children and families in crisis since its founding in 1890. UMCH’s ministries include residential group homes for children, Higher Education Scholarship Homes, and Babies First homes providing young mothers and their babies with a safe place to live and grow. Additionally, UMCH administers foster care and adoption home services, as well as, family preservation and support services designed to keep families united whenever possible. These ministries are available to those in need regardless of religious affiliation. Each year UMCH transforms the lives of hundreds of children and families through its faith-based programming.
For more information visit the UMCH website at www.umch.net.