Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: New and Renewing Churches

May 08, 2023

Dear Friends,

Since the beginning of my ministry, I have been drawn to the “new” aspect of the Christian message. Indeed, II Corinthians 5:17 is one of my life verses. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

We have a lot of “new” happening in the North Alabama Conference right now! God is moving in and through us as new churches are forming and fresh expressions are developing. As a result, new persons are meeting Jesus, new faith communities are emerging and new leadership is being discovered, developed and deployed. Praise God for bringing new out of this challenging time in the life of our denomination!

Our New and Renewing Congregations team is leading the way in this. Many thanks to Executive Director of New and Renewing Congregations Rev. Suzanne Katschke and her team of District Developers for all they are doing to serve as vehicles through whom God is working in the North Alabama Conference during this season. Current District Developers are: Mary Beth Ashley, Rev. Deb Epley, Rev. Clay Farrington, Rev. Carol Gullatt, Rev. Patrick Gunn, Lisa Keys-Mathews and Rev. Marian Royston.

What can you do to be involved in this amazing movement of “new” in the North Alabama Conference?

  1. Read the encouraging article and statements from our Executive Director of New and Renewing Churches Rev. Suzanne Katschke and our District Developers at the following link:
  2. Pray for Rev. Suzanne Katschke, our seven District Developers and the New and Renewing Church Team in their ministry in North Alabama.
  3. Be on the lookout for places where you sense God is leading us to cultivate new congregations and fresh expressions.
  4. Introduce District Developers to those wanting to continue as United Methodists after their churches have disaffiliated.
  5. Thank God for making all things new in our lives, annual conference, denomination and world.

God is making all things new in North Alabama and beyond. Thanks be to God.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
Holston and North Alabama Conferences

Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.