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Tuesday - September 23, 2014
Circles of Transformation: Transforming People, Congregations, and Communities

(Fred Blackwell) - “I’ve got people now!” So exclaimed Jose Maya, a recent Circles graduate in Dothan, Alabama. Dothan is the pilot site for Circles start-up in the AWFUMC. Maya is typical of those who can benefit from the Circles ministry. He’s struggling to make a living and wants to find a better way forward. After losing his job, he found himself in remedial math classes at the local community college. These classes were needed to prepare him for career retooling. Things are starting to look up for Maya. In September he received a promotion to the position of Customer Service Manager at a local Wal-Mart store. He attributes his successful interview “100% to things I learned through Circles.” He was interviewed for the position without notice or preparation. Maya states that he was able to articulate his strengths as a result of his Circle Leader training. When asked to describe Circles, Maya said this, “It’s about relationships. It’s not just about making a difference in my life; it’s about showing the community that there are alternatives. It’s about making impact and changing lives.”

The building of intentional friendships across racial, cultural, and socio-economic lines is central to the methodology. These friendships make cross-cultural discussion possible and fruitful. Rosalynn Richards, another Circles graduate describes it this way, “Circles is a positive place for adults. It’s a place where I can discuss my goals
and aspirations and have support and encouragement from Allies.”

The Allies who are participating in the Dothan pilot are from United Methodist churches in the community as well as from churches of other denominations. These Allies have themselves completed a training period which has prepared them to work effectively with those of other racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. Ruth Penton is a retired Diaconal Minister who lives in Enterprise, Alabama and who has worked with Circles for over a year. She says, “I learned that I didn’t know anything about poverty.”

North American models are most often built on the premise that poverty is about the absence of financial resources. While that is true, poverty is also about isolation and lack of positive relationships. Circles volunteers learn that we are all in some kind of poverty relative to God, others, ourselves, or the world around us. Circles Allies come to the table on a peer-to-peer basis with the families served. This is a much different setting from a mentor program where a hierarchal relationship is implied.

Kami Winfrey is a Circle Leader trainer in Dothan. She puts it this way, “Poverty is not an individual issue. It affects all of us. It affects society as a whole. Circles provides an atmosphere where different cultures, races, and socio-economic groups can learn about each other.”

As an example of the cultural diversity of the Dothan Circles group, Rosalynn Richards is an African-American female. Jose Maya is a Hispanic male. Two female Circle Leader graduates are natives of Nigeria.

Those in financial need are called Circle Leaders. After training, they are equipped to lead meetings with a team of Allies. The mission is to provide an environment that enables the Circle Leader to achieve specific, course-altering goals. In addition to relationship building, there are two additional core features that characterize the Circles initiative: 1) the identification of systemic community issues that hold people back, and 2) a jobs preparation component. The purpose of identifying systemic issues is to work collectively to address them.

Circles Coordinator Laurel Blackwell uses the example of the bus route in Phenix City. The bus route moved low income people around town but didn’t go anywhere close to free GED classes, free work readiness classes, welfare-to-work classes, or the community college. Low income people often feel powerless to address systemic issues. Circles provides an environment where citizens throughout the community see and understand issues that enable poverty. In the case of the bus route, an immediate change was made after one conversation with a member of the county commission, the contracting entity. A Circles leadership team in Brewton, Alabama, is now working on the systemic effects of predatory lending practices.

Circles requires a community-wide effort. It is not designed to be duplicative or to compete with any existing mission or ministry. In fact, it complements other local initiatives and builds bridges between initiatives where bridges might not exist today. Circles aims to help other community groups meet and exceed their objectives. Allies want to make sure that Circle Leaders (families in poverty) take advantage of every service available as they climb their way to a better family economic position. In fact, Circles Coordinator Fred Blackwell says, “If you’ve got something that’s already working – use it!”

A reality is that the traditional agency approach is not getting the job done. No one agency is responsible for getting a family out of poverty. A family goes to one place for child care assistance…to another for supplemental nutritional assistance…to another for the housing allowance, and so on. On the other hand, the goal of Circles is to actually stay with a family until that family achieves an income at least 200% of the poverty level.

There are more than 80 communities in the country that are employing this relatively new initiative. Success measures show increases in family income and assets with corresponding reductions in assistance benefits. Statistics also show that within a relatively short period of time, Circle Leader families are actually volunteering to assist others in the community. At the Circles table, everyone is a Child of God and Person of Worth who has something to contribute.

In our Conference, Dothan is the initial pilot site. The communities of Selma, Brewton, and Eufaula are well into start-up activity with local leadership teams. Mobile and Phenix City are now organizing leadership teams. Discussions about poverty and community issues have occurred in Montgomery and Marianna, Florida.

To learn more, see our conference website or visit Circles USA online. Questions and further exploration can be directed to Dr. Laurel Blackwell at 334-524-3652 or via e-mail addressed to

To read a national story on Circles presented by National Public Radio (NPR), click here

Monday - September 8, 2014
Imagine No Malara: An Update from the AWF Director of Mission & Advocacy

(Susan Hunt) - 65,321. That is roughly the population of the city of Dothan, Alabama. That is also how many people in Africa will now have the chance to live because of the effort you, the Alabama-West Florida Conference, have made toward beating malaria through the Imagine No Malaria campaign. We are now 65.3% of the way to our goal of saving 100,000 lives.

Imagine No Malaria is the commitment by the United Methodist Church to fight malaria and end deaths due to this completely preventable and treatable disease. Our conference is among the many annual conferences that are joining in this effort. This is a historic campaign in the life of our churches, conference, and for the denomination as a whole because it is the single largest mission ever undertaken by the United Methodist Church.

We are putting our faith into action! Jesus has sent us in to this world to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. With Imagine No Malaria, we are doing both. For example, in Sierra Leone, the Bo district of the Sierra Leone conference took up the effort to train community health workers. They distributed education materials, treated bed nets, medication, and so much more. In this area where the majority of the population is not Christian, the people were so impressed with the compassion and non-discriminatory approach taken by the health workers that at least six communities requested churches and health centers. Bishop John Yambasu said, “The good news is that while we aimed at healing souls, a miracle was taking place - God was at work using the ministry to win souls at the same time. Together we celebrate the Holy Spirit at work in the life of our denomination.”

At the recent conference CORE team meeting, I spontaneously challenged everyone present to join me in saving a few lives each. They met that challenge and we saved 37 lives right then! This is the same group – the leadership representing the connectional ministries of our conference – who, along with other conference leadership, resolved to take up the challenge of joining with the rest of the connection to end the needless deaths because of malaria. To end a disease! Maybe your own church leadership council can take up an offering at its next meeting, too. With this type of determination, our conference can reach its goal soon.

Thank you for hearing the call to act. Thank you for saying yes. Thank you for joining with United Methodists across the world as we say a resounding “NO” to death and suffering caused by malaria. This task is the power of our connectional system – one Church, across this globe, all working together. Because of you, we are saving and changing lives. 

Visit to see detailed progress reports of all churches throughout our conference. Each district set their goals for participation, and many churches have done marvelous work in reaching those goals.

Click here and here to see how the work through Imagine No Malaria is also fighting the Ebola outbreak.

Click here to see how our work through Imagine No Malaria is also starting new faith communities and churches throughout the continent of Africa.

Friday - September 5, 2014
Blue Lake Board of Trustees Announces New Director

The Blue Lake Camp Board of Trustees are pleased to announce Steve Lewandowski as its new executive director following the recent retirement of Ms. Phyllis Murray. 

Steve grew up in Tulsa, OK, where he was heavily involved in his youth group at the First United Methodist Church. It was at summer camp that Steve dedicated his life to the service of Christ. He graduated from Tulsa Edison High School and received both his BS and MS degrees from Oklahoma State University in Administration and Management of Recreation. He brings a great deal of experience in program development, fund raising and public speaking.

Steve is married to Elaine, his wife of 24 years. They have two sons, Joey (age 23), and A.P. (age 21), whom are both in college at Southeastern Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. They also have two Jack Russell Terriers, Sugar and Jaqi, who help fill the empty nest. Steve loves to hunt, fish, watch high school football, and spend time at the beach with his family.

He is excited to be the executive director of Blue Lake United Methodist Assembly and looks forward to many years of service to the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Friday - September 5, 2014
Know Your DS: Dr. Chris Eckert

The next three editions of the NewsCONNECTION will feature a district superintendent that has not yet been featured before. This edition's spotlight is on Dr. Chris Eckert, Demopolis District Superintendent.

What Brought You to the Ministry?
The call from God on my heart. I truly feel God called me to be a service to the people in this area of the south.

The Best Book I’ve Read About Methodism Is:
American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists

Favorite Vacation Destination:
Two places…Italy and Disney World.

Instead of being a minister, I almost was…
A Mobile Fire Fighter.

One of the goals for my district is to:
Learn where all the churches are.

What is one challenge you see for your district:
To get across to the other parts of the Annual Conference what a truly amazing district this is.

What do you like best about serving the AWF Conference?
We get to go to Montgomery for Annual Conference.

What do you do in your free time.........the little there is!
I am writing a soon to be best seller!

Most people don’t know that I:
Drank the kool aid and I am now a cross fit freak.

The most important thing I’ve learned since my first appointment is:
To love the place where you are. I have loved each church I have serviced and the people. It's not better on the other side of the fence. It's the best where you are. 


Monday - August 25, 2014
Guest Commentary: Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon

During a sociology of religion class, our professor shared that religious belief and participation helps to hold the elements of life together. As a Christian and a pastor, I would agree but contend that for us as followers of Jesus Christ, he anchors us in the varied, unexpected, unanticipated events of our earthly existence. This weekend has been a reminder of this for me on several levels, dealing with emerging matters that command your time and attention. I am mindful of the saying that "ministry occurs in the interruptions" and am quite aware that as pastors often our most effective ministry takes place in those moments where the normalcy of life has been significantly altered.

When you consider that our own lives are subject to the certain changes of life, and extend that into the congregations and communities we serve, it is a given that at any point in time there is someone under your pastoral care who is trying to come to terms with some disruptive event. The scale of these events is wide-ranging: an unbudgeted expense, the loss of employment, the death of a pet, an unfavorable diagnosis, the breakup of a relationship, sick children, the loss of a friendship, relocating to a new area, a spouse receiving news of deployment, a child starting school or leaving for college.... The list goes on and on. I remember my friend and mentor, Dr. Karl Stegall, sharing at First United Methodist Church of Montgomery on several occasions that "If you preach to those who are hurting, you'll always have a congregation."

There is so much taking place in our area, in our denomination, across our country and throughout our world. The 24-hour news cycle keeps our heads spinning at a dizzying pace and the headlines are constantly changing: earthquakes, ISIS, Afghanistan, domestic violence, North Korea, poverty, war in the Middle East, same-sex marriage and court battles, elections, Obamacare, celebrity marriages and divorces, "reality" television stars... It can be, and at times it is, overwhelming. And in those moments, I am reminded that Christ is present in the chaos of life and holds all things -- that is, ALL things -- in his care.

In preparing for an upcoming Cabinet gathering, I have been reading Christ, My Companion based on a portion of the Prayer of St. Patrick. I offer that prayer to you as you begin your week, filled with both the anticipated and unexpected demands of ministry, hopeful that it will provide a source of inspiration and assurance for you as you serve:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Thank you for your leadership and I pray that we all stayed centered in Christ as we seek to minister in the frenzied, hurried world in which we live.

Blessings and peace,


Thursday - August 21, 2014
Know Your DS: Dr. Doug Pennington

The next four editions of the NewsCONNECTION will feature a district superintendent that has not yet been featured before. This edition's spotlight is on Dr. Doug Pennington, Mobile District Superintendent.

What Brought You to the Ministry?
I came to faith in college and ended up attending Camp Glory on Perdido Bay where I felt called to ministry.

The Best Book I’ve Read About Methodism Is:
"The Burning Heart: John Wesley, Evangelist" by A. Skevington Wood

Favorite Vacation Destination:
Mountains and woods

Instead of being a minister, I almost was:
College professor

One of the goals for my district is to:
Start a new African American church

What is one challenge you see for your district:
Turning around declining churches

What do you like best about serving the AWF Conference?
Longtime friendships

What do you do in your free time.........the little there is!
Grandkids, hunting, shooting sports

Most people don’t know that I can:
Teach firearms courses

The most important thing I’ve learned since my first appointment is:
Jesus said "feed my sheep" not "skin my sheep"


Friday - October 3, 2014
Dauphin Way UMC To Host Domestic Violence Conference

Dauphin Way United Methodist Church will host a Domestic Violence Conference October 3, 2014.  This is a multi-disciplinary conference presented by the Mobile County Domestice Violence Task Force.  This conference has been approved for 5 contact hours for CEU's.  There is a fee.  Contact Angela at Penelope House 251-342-2809 to register.


Friday - October 3, 2014
Dothan District Hosts Lay Servant Training
The Dothan District will offer Lay Servant Training October 3 - 4, 2014 at Greystorne United Methodist Church. Basic and Advanced Courses will be offered.
Dinner and gathering - 5:30 until 6:30 PM
Classes - 6:30 until 8:30 PM
Breakfast - 7:00 until 8.00 AM
Classes - 8:00 until noon
Lunch - noon until 12:45 PM
Classes - 1.00 until 4:00 PM
Cost is $45.00 and should be mailed with attached registration form below.
Questions?  Please call Judy Reiter 334-248-2286.
Saturday - October 4, 2014
Marianna/Panama City District Lay Servant Ministries Fall Training Academy

The Marianna/Panama City District has scheduled Fall Lay Servant Training Academys Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 18, 2014 9:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Both trainings will be held at Forest Park United Methodist Church

To register please contact Mary Whitehead, Marianna/Panama City District Lay Servant Director,


Saturday - October 4, 2014
MPC Lay Servant Training

The Marianna/Panama City District has scheduled a Fall Lay Servant Training Academy Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 18, 2014 9:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Both trainings will be held at Forest Park United Methodist Church

To register please contact Mary Whitehead, Marianna/Panama City District Lay Servant Director,

Sunday - October 5, 2014
11th annual Broadway and More Concert at Gulf Shores UMC

From Gershwin to Annie and Andrew Lloyd Weber, a wonderful taste of Broadway is in store at the 11th annual Broadway and More concert Sunday, October 5, 2014 at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church (GSUMC).  The concert will begin at 7PM in the sanctuary.  Tickets at $10 per person are on sale at the church office beginning September 15 Mondays through Fridays 9AM to 4PM.  Season concert supporters may use their passes.  All concert proceeds are used to support the music ministry of GSUMC. 

You'll go away humming such memorable numbers from Gershwin's Crazy for You as "Bidin' My Time", Embraceable You" and "KR-A-ZY for You", along with "You're Never  Fully Dressed Without A Smile" and "Tomorrow" from Annie, and from Phantom of the Opera, "Think of Me" and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" among many other favorites. 

Featured soloists include well-known area musicians Janis Ray, Marsha Guyer, Bill Durmer, Ali Livingston and Cody Johnson, Director of Worship Arts at GSUMC, along with the GSUMC Chancel Choir.  Accompanist for the program is Jackie Dahlman, GSUMC organist/pianist. 

Broadway and More is another great evening of music at GSUMC that will help recall many of your fondest musical memories. 

Sunday - October 5, 2014
World Communion Sunday

World Communion Sunday is October 5, 2014.  World Communion Sunday is a day when many churches want to emphasize that the body of Christ shares the sacrament in the rich diversity while affirming that “there is one body and one Spirit …one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.” (Ephesians 4:4)

Our church is at its best when we reach out to sisters and brothers in need. World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God’s children. United Methodists relate to World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday.

Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students. Our gifts often enable first-generation students to attend college. 

Below is an ebook with helpful resources

Wednesday - September 24, 2014
Assistant Director of Youth Ministry - Auburn UMC

Auburn United Methodist Church has an opening for an Assistant Director of Youth Ministry. This is a full-time position and a minimum 3 years experience in the area of youth ministry is required.

Please submit resumes to John Fox, Program Minister, no later than Monday, October 6th.  


Monday - September 22, 2014
Director of Youth Ministries - Saint Paul's UMC - Tallahasee, FL

Saint Paul's United Methodist Church located in Tallahassee, Florida, is searching for a full-time Director of Youth Ministries.  This person will lead the church's youth ministry (grades 6 - 12) in keeping with our mission to "Follow Jesus, grow in community and transform the world."  

Saint Paul's UMC is a well-established, traditional church of about 1600 members.   We have two traditional worship services and one contemporary service each Sunday, a robust Sunday School program, and a variety of programs for all age levels.  Our theological environment offers a foundation on the Bible while valuing theological diversity. We strive to be accepting, open and tolerant. 

Florida's capital city, Tallahassee is home to 187,000 residents, with a median age of 26.  Home to Florida A&M University and Florida Sate University,  Tallahassee has a highly educated population, with 45% of adults possessing a Bachelor's degree or higher.    The cost of living is below state and national averages.  Sometimes described as "Florida with a southern accent", Tallahassee is known for its many trees and rolling hills.  Tallahasseeans enjoy, in addition to bountiful cultural, educational and athletic activities, being within two hours of some of Florida's most beautiful beaches. 

Resume reviews will begin October 15, 2014.   For more information and to submit a resume, please contact Meg Guyton at




















Wednesday - September 17, 2014
Assistant General Secretary for Collegiate Ministries - Division of Higher Education
The General  Board of Higher Education is seeking an Assistant General Secretary for Collegiate Ministries - Division of Higher Education.
The incumbent leads the promotion, interpretation, and resourcing of collegiate ministries and college chaplaincies for The United Methodist Church. Work includes coordinating relationships with ecumenical partners and providing an interface between ecumenical collegiate ministry and the UMC; providing support for professional organizations related to collegiate ministry; and leading the UMC in articulating the theological and practical role of collegiate ministry. The incumbent will work closely with the other components in the Division of Higher Education to ensure young leadership is supported with high quality national programs for college students. The portfolio also includes performing tasks associated with the accomplishment of the division’s goals and GBHEM’s strategic goals.
Requirements: Master of Divinity or equivalent; doctoral degree preferred; ordination in the UMC required; minimum of 4 years’ experience in collegiate ministry or college chaplaincy; experience at general church and/or annual conference level preferred; minimum of 2 years’ office administration experience including supervision of staff required; demonstrated effective leadership in complex organizations and in collegiate ministry; experience in and sensitivity to diverse cultural issues; fluency in Spanish, French, or Portuguese a plus; understanding of and familiarity with higher education administration; strong organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; excellent written and oral communication skills; ability and desire to work in a team approach. Relocation to Nashville, TN, required.
To apply: Send a letter indicating how your experience, training, gifts and skills equip you for this work. Include a resume and the names of three persons familiar with your ministry.
Send your application packet to:
GBHEM Human Resources
C/O Assistant GS Collegiate Ministry
Fax: 615-340-7538
P.O. Box 340007
Nashville, TN 37203-0007

Posted: September 17, 2014 


Thursday - September 11, 2014
Director of Student Faith Formation - Canterbury UMC (Birmingham, AL)

Canterbury United Methodist Church ( located in Birmingham, Alabama, is searching for a full-time Director of Student Faith Formation, a person who will serve more in an “executor” role as part of the student ministry team. This position will build upon and strengthen the spiritual formation of students by establishing relationships with both students and their families. 

The main responsibilities are:

  • Maintain day-to-day management of the spiritual formation of students, in alignment with Canterbury’s mission and values
  • Develop relationships with youth and their families to nurture their relationship with Christ, with a focus on high school students and families
  • Collaborate, support and troubleshoot with volunteers
  • Provide oversight to the programmatic aspects of student ministry
  • Infuse a joyful Christian atmosphere into all Canterbury youth programs

Qualifications include:

  • A minimum of five years of experience in leading a youth ministry program, preferably in a larger church or similar organization
  • A Bachelor’s degree with a preference toward a field related to youth ministry
  • Knowledge of sustainable systems
  • A passion for serving youth and their families
  • Ability to serve as a spiritual role model by demonstrating a commitment to Christian spiritual practices and by articulating a personal faith journey.
  • Ability to plan, implement, and measure the results of ministry programs and events
  • Alignment with the beliefs and practices of the United Methodist Church

Canterbury United Methodist Church is a well-established, traditional church of about 3000 members in Birmingham, AL  with a history of excellence in music, worship, adult education and mission experiences.  The theological environment of Canterbury United Methodist Church offers a foundation on the Bible while promoting a culture that values theological diversity.  Canterbury United Methodist Church strives to model openness, acceptance, and tolerance.

For more detailed information and to submit a resume, please contact Kristina Zirschky at






Thursday - September 11, 2014
Leader of Children and Family Ministries - Cokesbury UMC

Cokesbury United Methodist Church (Pensacola, FL) is searching for a Leader of Children and Family Ministries. 

Minimum Requirements:

  • Degree or certification in early childhood development, Christian education, education, or a related field.
  • Familiar with Microsoft office suite products
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent time management skills

Preferred Requirements

  • Experience in Children Sunday School  Program leadership
  • Working knowledge of Safe Sanctuary policies
  • At least One year Nursery experience in a church setting
  • At least One year Sunday School experience 

Job Description

Position Overview - The Leader of Children & Family Ministries will continue to build, articulate, communicate and motivate a vibrant ministry of child friendly and family oriented activities and integrate them into the life and congregation of our church.  She/he will be committed to the spiritual growth and character development of young families and children – supporting and enhancing existing programs, and introducing new and exciting programs. 

Essential Job Functions:

  • Organize, coordinate and lead Children’s Worship for grades k-5 on Sunday mornings. 
  • Organize, coordinate and lead Wednesday night programming for ages 3 – 5th grade.
  • Greet parents and children at the Children’s Center several mornings or afternoons a week.  Greet parents Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and during special events.
  • Assist with children’s outreach activities, i.e. Young adult family night events, young adult/family activity planning, church-wide retreats
  • Organize and lead children’s special events, i.e. Breakfast with Santa, Eggstravaganza, VBS, church camps and summer activities.
  • Recruit, hire, train, and lead volunteer teaching staff for Sunday school.
  • Assist with creating, organizing and implementing new community outreach opportunities with children in the area.
  • Coordinate and supervise nursery care as requested by members and staff, which includes scheduling, training, and direct supervision.
  • Assist in coordination of and attend Children’s center special events.
  • Be present for Children’s Chapel each Monday morning.
  • Lead Children’s center chapel once a month.
  • Serve on Children’s Center Board.
  • Drive Church bus on occasion. (CDL must be obtained after employment) 


  • Personal relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Become an active member of Cokesbury UMC
  • Good people/telephone skills.
  • Time management, ability to multi-task, professional verbal skills.
  • Experience with the following computer programs:  Word, Excel and Outlook 

Contact the church office (850) 476-5818 to apply.

Tuesday - September 9, 2014
Youth Care Worker - United Methodist Children's Home (Mobile, AL)

The United Methodist Children's Home (UMCH) is seeking a Full Time Youth Care Worker in Mobile AL at Babies First.  The schedule would be 2 days on, 2 days off, and every other weekend.  FLSA is non-exempt.

Click HERE for a complete job description.  

To apply, please submit an Employment Application or resume to: 

Ministry Headquarters
Director of Human Resources
3140 Zelda Court
Montgomery, Alabama 36106-2607 

UMCH actively seeks diversity among its employees. 

All new employees are drug tested.


Friday - August 22, 2014
Hale - Lowell Edgar

Rev. Lowell Edgar Hale (retired) passed away Friday, August 22, 2014.  

The viewing will be held today, August 28, 2014 6pm to 8pm at Mowell’s Funeral Home (180  Jeff Davis Drive, Fayetteville, GA). Funeral services will be held tomorrow, August 29, 2014 at 2pm at Fayetteville First UMC (175 East Lanier Ave., Fayetteville, GA).  

Family hour/visitation will be on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at the Community Funeral Home in Sylacauga, AL beginning at 12 noon until 2 PM.  Burial will follow at 4 PM  at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church (2108 Pine Grove Road Sylacauga AL; a community of Odena).

He is survived by his wife, Martha.

Please keep the Hale Family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 


Saturday - August 16, 2014
Perry - James

James B. Perry, age 79, of Demopolis, died August 16, 2014. Services were held Monday, August 18, 2014, at First United Methodist Church of Demopolis with Rev. David Willis and Rev. Gary Perry officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.

He was born December 19, 1934 in Roanoke, Al. to the late James and Martha Williamson Perry.

He was preceded by his parents, James and Martha Williamson Perry.

He is survived by his wife, Bess Stockton Perry; daughters, Kathy (Randy) Morgan of Demopolis, Tammy Brown of Mobile, and Melissa Zorn of Lakeland, Fl.; sons, Jason (Janna) Perry of Spanish Fort, Jimmy (Brenda) Perry of Fairhope, Shane (Vickey) Perry of Spanish Fort; brothers, John Thomas Perry and Gary R. Perry of Opelika; grandchildren, 18; great-grandchildren, 7.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to American Heart Association National Center, 7272 Greenville Avenue Dallas, Tx., 75231 or the United Methodist Church, 200 East Decatur, Demopolis, Al.



Saturday - August 9, 2014
Jordan - Dennis Jerry

The Rev. Dennis Jerry Jordan, 64, of Lynbrook Drive, Brewton, passed away Saturday evening, August 9, 2014, at his residence after an extended illness. 

Funeral services were held on Tues., August 12, at 11 a.m., from the chapel of Craver's Funeral Home with Brother Stevie Cooper and Brother Ron Headley officiating.  Entombment will follow at a later time in Glory Hill Cemetery with Cravers Funeral Home of Brewton directing.

He was a native and life-long resident of Brewton and was an ordained minister with UMC Ministries.  He was a 1968 graduate of T. R. Miller High School and Jefferson Davis Community College.  He was also a graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary and also had attended The University Of Alabama.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 39 years, Frankie McCall Jordan of Brewton; son, Chad (Lindsey) Jordan of Pensacola, Fla.; sister, Barbara Jordan of Brewton; three grandchildren, Jason Jordan of Cantonment, Fla., and Samuel Connor Jordan and Hailey Elizabeth Jordan of East Brewton.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ealom and Dru Ethel Jordan.

The family asks that you kindly omit flowers and instead, make memorial contributions in the name of “The Rev. Dennis Jerry Jordan” to International Fellowship Of Christian & Jews In Russia, P O Box 96105, Washington, D.C. 20090-6105 or online at or by phone at 1-800-486-8844. 

Thursday - June 12, 2014
Burrell - Clarence

Rev. Clarence Burrell, age 76, of Sawyerville, died June 12, 2014, at home. Services werre held Saturday, June 21, 2014, at Bass Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Akron. Burial followed in Jackson Chapel Cemetery with Gandy Funeral Home directing.  He is survived by his wife, Brenda. 


Monday - June 9, 2014
Kicklighter - Hampton

We are sorry to report the death of Rev. Hampton Kicklighter (retired).  Hamp died June 9, 2014.

He is survived by his wife, Suzy.

Visitation will be held Thursday, June 12, 2014 at First United Methodist Church, Montgomery beginning at 1:00 PM.  Funeral services will follow at 2:00 PM.

Please keep the Kicklighter Family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

Saturday - June 7, 2014
Hendricks - Robert

Robert Edward Hendricks, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, died at home June 7, 2014 on his 83rd birthday. He was born to Eugene and Mary Dozier Hendricks in Jay, Florida, the youngest of nine children.  Robert graduated from Pensacola Junior College in 1951, Troy State Teachers College in 1952, and Emory University Candler School of Theology in 1956.

As a student, Robert entered the Methodist ministry and served as pastor of several Methodist Churches in Alabama. Upon graduation from seminary, he entered the U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy. After training at Lackland AFB, Texas, he served at McClellan AFB, California; Elmendorf AFB, Alaska;  Eglin AFB, Florida; the Air Force Academy, Colorado; Ramstein AB, Germany; Keesler AFB, Mississippi; Hickam AFB, Hawaii;  Norton AFB, California; Scott AFB, Illinois; Langley AFB, Virginia; and Eglin AFB again, from which he retired in 1986.  Upon retirement, he became the pastor of The Community Church of Santa Rosa Beach for seventeen years and retired from that position on December 31, 2001.

Robert, who became known as Bob when he entered the Air Force, married Barbara Ann Rodgers of Pine Level, Alabama, in June 1954.  They have three children: Rodger Eugene, Christine Roberta, and Lynn Ann.

Bob is survived by his wife; Barbara; his son Rodger and wife Linda of Archer, Florida; daughter Christine of DeFuniak Springs, Florida; and daughter Lynn and husband Gregory Porter and their sons Seth, Brice, and Justin of Daphne, Alabama.  His sister Frances Kilpatrick of Huntsville, Alabama, also survives, along with several nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by two brothers who died in childhood and another who died in infancy, as well as three other brothers and a sister.

A Memorial Service will be held for Bob at the Point Washington United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 12, at 11 AM, followed by a reception in The Stephen Center.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Point Washington UMC, 1290 North Highway 395, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 or The Community Church, POB 1723, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.


Tuesday - September 23, 2014
The NewsCONNECTION, September23

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Focus on Mission, September 2014

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The NewsCONNECTION, January 28

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