Congregational Development

The Office Of Congregational Development Exists To Enable The United Methodist Churches Of  The Alabama-West Florida Area To Better Fulfill Their Mission By: 

  • Starting New Congregations; and
  • Assisting Existing Congregations To Excel In  Ministry

We care about helping every church - large or small - to excel in ministry!  Please contact us today:

Office of Congregational Development
Sandy Gutting, Office Administrator
2600 West Strong Street
Pensacola, FL 32505
Office: 850.430.4300
Fax: 850.433.9961


Click Here! Latest News from the Office of Congregational Development


Click Here! New Places for New People
contact: Rev. Neil McDavid

The Board of Congregational Development is actively engaging new church ministries in our conference.  New churches create new places for new people, often un-churched people and thus typically reach many new people for Christ.  The Board of Congregational Development is putting together a comprehensive process for starting new congregations.  This plan includes an extensive discernment/assessment process for determining potential church planters along with providing appropriate training.  It includes a support component partnering a new church pastor and congregation with a healthy mother church, a district support team, and the Board of Congregational Development.   In addition the plan calls for a continual/supportive evaluative relationship with the new church as it moves to becoming a fully self-supporting congregation. 

A person can enter the church planter assessment process either by nomination by his/her District Superintendent or by self-selection.  The discernment process is designed to help determine if the potential new church pastor has the call of God and the gifts and graces to engage this special ministry.  If you feel you may be called to this ministry, please let your District Superintendent know and then click on the two (2) assessment tools found below.  One is “Am I Being Called To Plant A New Church” and the other is a spiritual gifts assessment.  Please complete both of these and forward the results to Sandy Gutting (, Office of Congregational Development.

Those who successfully complete the assessment process will be placed on a list made available to the Bishop and the Cabinet.  Of course you will discuss with your District Superintendent when is best for you to be considered for a new church appointment.  Please note that completion of the process does not guarantee that you will be appointed to launch a new church.

If you have any questions, please call or email Neil McDavid (334.356.8014;, Director of Connectional Ministries or Sandy Gutting, Office of Congregational Development. (850.430.4300;

Assesment Tools:

1. Spiritual Gifts Profile

2. Am I Being Called to Plant A Church? Quiz



Chairperson:  June Thomason

Secretary:  Duane Keck

Treasurer:  Chris Perry


June Thomason (07), Duane Keck (10), Rev. Paul Wolfe (09), Rev. Chris Perry (12), Rev. Rusty Hutson (10), Rev. Ralph Sigler (10), Rev. Grant Parker (14), Rev. Frederick Outlaw (14)

Ex-Officio Members

Director of Connectional Ministries:  Rev. R. Neil McDavid

Director of Congregational Vitality:  Rev. Dan Pezet

Administrative Assistant, Office of Congregational Development:  Sandy Gutting

Cabinet Representative:  Rev. Doug Pennington 

Coordinator, Hispanic-Latino Ministries:  Martha Rovira





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