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2013: Notable passings in Methodism

In 2013, church members marked the passing of a number of United Methodist and Methodist leaders who made significant contributions in their Christian walk. Read More

Students, teachers and other adults reach out their hands in prayer toward a new toilet facility during a dedication at LACOSHA Community Institute in the Pipeline Community, in Paynesville, Liberia. The dedication was part of activities marking World Toilet Day by the United Methodist Church in Liberia. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Church in Liberia donating school toilets

The United Methodist Church in Liberia is helping to keep students healthy by donating toilets to schools. Read More

United Methodists this year marked the passing of scholars, bishops and other churchgoers who put their faith into action. Photo by Silvia and Frank, courtesy of Pixabay.

2017: Remembering notable church members

In the past year, United Methodists marked the passing of a champion of deacons, a Mississippian born of conviction and a bishop who survived an attempt on his life. ' } Read More

Grace Musuka, a United Methodist regional missionary in Zimbabwe, holds a lemongrass plant during a five-day organic farming training at Fambidzanai Permaculture Training Center in Harare. The objective of the workshop, hosted by the United Methodist Women of Zimbabwe, is to increase the use of chemical-free farming techniques in crop and animal production. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Zimbabwean women train in organic farming

With global demand for organic food on the rise, United Methodists are training Zimbabwean farmers to go without synthetic substances in crop and animal production. Read More

Crowds in Harare, Zimbabwe, carried signs and chanted “Mugabe must go” after the military there placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.

Prayers for peace lifting Zimbabwe

United Methodists see hope in a new president in African country that has suffered years of tyranny. Read More

Abel Gbeadquoi sits on his Personal Energy Transportation vehicle, a gift from the United Methodist Women in Liberia. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Mobilizing the physically challenged in Liberia

Hand-cranked transportation devices are invaluable in areas where the terrain is too uneven for traditional wheelchairs. Liberia’s UMW distributed $54K worth of them. Read More

The Rev. Daisy Gbloh (center, standing), supported by the Rev. Winston Ashcroft and the Rev. Alex Josiah, baptizes a woman at the Female Correctional Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Baptism for imprisoned Sierra Leone women

The seven women also were confirmed as United Methodists at the Freetown Female Correctional Center. Read More

John Flomo, 66, has lived at the Ganta Leprosy and TB Rehab Center since he was 15 years old. The center is part of the United Methodist Ganta Mission Station in Ganta, Liberia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Liberian leper colony a lifetime commitment to care

Fears of leprosy cause many families to shun those with the disease. A United Methodist rehab center shows them compassion and love. Read More

Phebe Duff (left) listens to a question from the Rev. Steve Court, General Council on Finance and Administration board member, about a new compensation structure for general agency staff. Duff, GCFA’s global director of human resources, presented the proposed pay ranges during the board’s meeting Nov. 15 at the United Methodist Publishing House. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS

Agency employees to see changes in pay scales

The General Council on Finance and Administration board unanimously approved new pay ranges for agency staff, despite objections of agency top executives. Read More

Classes were being held as usual on Nov. 15 at The United Methodist Church's Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The military took control of the capitol city of Harare and arrested President Robert Mugabe and his wife.

AU campus, students safe amid Zimbabwe unrest

Classes were held as usual at Africa University on Nov. 15 while United Methodists prayed for their country as the military took control in Zimbabwe. Read More

At Juba Camp in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Bishop John Yambasu (fourth from left, front row) leads a symbolic handing over of 200 bags of rice to the Office of National Security, the government agency in charge of coordinating welfare matters for survivors of deadly mudslide Aug. 14. Because survivors are not allowed to cook in their temporary plastic-cover homes, the ONS hires people to prepare food for them three times a day. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Mudslide survivors worried over future

Camps for survivors of August mudslides, flooding in Sierra Leone will close Nov. 15. Read More

Bishops pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance during worship Nov. 8 at the Council of Bishops meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops: Be respectful in difficult times

As the church’s debate about its future intensifies, bishops say they are hearing of increased animosity leading in some cases to disrupted worship. Read More

Bishops pray with their episcopal colleagues who serve on the Commission on a Way Forward during a meeting of the Council of Bishops at Lake Junaluska, N.C., on Nov. 8, 2017. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops consider 3 models for church future

The bishops are looking at three possibilities of LGBTQ inclusion sketched by the Commission on Way Forward. Read More

Children sing during a celebration marking the gift of solar power, funded by the United Methodist Church in Norway, to the Bishop Judith Craig Children Village in Liberia.

Norway Church lights Liberia children’s village

Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village, a church-supported home for orphans, now has $35,000 worth of solar-powered electricity. Read More

Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., raises his hands during regular devotion at the United Methodist Church in Liberia’s central office on Oct. 27. The bishop is calling on all Liberians to shun violence as they prepare for a run-off presidential election.

Liberians asked to pray for peaceful election

Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., urges voter participation and a commitment to nonviolence in country with history of civil war. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough likened bishops to explorers of old as they seek a way forward for the denomination to stay together despite deep divisions around homosexuality. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops called to navigate ‘off the map’

Bishop Ough, Council of Bishops president, spoke as his colleagues were about to begin discussing a report by the Commission on a Way Forward. Read More

Students from United Methodist University in Sierra Leone pose together after a lecture in theology. There are 13 students pursuing theology degrees and 18 certificate students in chaplaincy at the new School of Theology. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

United Methodist University in Sierra Leone opens

School of Theology students, faculty have high praise for the new institution, but there are some logistical challenges as classes begin. Read More

More than 60 people from nearly a dozen African countries gathered for a meeting at the Maison de l’Espérance, the United Methodist owned-hotel in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The goal was to create mutual support for shared goals and work of the associations to expand access to quality Methodist education throughout the continent of Africa. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

United Methodist education leaders in Africa meet in Côte d’Ivoire

Leaders from United Methodist educational institutions take action to ensure consistency, quality in higher and theological education. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward met in Berlin on Sept. 18-20. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Up to bishops to shape Way Forward ideas

In a conference call, Bishop Ken Carter stressed that the Commission on a Way Forward serves the bishops, as it seeks to find a way through the denomination’s impasse. Read More

Gontorwon Neahn is one of the contractors tending the Gbarnga Mission Station swamp rice field in Liberia. The harvest from the mission station will supply most of the farmers with seed rice in the Gbarnga area. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Liberian Mission Station growing rice to fight food insecurity

Food ministry heeds Bishop Samuel Quire’s call for the church to go 'back to the soil.' Read More

Martin Luther nails The 95 Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences, a list of propositions for an academic disputation, on Oct. 31, 1517. What he intended to spark debate changed the world. Painting by Ferdinand Pauwels (1830-1904), public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

6 ways the Reformation affects our world

United Methodists and other Christians are still living with the changes Martin Luther unleashed 500 years ago. Read More

Sponsored by the Norwegian Partnership in Development, a development program cooperation among United Methodist churches in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Zimbabwe, a weeklong training in Freetown aimed to create an awareness of Christian leadership skills, having value for others, ethics, running a corruption-free institution and more. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

African schools look to value-based training

A training at the United Methodist University in Freetown, Sierra Leone, focuses on an awareness of Christian leadership skills. Read More

John K. Yambasu speaks at the Africa College of Bishops retreat in Mutare, Zimbabwe, which was marked by in-depth conversations among serving and retired bishops. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

African bishops recommend 7 central conferences

Africa’s bishops also discussed how to maintain church unity amid divisions around how the church should minister with LGBTQ individuals. Read More

Sara Hotchkiss, in red, speaks during the Commission on General Conference meeting Oct. 7 at Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Ala. Earlier in the meeting, Hotchkiss helped explain plans for the special General Conference in 2019. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Planning the special General Conference

As church heads into ‘uncharted waters,’ the Commission on General Conference offers an overview of what to expect in 2019. Read More

Edward L. Massaquoi broadcasts on ELUM, The United Methodist Church's radio station in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Liberian radio broadcasts hope

Community radio is one of the most important information outlets in Africa. Read More

Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu, president of the Africa College of Bishops, said theology must remain a core value at United Methodist-related Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

Africa U. asked to reconsider restructure

Enrollment in Faculty of Theology dropped to 40 and Zimbabwe’s immigration change is delaying return of some international students to campus. Read More

In September, the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, led by United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu, distributed about $82,000 worth of food, bowls, blankets and other relief items to mudslide survivors at a new relocation camp in Juba, western Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

After mudslide: Need for environmental education

The Sierra Leone Council of Churches, led by United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu, hopes environmental education can help avert future disasters. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward met Sept. 18-20 to discuss possible models for the denomination's future. This photo of the group's logo comes from an earlier meeting. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward sketches ideas to present bishops

Some members express cautious optimism for church unity. Another member has written about why he sees a need for a church split. Read More

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, a clergy delegate from the Great Plains Conference, speaks on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Delegates were discussing what some perceive as a need to divide the denomination over issues of sexuality. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

New group to church: Let’s stay together

The Uniting Methodists Movement seeks to give voice to those who think differences around homosexuality should not divide church. Read More

The Rev. Wilton Odongo, district superintendent of Nairobi, said the church was encouraging voters to maintain peace in Kenya following the nullification of the presidential election results by the country’s Supreme Court.

Kenyan church promotes peaceful voting

United Methodists hope to bridge divisions ahead of second presidential election. Read More

The General Council on Finance and Administration board has formed a new Reserves Task Force to examine just how much general church funds should save for a rainy day. Photo illustration by Hans Braxmeier, courtesy of Pixabay; adapted by UMNS.

Church reserve funds under a microscope

How much should church agencies save for a rainy day? A new task force is looking at that question. Read More

The United Methodist Orphanage in Jalingo, Nigeria, is a beacon of hope for more than 189 orphans. First begun as a partnership between the Nigeria Conference and four U.S. conferences, the home has cared for, educated and given love to Nigerian children with no parents. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

United Methodist orphanage in Nigeria a beacon of hope

Founded in 1999, the home has cared for, educated and given love to Nigerian children with no parents. Read More

Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda has been elected moderator of an ecumenical organization, Eglise du Christ au Congo, a Protestant ecumenical group of 95 denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

United Methodist bishop to lead Congo ecumenical organization

Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda has been elected moderator of Eglise du Christ au Congo, a Protestant ecumenical group of 95 denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More

Workers recover a body from beneath a bridge in Kamayama, Sierra Leone, nearly two weeks after flooding and mudslides killed hundreds. United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu was at the site when the body was found and expressed hope that the tragedy would teach every Sierra Leonean a hard lesson and result in better programs to relocate people from at-risk areas. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Church commits to long-term help for mudslide, flood survivors

The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone has committed to a long-term presence to help mudslide and flood survivors. Read More

Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa said the initial conversation towards implementing the 2016 General Conference decision to increase the number of bishops in Africa from 13 to 18, was “quite healthy and very deep.” The meeting was held in Harare, Zimbabwe, and included discussions of possible scenarios for new Episcopal areas and redrawing Central Conference boundaries. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

Task force considers placement for new bishops

The task force charged with determining how to carry out a General Conference 2016 plan for five new United Methodist bishops in Africa began considering ways to proceed. Read More

The residence where Dr. Shane Sam Mathew lived at Ganta United Methodist Mission in Liberia lies in ruins after a fire that killed the visiting dentist and nursing instructor from India. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Indian dentist dies in fire at church mission station

The 25-year-old killed in a fire worked at Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia and served as an instructor at the nursing college of United Methodist University. Read More

Alexander B. Cummings (left), a 2017 presidential candidate in Liberia, and Charles Brumskine, a Liberian politician and attorney, listen during the presidential debate in Paynesville City, Liberia. The Civil Society and Trade Union Institutions of Liberia, now headed by United Methodist Church leadership, says it will not endorse presidential candidates whose platforms do not consider Liberia’s labor force. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Coalition fights for labor issues in Liberia

The United Methodist leader of the Civil Society and Trade Union Institutions of Liberia says it will only endorse labor-friendly presidential candidates. Read More

The Rev. Henry Samuel of Vine Memorial Baptist Church, an affiliate member of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, prays with and consoles a group of women who lost 17 members of their family during the Aug. 14 flood and landslide in in Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Church providing emergency health services after mudslide

The United Methodist Church is providing emergency health services for survivors of the flood and mudslide that has killed nearly 500 people. Read More

Children and families clap in celebration as Bishop John K. Yambasu (far right in light blue shirt) pumps the first water from a new well during a dedication ceremony in Manjama in the Bo District of Sierra Leone. A Global Health agency initiative provided each community a four-seat toilet and a hand-dug well for United Methodist primary schools in Manjama and Fulawahun. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Safe water for 2 more Sierra Leone villages

Two Sierra Leone villages plagued by disease get water, sanitation help from the United Methodist Global Health Initiative. Read More

Death toll more than 200 in Congo landslide

The East Congo bishop has called on the entire community to help after a landslide in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo left more than 200 dead. Read More

A view of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Regent area of Freetown, Sierra Leone, shows the breadth of the area that was devastated by flooding on Aug. 14. Torrential rains led a mudslide that resulted in the death of nearly 400 people with figures expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Hundreds dead, missing in Sierra Leone mudslides, flooding

The numbers of dead and missing after torrential rains led to deadly mudslides is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Read More

United Methodist-related Hatfield Archer Memorial Hospital in Rotifunk, Sierra Leone, was closed for years because of the civil war there but has recently started offering some needed surgical procedures for men. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Sierra Leone hospital brings needed relief

Twenty-two years after the country’s civil war, Hatfield Archer Hospital has started long-needed surgeries for men. Read More

Bishop Kasap Owan is leader of The United Methodist Church’s South Congo Episcopal Area. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishop grapples with great needs and growth

Bishop Kasap Owan leads more than 1 million United Methodists in Congo and Zambia. He aspires for them to become self-sustaining but needs help. Read More

The Rev. Joseph Theoway (front) describes his vision for the restoration of the Liberian Annual Conference’s agricultural center in White Plains, which was destroyed during the country's civil war. Theoway is flanked by caretakers who are maintaining what is left of the facility.

‘Agriculture is life’ for Liberian United Methodists

The United Methodist Rural and Agricultural Development Program aims to feed fellow Liberians and teach them to feed themselves. Read More

United Methodist Women hold up placards with inscriptions calling for an end to violence against females in Freetown on July 27. The women from the Sierra Leone Annual Conference took to the streets to protest against the growing violence against women and girls in the country.

Protesting a ‘culture of silence’ in Sierra Leone

United Methodist Women march in Freetown streets to draw attention to growing violence against women and girls. Read More

Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. says he wants The United Methodist Church in Liberia to be more self-sufficient, and he believes rural development is a way to make that happen. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Liberian bishop seeks to go ‘back to the soil’

Bishop Samuel Quire Jr. believes the path to sustainability for the Liberian church is in rural development. Read More

The Rev. Canon James George of the Anglican Church walks away with a new bicycle, a gift to his church after a three-day Bikes and Bibles training session in Bo, Sierra Leone. The program aims to support clergy engaged in rural evangelism by providing them with bicycles, motorcycles and Bibles to work in areas that are difficult to reach. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Bikes boost church growth in Sierra Leone

Churches have been planted and attendance is up in areas where pastors received motorbikes and bicycles from the Bikes & Bibles program. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward are pictured during their first meeting held in January 2017. Photo courtesy of commission.

Way Forward keeps mum on plans for church

The commission is looking at new ways to embody unity amid deep divisions around homosexuality. But it’s not ready to share those plans. Read More

The wining soccer team from the Domboramwari Circuit pose with their trophy during a sports gala held at Selborne Routledge Primary School in Harare. The two United Methodist conferences in Zimbabwe competed in a sports event aimed at promoting exercise for health. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Conferences promote sports for health

The two United Methodist conferences in Zimbabwe competed in a sports event aimed at promoting exercise for health. Read More

Mercy Chikhosi (in black shirt) regularly visits with the women of Nkhafi village in Malawi. She has an easy rapport with members of the village. “I developed a strong bond and a relationship so I continue visiting, influencing and motivating them to identify their needs and find solutions with local resources,” Chikhosi said. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Small business loans empower Malawi women

Through small business loans, Mercy Chikhosi believes in empowering women to support their families and communities. Read More

In a video file image, Bishop Bruce R. Ough, at podium, delivers a statement from the Council of Bishops about the formation of the Commission on a Way Forward during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Video image courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward gets input on church future

The commission asked various United Methodists to describe their preferences regarding the extent of the inclusion of LGBTQ people within the church. Read More

Inmates at Kentucky Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, pose with their graduation certificates from a yearlong nutritional gardening course. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe.

Inmates learn to grow food

Seventeen inmates from a prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, graduated from a one-year horticultural course offered with United Methodist help. Read More

Eye surgery is performed on a patient at Gwandum Clinc in Nigeria. The mobile clinic and rural health care program of The United Methodist Church in Nigeria are saving lives in remote areas that aren’t reached by government health programs. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

Church in Nigeria leads in rural health care

Church health care programs reach rural areas that get no government health services. Read More

Jefferson B. Knight (right) discusses possible sites for a new water well with residents of Robert's Town Village near Marshall City, Liberia. Knight, director of the Peace With Justice Program for the United Methodist Liberia Conference, knows firsthand that climate change presents real challenges for Liberia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Responding to global climate issues

United Methodists in Africa and elsewhere point to Paris climate accord as they begin to address the destructive changes in their own countries. Read More

Nigerian Bishop John Wesley Yohanna said the country is likely to get one of the five bishops The United Methodist Church plans to add in Africa after 2020. Yohanna spoke to the issue at the inauguration service for Nigeria’s new North East Conference. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

Second Nigerian episcopal area crucial

Nigerian bishop says country needs additional bishop, likely to get one after 2020. Read More

One group of United Methodists participating in the People's Climate March in 2014 gather on the steps of the United Methodist Church of Saint Paul and Saint Andrew in Manhattan before heading south to join the interfaith gathering on 58th Street. Estimates of the number of participants ranged between 300,000 to 400,000. File photo by Linda Bloom, UMNS

Climate accord pullout dismays church leaders

Bishops call on President Trump to rejoin the efforts of nearly 200 countries to reduce carbon emissions. Read More

Judi Kenaston, standing, talks with members of the Connectional Table’s advisory group on U.S. matters about ideas for a new U.S. structure. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Church leaders look at possible U.S. structure

United Methodists long have batted around the idea of adding a church body to take up exclusively U.S. issues. The idea has faced stiff resistance. Read More

Connectional Table members Josephine Deere of Oklahoma, left, and Miracle Oscan of Malawi discuss the connections among different parts of The United Methodist Church during an icebreaking exercise. The Connectional Table, meeting in Oslo, Norway, approved a plan that ties agency evaluation to the denomination’s budget. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Plan approved for agency evaluation

The Connectional Table’s plan calls for aligning its agency-evaluation work with the development of the denomination’s budget. Read More

Professor Johnson N. Gwaikolo, center, president of United Methodist University in Monrovia, Liberia, sits in his office with Dr. Mator M. F. Kpangbai, left, and the Rev. George Weagba. Gwaikolo said the university is grateful for a grant from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries that will allow its College of Health Sciences to be moved from Ganta United Methodist Hospital to a new location with classrooms, laboratories and a generator house. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

University gets grant to move College of Health Sciences

The College of Health Sciences of the United Methodist University is being moved from Ganta United Methodist Hospital. Read More

Edward Lahai Massaquoi from Liberia shares his joy about having the support of a United Methodist Radio Network for the United Methodist radio station in Liberia during a live interview at Radio La Voix De l’esperance in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire. Lydie Acquah, coordinator for the network, listens to Massaquoi. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

United Methodist Radio Network takes shape

Representatives from eight countries met in Côte d’Ivoire to plan next steps for growing church radio. Read More

Children groom one another and play with a baby goat in Kanana village, a pygmy community outside Tunda, Democratic Republic of Congo, in October, 2015. Reconciliation between indigenous pygmy tribes and another ethnic group is part of a larger goal for newly elected Bishop Mande Muyombo. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bringing back peace in Congo

Bishop Mande Muyombo lauds progress in Bantu-pygmy conflict and limiting violence against women. He looks to peace-building efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More

Bishop Karen Oliveto (left) and the Rev. Walter Fenton (right) shake hands during the April 25 oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting in Newark, N.J. Fenton is the analyst for Good News, which advocates that the church hold the line on homosexuality teachings. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Ruling on a gay bishop could be far-reaching

The Judicial Council ruled that a same-gender marriage license creates a presumption of homosexual practice. That’s a big deal, church legal analysts say. Read More

Bishop Minerva Carcaño speaks to the Council of Bishops on May 4 in Dallas, urging support for immigration initiatives. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Bishops back special Sunday for migration crisis

At Dallas meeting, bishops also received an update on United Methodist-Episcopal Church dialogue. Read More

Harare Metropolitan Province assistant commissioner Elizabeth Banda Karinda, left, accepts donations from Zivorinashe Mujaji and Tarisai Mufambi of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society for the Harare East District. The United Methodist Church of Zimbabwe donated more than $1,300 worth of food to female inmates at Chikurubi Prison. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Church in Zimbabwe donates food for female prisoners

In addition to helping with the food shortage at Chikurubi Prison, church members plan to start a horticultural training program for inmates. Read More

The Rev. Jeff Greenway discusses the need for church reform April 28 at the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s “We Believe in the Church!” event, hosted by Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Greenway is chair of the association. Photo by Tim Tanton, UMNS

Evangelical group plans for what’s next

Leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association leave open the possibility of a church split. But no matter what happens, group leaders say they’ll be prepared. Read More

The head teacher of McBride Literacy School in Jalingo, Nigeria, ThankGod Heman, teaches a Hausa language class for beginners; the other main class is a three-year advanced English course. The goal of the school, which is operated through the church, is to improve the education level of people who can neither read nor write so they can speak, write, read and understand the Bible. Photo by Sharon Adamu Bambuka, UMNS.

Church emphasizes literacy training

Church-operated school in Nigeria helps adults learn both native Hausa language and English. Read More

Dr. Francis Karteh, Liberia’s chief medical officer and a United Methodist, seen here in Ganta, in February, confirmed ten people were dead from an unidentified cause in Greenville City, Liberia, but insisted the deaths were not related to the Ebola virus.

2 United Methodists among 10 mysterious deaths

Two United Methodists are among 10 who died after eating food at a funeral and a third remains in critical condition. Health officials have ruled out Ebola. Read More

Plenty of United Methodists of varied theological perspectives claim the name evangelical. Photo illustration by Mike DuBose, UMNS

What does it mean to be evangelical?

Plenty of United Methodists of varied theological perspectives claim the name evangelical. Just don’t call them fundamentalists. Here is why. Read More

Members of the Council of Bishops listen as Bishop Bruce R. Ough reads a statement about sexuality and the church from the Council at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Council of Bishops has called a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019 to take up bishops’ proposals related to church unity and homosexuality. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Bishops set date for special 2019 General Conference

The special meeting will deal solely with the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, charged with finding ways to foster church unity amid deep differences around homosexuality. Read More

The Judicial Council at its April meeting faces a petition asking how the election of an openly gay bishop squares with the Book of Discipline, the denomination's governing document. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Preview to the legal debate around gay bishop

The denomination’s top court faces a question of whether it should weigh in on Bishop Oliveto’s election at all. Read More

The Rev. Portia Kanoyangwa was the first to receive treatment during a medical outreach program conducted by The United Methodist Church in the Chitungwiza and Marondera rural districts of Zimbabwe. A total of 355 patients with various ailments benefited from the free program. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Hundreds benefit from medical outreach

Free medical outreach program conducted by The United Methodist Church in rural Zimbabwe also encouraged patients to seek treatment sooner. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward meet in small groups during their April 6-8 meeting in Washington, D.C. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops

Way Forward group ponders structural changes

As the commission works toward church unity, some members say the group is contemplating “loosening the connection.” Read More

Nigeria Area Bishop John Wesley Yohanna speaks at a roundtable discussion in Lagos, Nigeria, in March. Organized by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the three-day roundtable focused on the future of The United Methodist Church in Nigeria. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

United Methodists in Nigeria focus on future

Roundtable meeting gives The United Methodist Church in Nigeria the opportunity to develop a strategic plan for the next six years when the church will celebrate it centenary. Read More

The bishop led United Methodists through some of the worst of Angola's civil war. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Bishop Fernandes, brave leader, dies at 78

The bishop led United Methodists in East Angola through some of the worst of his country’s civil war. “The church was everything for him.” Read More

United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu, surrounded by his cabinet, reads from his episcopal speech March 8-12 in Makeni, Sierra Leone. In his speech, Yambasu delivered a “wake-up call” to the Sierra Leone Annual Conference about the possibility of a global church split in 2020. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Sierra Leone bishop: Overseas support at risk

Sierra Leone’s United Methodist bishop warns the church needs to reduce its reliance on overseas funds in case the denomination splits over homosexuality. Read More

The Rev. Jimmy Carr was instrumental in creating the Order of Deacons. He also helped Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center better connect with its community. Photo courtesy of Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.

Jimmy Carr, ‘champion of deacons,’ dies at 72

From the local church to Lake Junaluska to Africa University, Carr modeled bringing the church into the world. Read More

Bishop Minerva Carcaño (left) hugs Chiedza Chiwanza at the conclusion of Sunday worship during the 25th anniversary celebration for Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Chiwanza, a first-year humanities student, had just presented Carcaño a gift. At right is Bishop James Swanson. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishop celebrates God’s promise to Africa University

Bishop Minerva Carcaño urges denomination to believe that greater days are ahead for the pan-African university. Read More

Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa, center, sits with other attendees at the vice chancellor’s inauguration at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, on March 21, 2015. Photo by Vicki Brown, UMNS.

Bishop reflects as Africa University turns 25

Zimbabwean Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa was a pioneering faculty member and takes pride in the school’s progress. Read More

United Methodist clergywomen, left to right, the Revs. Nelly Wright, Clarrisa Robertson, Anna Kpaan and Anna Tarr-Sayeh, attended the Liberia Annual Conference in Ganta, Liberia, in March. In his episcopal address, Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., called on all United Methodists in Liberia to be an example of inclusiveness in the execution of its programs and other activities that will include women. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Liberian bishop calls for women’s inclusion

In an episcopal message for International Women’s Month, Bishop Samuel Quire Jr. encouraged congregations to show women ‘they are partners in everything we do.’ Read More

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, lays out his agency’s plans to help United Methodists reach people for Jesus. He addressed his agency’s board in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Discipleship exec: ‘Stop fixing churches’

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, suggests how the church can shift to conversation to reaching people for Jesus. Read More

Morris L. Davis, a professor of Christian history and Wesleyan studies at Drew University, speaks to a group of United Methodist scholars and other observers at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. The gathering focused on church unity and the church’s impasse on homosexuality. Photo by Ebony Lincoln, Higher Education and Ministry.

Scholars raise doubts about church’s future

Higher Education and Ministry brought together seminary professors to discuss the denomination’s current impasse on homosexuality. Read More

Robin Pippin of Discipleship Ministries, left, and Bishop John K. Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area sign an agreement creating a new publishing team in Sierra Leone. The 12-member team’s first project will be the creation of a quarterly newsletter for sharing information about the church with members. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

New publishing team begins work in Sierra Leone

Discipleship Ministries and the Sierra Leone church have teamed up to make United Methodist resources available locally. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward worshipped with staff of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries at their Ash Wednesday service, March 1, at Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward group looking to get feedback

Commission members have a broad desire for the church to stay in connection and expect that connection to look very different in the near future. Read More

This 1869 oil painting by German artist Christian Carl August Noack depicts the Colloquy of Marburg, where Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli hotly debated how Christ is present in the Eucharist. The fight ultimately led to the first split among Protestant reformers. Public domain image from the Gymnasium Philippinum, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Reformation lessons for United Methodists

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is this year. In their fight over Holy Communion, early reformers offer a lesson in how not to handle disagreement. Read More

Youth in the village of Kalima in the Democratic Republic of Congo carried Bishop Gabriel Unda's picture when they came to welcome him to the new Kalima United Methodist Church. The church is the denomination’s first congregation in the area since Methodism arrived in East Congo in 1922. Photo by Judith Yanga, UMNS.

New church blazes trail to boost attendance

United Methodists in Kalima couldn’t get to their new church in the rainy season. So they built a road. Read More

Johannes Baun (from left), Rose Saffa and Mohamed Nabieu, who were helped at the Child Rescue Center, are giving back the help they received by working at the center. The rescue center was founded to care for children impoverished by the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Rescuing children in Sierra Leone

Adults rescued as children are now caring for orphaned and abandoned children at a United Methodist center in Sierra Leone. Read More

A young boy holds a d.light solar lamp at his home in the Mathare slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Wespath Benefits and Investments has invested about $30 million in solar projects, including d.light. Photo courtesy of d.light

Church investments take on climate change

The United Methodist pension agency is planning for a low-carbon economy. For investors, the agency says, the move makes good financial sense. Read More

A woman holds a baby while seated among refugees at the United Methodist Church ATC/Nukkai in Jalingo, Nigeria. United Methodist churches in Nigeria are serving as refugee camps for people displaced after attacks on villages in Lau, a local government area in Taraba State in Northern Nigeria. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

United Methodist churches welcome refugees in Nigeria

Village attacks leave 15 people dead and more than 7,000 displaced, many of whom are United Methodists. Read More

Ophthalmologists Jessica Shantha (from left), Moges Teshome and Steven Yeh pose with Umaru Sesay, 12, from Moyamba Junction, Sierra Leone. Sesay, who had cataracts as a result of contracting Ebola, had a successful operation that allowed him return to school. A partnership between Emory University and the Christian Blind Mission provides free cataract surgery to Ebola survivors at the Ruth and Lowell Gess Eye Hospital in eastern Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Free surgery for Ebola survivors

A partnership between United Methodist-related Emory University and others is improving the eyesight of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. Read More

The Judicial Council at its April meeting faces a petition asking how the election of an openly gay bishop squares with the Book of Discipline, the denomination's governing document. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

5 constitutional amendments head to vote

The changes address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. Read More

The United Methodist Women in Liberia have launched a campaign to promote the rights of girls, including access to education and freedom from violence. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Liberia churchwomen campaign for girls’ rights

The United Methodist Women have initiated an effort to promote girls’ education and help end female genital mutilation. Read More

The Rev. Jorge Acevedo (left), Alice Williams, the Rev. Jasmine Smothers, the Rev. Tom Lambrecht and Mazvita Machinga talk together during the first meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward in Atlanta, Jan. 23-26. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications

Group takes on church unity from multiple fronts

The Commission on a Way Forward formed six working groups that will look at various topics including the experiences of both LGBTQ individuals and different denominations. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward sees hope for unity in The United Methodist Church. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Way Forward commissioners share prayers, hopes

Commission members, charged with dealing with church unity and the homosexuality debate, talked about where they see potential points of agreement. Read More

The Rev. Bibine Kibonge of Manono is giving shelter to people displaced by the ongoing clashes between tribes.

Church acts as bridge between warring tribes in Congo

United Methodists shelter displaced families and work on peace building to bring together indigenous minority tribes with the majority Bantu. Read More

United Methodist Women in Liberia dedicated a women’s dormitory that will provide free housing for students. The dormitory, located in the compound of The United Methodist Church in Monrovia, will house 40 young women when it becomes operational in September 2017. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

New dormitory in Liberia to house women in need

The United Methodist Women project will provide free housing to help young women further their education. Read More

Wesley United Methodist Church opened Dec. 11. The church is the first United Methodist building to be constructed in the Pujehun District of Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

New church opens in largely Muslim area of Sierra Leone

Bishop John Yambasu urges members of Wesley United Methodist Church to focus on peace and unity. Read More

Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. (left) and his wife, Richlain K. Quire, at his induction ceremony on Dec. 31, 2016, at Tubman United Methodist Church. During the service, Quire said he wants to ensure that the church’s resources — natural, human, spiritual and financial — benefit all members. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

New Liberian bishops calls for supplementing pastor salaries

During his induction as the new United Methodist bishop of Liberia, Bishop Samuel J. Quire said he wants to find ways to augment pastor salaries, especially rural pastors. Read More

Bishop-elect Samuel J. Quire addresses West Africa Central Conference delegates after his election. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

The Rev. Samuel Quire elected Liberia bishop

Quire becomes a United Methodist bishop himself after serving as assistant to two episcopal leaders. Read More

During the United Methodist Women’s convention in Kabala, northern Sierra Leone, women break up into groups and go into the rural communities to live and work with the community. In addition to their prayer ministry, they also take gifts of clothing, shoes or toiletries.

Ubuntu journey takes women into community

The United Methodist Women of Sierra Leone took a journey through a rural community to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Read More

United Methodists this year marked the passing of multiple fellow churchgoers who put their faith into action. Photo by Niek Verlaan, courtesy of Pixabay

2016: Remembering notable United Methodists

United Methodists marked the deaths of fellow churchgoers who shaped worship and views on race. ' } Read More