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Spotlight on United Methodist Faith Stories

 

These inspirational stories describe United Methodists who are using their gifts and their faith to make a difference in the world.

The Rev. Gilbert Caldwell poses with his wife Grace, and sons Dale and Paul in front of Bryantville United Methodist Church.

Gilbert Caldwell: Voice for Justice and Human Rights

The retired United Methodist pastor reflects on how his relationship with MLK and involvement in the civil rights movement shaped his life and ministry. View

Bishop Rudy Juan was raised in the church his grandparents founded. An official portrait courtesy of the Council of Bishops.

Meet Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan

Raised in a church his grandparents founded, the Philippines United Methodist bishop is passionate about serving the poor, caring for the planet, and sharing the gospel with others. Listen

Blind painter Jeff Hanson has raised over three million dollars for charity. Hanson credits his church with encouraging him.

Blind Artist Beats Odds, Gives Back

Despite significant health challenges, a young United Methodist uses his talent to help others. His work has sold to celebs like Elton John and Billy Joel. View

The Rev. James Lawson (left) joins Martin Luther King and Ralph Jackson at a March 1968 press conference. Photo used with permission from the SCLC of California.

James Lawson: Reflections on Life, Nonviolence, Civil Rights, MLK

The United Methodist pastor's parents told him “there’s a better way” than violence to resolve conflict. Those words would shape James Lawson’s life, leadership and ministry. View

Hana Saleh and Elaine Koger pose for a photo at an annual Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Heartsong United Methodist Church and the Memphis Islamic Center. Video image, courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

United Methodists Bond with Muslim Neighbors

When a mosque went up across the street, a congregation had a clear choice. “We could be cold to them, or we could welcome them to the neighborhood.” View

Chef Lucy Chelton demonstrates recipes with Girl Scout cookies. Chelton also cooks for her church in Lansdale, PA. Photo courtesy of Lucy Chelton.

Young Food Network Star Cooks for Church

Chef Lucy Chelton was a winner on “Chopped Junior” and gladly shares her gifts in the kitchen. “It makes me feel like I’m showing God’s love." View

Youth Share Thanksgiving Meals

"I was taught at this church that everybody is family." Young people prepare turkey dinners with a side of caring for elderly neighbors. View

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. leads the Great Plains Annual Conference.  Photo by United Methodist Communications.

Meet Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.

The Great Plains bishop shares his call to ordained ministry from a career as a high school teacher, football coach, and business owner. Listen

Sean Santellan, a member of Napa Methodist Church in Napa, California, turned “trash to toilets” when the 6-year-old joined in his church’s capital campaign for renovations by collecting recyclables. Photo courtesy of Napa Methodist Church

Amazing Kids of The United Methodist Church

United Methodist children are doing amazing things - raising funds to build water wells, hosting lemonade stands to assist others, and handing out free bike helmets to keep kids safe. Read More

Bishop Susan Haupert-Johnson was called to ministry after an early career in law. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Meet Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson

Bishop Sue tells us about her early career in law, her call to ministry, her love of books and Broadway, and her daily practice of silence. Listen

Paul Gomez is part of a fascinating conversation about faith and life in our Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

Living Our Faith Daily with Paul Gomez

A United Methodist college student shares how he lives out his faith in school, at work, in his service to the church, and even while driving. Listen

The Rev. Bob Deich leads the Early Response Team for the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. Video image by Todd Rossnagel, Louisiana Conference.

A Personal Call: United Methodist Early Response Team

A Louisiana responder describes serving others after disaster hits. “I can’t stop it now, but I can come along beside people.” View

Members of the South Carolina's Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas during the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Photo by SC National Guard. Public Domain.

Recalling the flood of human kindness after Katrina

Plano pastor says hosting storm survivors changed his church. “Our DNA has been altered by those who came and taught us to love God by loving our neighbor.” Read More

Bishop Harald Rückert once studied food technology, speaks four languages and plays the saxophone. Photo by Volker Kiemle, Communications Germany United Methodist Church.

Meet Bishop Harald Rückert

In this conversation, we learn that the bishop of the Germany Central Conference once studied food technology, plays the sax, and speaks 4 languages. Listen

Rachel Ritchie plays on the inclusive playground that she raised 100,000 dollars to build.

Child’s Dream Inspires Inclusive Playground

A young United Methodist church member wanted to create a play place where all children are welcome. And she raised all the funds to make it a reality. View

Lindsay Stanfield sold lemonade, cookies, jewelry and other items to help homeless people and people with cancer. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Eight-year-old spends summer helping those in need

The young United Methodist sold lemonade, cookies, jewelry and other items in her front yard, with proceeds going to help homeless people and people with cancer. View

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung serves in the Wisconsin Episcopal Area. File photo by United Methodist Communications.

Roots of Faith in Korea: A United Methodist Bishop’s Journey

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung grew up on a small island with a view of North Korea. He credits U.S. missionaries and a kind neighbor for his conversion to Christianity. View

Joe Mykos volunteers at McEachern (Ga.) UMC with the Car Care Ministry. Image courtesy of McEachern United Methodist Church.

United Methodist Mechanics Fix Cars for Free

Volunteers give away an average of 30 cars each year and fix vehicles for those in need. Those physical repairs often heal broken spirits too. View

The sign at Pennington United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., proclaims a message of hope. File photo by Raymond Landry.

The United Methodist Church: More than a name

Learn how our church's name was chosen. “If you leave the name ‘United’ off you’re leaving off both a significant piece and powerful part of who we are.” Read More

Members of the Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist help Syrian refugees, the Al Aboud family, get settled in their new home. Photo by Kisker Productions.

Migrants Find Freedom, Welcome at Boise Church

“Helping migrants isn’t a political issue, it’s a discipleship issue.” United Methodists in Idaho support families new to the United States. View