New ministry holding first service on Sunday
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 04, 2014 | 3121 views | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of River of Living Water United Methodist Ministries will worship together for the first time Sunday.

The 11 a.m. service will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, one of three local churches which recently merged to form the new ministry. A lunch will follow.

The other two congregations that make up the ministry are Durr’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Jasper and Rice Chapel United Methodist Church in Oakman.

The Rev. Regenia Garrett said interest in the merger predates her appointment in June 2012.

Christ United, a predominately white congregation, and Durr’s Chapel, a predominately black congregation, began having a monthly joint worship service several years ago.

Within the last year, the two churches formed an even closer partnership by combining their administrative councils.

The vote to officially merge was held in November.

Garrett said officials within the UMC’s North Alabama Conference are very supportive of the merger and encourage multi-ethnic worship.

The Rev. Debra Wallace-Padgett, the conference’s first female bishop, will be speaking at Sunday’s service.

Garrett said the benefits of the merger range from combined resources to opportunities to expand outreaches at the three campuses.

However, the foremost reason is to look more like the face of worship that God desires.

“Separatism did not occur by God; it was by man. I believe each race has so much richness to contribute to worship that when we bring it all together, it can’t help but get that much richer,” Garrett said.