New Indiana UM churches being launched

Posted: January 5, 2012 by efenster in Uncategorized

Exciting news!  The Indiana Conference is launching two new United Methodist churches.  

Gary UM Plant  —  One is being started in the City of Gary in the North District.  It is being led by Rev. David McLin, who had pastored Gary Fifth Ave. UMC a few years ago.  David is a full-time public school teacher and will be working the next six months on developing the foundation for the new church.  He is being coached by Rev. Candace Lewis, a UM church planter and consultant with our denomination’s Path One church-planting effort.

According to MissionInsite data, 86,000 people are living in the City of Gary.  On any given weekend last year, however, only 0.25% of the population (just over 200) people were worshiping in one of the four Gary United Methodist churches in the city.  In comparison, UMCs are reaching 4.0% of the population living in South Bend.  

The conference has talked about starting a new church in Gary since 1980.  In 2008, foundational work was begun.  In 2010, Lennie Hawkins–a laywoman from Gary Christ UMC–initiated a prayer effort to undergird the effort.  A meeting was held that same year with the area church pastors and laity.  This past year God led Rev. McLin to us.  An initial plan was developed, and the Conference Church Development Team agreed to provide a six-month $30,000 grant to fund the first phase of development. 

We know many have been praying for this effort.  Please continue!  Pray for Rev. McLin and the other Gary UM churches.  May God reach many unchurched persons with the Good News of Jesus Christ as a result of this new church plant and our other churches’ efforts.

Next week, I’ll be sharing an article about our other new-church plant that will be targeting Hispanics in the city of Hammond.  — Ed Fenstermacher

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