Not only is the United Methodist Church busy planting churches outside the U.S., its conferences are actively planting new churches within the United States. Path 1, the denomination’s church-planting arm, has recently reported that the U.S. conferences are planting over 11 new congregations each month. Over the past four years over 600 new congregations have been launched.
The Indiana Conference is a part of this effort. The conference has chartered Fort Wayne Eglesia Getsemani UMC and Indianapolis Movie Theater UMC (MTC) in 2008, New Albany Faithpoint UMC in 2009, Valparaiso New Song Fellowship UMC in 2010, and started a new church called The Grove UMC on the south side of Indianapolis (Johnson County) in 2011.
In addition to these efforts, the conference has had several churches launch off-site congregations, including Fort Wayne Sonrise UMC’s two additional campuses, Selma UMC’s Muncie campus called The Compass Church, and Indianapolis Barnes UMC’s two African-American campuses. The conference even had a web-based congregation established called Bluevine, started as an internet community of St. Lukes UMC in Indianapolis.
In addition, in 2012 new congregations have been launched in Gary (African-American) and in Hammond (Hispanic). Additional congregations are presently being developed in Marion and Indianapolis (both Hispanic), Fort Wayne (multi-ethnic), as well as projects just emerging in Lafayette and Lake Station (both Hispanic).
Could the Indiana Conference, as well as the United Methodist Church, be on the verge of a church-planting movement? May we pray it is!
— Ed Fenstermacher, Assoc. Director of Church Development for the Indiana Conference UMC