Set-Up Meeting & Gathering 2018

District Set-Up Meeting & Gathering

Thursday, August 2, 2018
Epworth Children’s Home
(2900 Millwood Ave, Columbia, SC 29205)

  • 6:00pm — Worship in the Sanctuary
  • 6:45pm — Dinner in the Dining Hall
  • Clergy meeting and Spouse’s
    gathering to follow dinner.
  • Register by: Friday, July 27, 2018


Appointed clergy are expected to attend this gathering for introductions, fellowship, and vital information regarding our ministry together in the Columbia District. All others are invited and children are welcome.

Please submit registration online link

Columbia District Achievements Recognized at Annual Conference

The Columbia District was well-represented at 2018 Annual Conference with the following mile-stones and awards.  Please share and celebrate in your local church.

Retired:  David Anderson (Conf. Benefits Director);  Alice Deal (Fairfield Circuit); Mary Johnson (College Place)

Commissioned as Provisional Elders: Hillary Taylor (Shandon UMC);  Tammy Grey (Virginia Wingard UMC)

Licensed as Local Pastors:  Jim Rogers (Trinity UMC, Blythewood, to serve Fairfield Circuit); Daniel Ra (transfer from N. Illinois, to serve Columbia Korean UMC);  Scott Matthews (Trenholm Road UMC, to serve Zion, Blythewood); Will Altman (transfer from Anderson District, to serve Beulah-Oak Grove)

Ordained Full Elder:  Jon Hoin (Jon serves in Orangeburg, but grew up at Trinity UMC, Blythewood)

Joseph Benjamin Bethea Distinguished Service Award: Clergy: The Rev. Dr. Mike Smith | Trenholm Road UMC-Columbia

Harry Denman Evangelism Award: Lay: L.W. Smith III | Rehoboth UMC-Columbia.

Students in Mission

Sonna Boothroyd, a student at the University of South Carolina who will serve at Rural Mission Inc. on Johns Island.
Natalie Hungate, a student at the University of South Carolina who will serve at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in North Charleston.
Abigail Smith, a student at the University of South Carolina who will serve at Rural Mission Inc. on Johns Island.

Annual Conference Seminary Student Scholarships

Carsten Aubrey Bryant, a seminary student at Duke Divinity School. (home church – Mt. Horeb)
Zachary Dollard deMoya, a seminary student at Duke Divinity School (home church – Mt. Horeb)

Dennie Smith Scholarship: Alston Flynn Lippert, a student at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. (home church – NEUMC;  Assoc. Pastor – Washington St.)

Bishop’s Five Star Award

Chapin UMC, where the Rev. Jody Flowers is pastor.
Fair Lawn UMC in Columbia, where the Rev. Scott Bratton is pastor.

Bishop’s Award of Excellence:  Red Bank UMC in Lexington, where the Rev. Dr. Robert Dunn is pastor and Robin Smith is scouting ministry coordinator.

Columbia District Ministry with Refugee Children

HanyMano_LogoIn 2015 a group of faithful disciples in the Columbia District started Hand y Mano, a ministry outreach to the least of these in our community. For the last several years Hand y Mano has been a successful two-week camp for lower income children at Virginia Wingard which has included games, crafts, stories, and educational opportunities like presentations by Carolina Wild Life Center and Midlands Dental Hygienists. Hand y Mano has been a work in progress, changing and growing over the years so that through this ministry lives are being touched and changed as God’s glory and love are given flesh.

This year will be no different; Hand y Mano will continue to serve the most vulnerable children in our community, but there have been a few changes. This year there will be a one-week camp, August 6-10, hosted at Grace UMC for refugee children who live in the K-Street area. Union UMC has agreed to provide transportation for the 30 children who will attend Hand y Mano, driving them to and from home the entire week.  And many individuals have already come alongside to serve as volunteers and make much-needed financial and supply contributions to ensure 2018 is another successful year for Hand y Mano.

We need your help to continue to host this Columbia District ministry. It is truly “hand-in-hand” we are able to serve God’s most vulnerable children through this ministry. It takes all of us working together to serve and love our neighbors. We need you, and we need all Columbia UMCs to participate in small and big ways in giving new life to Hand y Mano. There are many ways to serve. We need volunteers. We need financial contributions. We need school supplies. We need your talents—are you gifted with a music talent, or art talent that you could come and share with the children? Are you a dentist, or dental hygienist, or a nurse or doctor who can give your time to share with the kids and their families? Does your VBS take up school supply donations? Will you consider taking up a supply donation or offering for Hand y Mano? Together we can do more for these 30+ children! And through YOU, God’s love is known. Help us make God’s love known through Hand y Mano.

To donate or to serve, or for more information about the Hand y Mano camp hosted at Grace UMC on August 6-10, contact Martha Thompson: Thank you!



Mission Experience with Bishop Holston

Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, will lead a missional awareness experience to Guatemala in July – and you can join him.

On the trip, scheduled for July 13-17, 2018, Bishop Holston will:

  • Attend the inauguration and blessing of the Medical Clinic Bethesda at Quetzaltenango.
  • Visit the children’s ministry in Chusajcaba.
  • Get to know indigenous Methodist denominations.

The Rev. Luke Rhyee, a medical doctor and an elder in full connection with the South Carolina Conference, is the founder and president of Healing Guatemala, a non-profit organization established to bring holistic healing to Guatemala.

Healing Guatemala’s vision is, “Healing from disease, healing from poverty, healing of soul.”

The $1,400 cost of the Missional Awareness Experience includes a round-trip flight, lodging, transportation and most meals.

Want to go?

Registration deadline: June 1
Contact Lollie Haselden at or 803-786-9486.

Preparing for General Conference 2019 and SC Annual Conference 2018

Dear Pastors, Council Chairs, Lay Leaders and SPRC Chairs, Lay Delegates:

hands4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6


I cordially invite you to a

What:  Training Seminar

Why:  To equip pastors and church leaders, as we face both  General Conference 2019 and SC Annual Conference 2018.   As a leader, you can be an instrument of peace, a conduit of information, and a facilitator of discernment and prayer.   This training will provide highlights of the work of the Commission on the Way Forward.  Lay Delegates and pastors may stay at the end of the General Conference presentation, to watch the orientation video about the S.C. Annual Conference.

When: May 20, 3:00pm, Trinity UMC, 90 Boney Road, Blythewood

Who:  Pastors, Council Chairs, Lay Leaders, SPRC Chairs, and Lay Delegates.  PASTORS – Please share this email with your Lay Delegates (we lack sufficient email addresses on these leaders).

Facilitators:  Rev. Kathy James, Director of Connectional Ministries;  Rev. Cathy Jamieson, DS

To read more about recent news from the Council of Bishops, see the link below –


Council of Bishop Acts on Way Forward

The following article is from the S.C. UMC Conference website –

Bishop Holston’s statement on UMC Council of Bishops’ Way Forward decision

May 4, 2018

Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, issued this statement following the April 29-May 4, 2018, meeting of the Council of Bishops:

Over the past week, the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church met in Chicago and made a decision about what to forward to the called 2019 General Conference.

Using the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, the council is forwarding to the General Conference three possibilities for moving us forward through the impasse on human sexuality. The legislation will offer three plans for the General Conference to consider.

There will be a Traditional Plan, a One Church Plan, and a Connectional Conference Plan. All three models received significant support within the Council of Bishops, with the One Church Plan being recommended as a preference. The legislation itself will be available for the whole church to see once it is translated into all of the official languages of the General Conference.

In this time of uncertainty and anxiety, it is important to remember that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church is the only body that can speak for the denomination and make changes to The Book of Discipline. The task before the General Conference is challenging and the delegates will need our fervent prayers as they prepare to act on the legislation before them.

As we enter this season of discernment and debate, I invite you to remember these things:

  • Prayer is our first and best response to what is before us. Let us continue to earnestly seek God’s will in this matter.
  • Let us engage in our discussions, conversations and debates in ways that bring honor to God and allow the fruit of the Spirit to be visible in our lives.
  • Let us practice our Three Simple Rules: to do all the good we can, to do no harm, and to stay in love with God.

Finally, the decisions to be made at the called 2019 General Conference might impact our local churches, districts, annual conference and denomination. And still, as these matters are being considered, there are persons in each and every community who need to know the saving love of Jesus Christ and who need a relationship with God’s people, the Body of Christ.

We have much work to do in South Carolina for the kingdom of God. Let us not grow weary in our good work.

Grace and Peace,

L. Jonathan Holston

Council of Bishop’s Press Release

Lay Servant School Great Success

Columbia District – Lay Servant Training School

Debbie Watford, Director

“Humbled by the Cross – Empowered by the Spirit – to Drive On in service to our God”

The Columbia District Training School was held the first weekend in March and was a tremendous opportunity for our Lay Servants to learn, grow and experience Christ in new and special ways as our well-prepared teachers led the way.  The participants got to know, in a more profound way, our Lord and what service to Him and others can look like – how we can fulfill the Great Commission each day.

Thanks are in order: Betty Void and Veronica Williams for the many ways in which they helped me organize and get ready for the Training School. To our fabulous teachers:  Sharon Allen, Gay Hawkins, Kathy Hart, Brenda Hook, Marlene Sipes, Herman Lightsey, and Chuck Sovick. To Gena Turner and Amy Cooley for providing accompaniment as we worshipped. To Rev. Gerald Watford for the powerful message sending us out at the conclusion. Lastly, to Washington Street UMC and Rev. Alston Lippert for providing a great location and all the amenities needed to make our Training School a success.

We took the opportunity to express our appreciation and honor of Mr. Francis Hipp for 22 years of faithful service as the former Columbia District Director.

Our District looks forward to providing another set of classes in the fall as we see the critical needs around us and we seek to be as equipped as possible to share the Good News of Christ in ways and in places we may not have thought of before.  May God lead the way!