Mt. Horeb UMC makes list of Top 25 Fastest Growing UMCs

Congratulations to Mt. Horeb UMC, Lexington, for making the list of fastest growing large United Methodist Churches in 2019.   A passion to reach new people is primary at Mt. Horeb.   The pastors, staff and lay leadership are committed to evangelism, sharing the story of Jesus, offering ministries that reach the community, serving the needy, and teaching, preaching and sharing the love of God.

Midlands Gives for Killingsworth

* welcomes those who have been abandoned,
* loves those who have been shunned,
* accepts those who have been rejected,
* befriends and encourages those who have been shamed,
* does not judge those who have wandered off as prodigal daughters, and
* offers the love of Christ to those who don’t know when they sing ‘Jesus Loves Me,’
that it means them, too.

What will we do with money raised on Midlands Gives Day?

Support and enhance the ongoing program of Killingsworth to give our residents the best possible opportunities to achieve their goals of becoming responsible independent whole and holy adults.


Killingsworth Needs Your Support

Please join us for the Annual Golf Tournament to raise funds for women in crisis.  Killingsworth is a vital  ministry with women who are making a new life, and coming out of crisis, addiction, abuse, or prison.    Your support is needed as we seek to strengthen this important ministry in a time of transition, moving into the future with hope.

Monday, May 13th | 9:00am Tee Time | Captain’s Choice & Shotgun Start.

Oak Hills Golf Club | 7629 Fairfield Road, Columbia, S.C. 29203

Deadline to Register is Thursday May 9th.

Registration is $75 per person.

Coffee Chat with Cathy about General Conference 2019

As we continue to ponder General Conference 2019 and the aftermath, I offer the following opportunities for pastors who wish to vent, pray and process their thoughts and feelings.   Come have coffee and let’s chat in my “mobile office.”   You don’t need to sign up, and you don’t have to stay long.  Just show up.  The conversation will be confidential.  If you prefer a more quiet space, then make an appointment to meet me in the office by contacting Veronica.

April 23, Tuesday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Starbucks, 105 Saluda Pointe Ct A, Lexington (#378 near I-20)

May 1, Wednesday, 10:00am – 11:00am, Starbucks, 276 Harbison Blvd (between Chick-fil-la and Olive Garden)

May 2, Thursday, 10:00am – 11:00am, Starbucks, 163-8 Forum Dr, Sandhills Shopping Center

May 8, Wednesday, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Starbucks, Trenholm Plaza

Who’s coming and who’s going? Update on Change of Appointments

19A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”   Matthew 8:19-20

Who’s moving?  Have you heard in through the grapevine?   Well, here’s the news straight from the horse’s mouth (or straight from the horse-loving DS).   But do remember that appointments aren’t final until the Bishop fixes them at Annual Conference.  Please support our moving and retiring pastors at the Send-off Luncheon on May 14, 11:30am-1:00pm, with food by Southern Way catering, door prizes, brief program, & fellowship.   Sign up here:

Ashland UMC – Tresco Shannon to St. John’s, Aiken (associate pastor);  New Ashland pastor:  Scott Efird

Grace UMC – Murray Snow to Trinity, Fountain Inn;  New Grace pastor:  Rett Haselden

Fairlawn UMC – Scott Bratton to St. Paul, Florence;  New Fairlawn pastor:  John Williams, III

Northeast UMC – Mac Kinnett, retiring;  New Northeast pastor:  Robin Griffeth

Brookland UMC – Fran Connell to Bethlehem, Bishopville; New Brookland pastor:  Mark Payne (part-time local pastor)

Faith UMC – Mandy Taylor Young moving to Virginia; New Faith pastor:  Hope Avins

Francis Burns – new position – Martin Quick (part-time local pastor, associate)

Journey – new position – Kristina Baker (part-time local pastor, associate)

Rehoboth, Leesville – Nicolas Perez to Norway Charge; New Rehoboth pastor:  Ken Colton (retired elder)

Shandon UMC – Carly Wicklund to CPE, Roper, Charleston;  New Shandon associate pastor:  Shannon Bullion

N. Columbia Charge – Joey Gambrell to Trinity, Blythewood, Associate (to follow Cheryl Rhodes, retired);  New N. Cola Charge pastor:  Ralph Young (part-time local pastor)

Suber Marshall – Reggie Rowell to a hired position, Minister of Congregational Care at Ashland UMC and Bethel UMC, Columbia;

New Suber Marshall pastor:  Marion Aldridge (Cooperative Baptist pastor, part-time local pastor)



Update on the Columbia District Missionaries: Luke Rhyee and Sara Flores

Missionary Update:  Rev. Luke Rhyee, M.D.

The Rev. Dr. Luke MoonTaeg Rhyee, M.D. is the creator, developer and director of Healing Guatemala in Quetzaltenango.  As such he works with the poorest of the poor. However, that poverty does not hinder big dreams.  Not on his part or the part of those he works with.  The picture below is of Juanita.   She is 7 years old and is the recipient of a scholarship from Healing Guatemala that enables her to be in school.   She lives with her mother and sister in a single room house with a dirt floor.  Her mother earns 4 to 5 dollars a day when there is opportunity by doing laundry for neighbors.    Their husband/father has abandoned them. Juanita is insistent that she wants to study, that she wants to grow up to become a teacher.  She speaks confidently of the dreams that she will help grow in her future students.

Luke has the good fortune to visit with the recipients of the scholarships in their home to help determine the best offers to make.  From the last school year to the current year the number has grown significantly.  In 2018 there were 25 scholarships offered.  This year there are 66 in three different locations.   Not only does Healing Guatemala help with direct scholarships to students, they support the schools in the area by offering a Bible class, an afterschool class, an English class, and a computer class.

Another student, Josselin, who is very good at math says, “I want to be a medical doctor. I want to help the sick!”  She is 11 years old.   Dr. Luke says that, “Josselin studies in darkness in the evening, for her house does not have electricity. She lives with her mother, step father, and four siblings. I asked Josselin to work at Bethesda when she became a doctor. In Josselin’s big smile, I could see the hope of our Lord, in which He would make it happen. I am so thrilled to see how the Lord is going to achieve His big dreams through the future Dr. Josselin, the future teacher Juanita, and our other scholarship students.  Bethesda is the medical clinic operated by Healing Guatemala in the city of Quetzaltenango.

 The main focus area of Healing Guatemala is in Quetzaltenango, which is located in the northwestern area of the country. According to the statistics of Guatemalan government, the population of the city is around 200,000, but Healing Guatemala will serve around a million people who live scattered around the city of Quetzaltenango. Majority of this people is Mayan indigenous people. Since they live in mountain area scattered, they do not have political power. They do not speak the governmental Spanish, but maintain several Mayan dialects.

The ministry focus is feeding the hungry, providing medical services and educating the young.   Recently the organization delivered 1,300 pounds of rice to help over 60 families.    Dr. Luke describes another aspect of the feeding ministry, “Currently Healing Guatemala has 600 children from three villages, Chuisajcaba 1, Chuisajcaba 2, and La Toma who have one substantial meal a week. Though right now, we serve one meal a week, we pray that we can provide a substantial meal a day for more children.”

Dr. Luke is a missionary designated as a mission special of the Columbia District.   To support this missionary and this ministry, make funds payable to:  Healing Guatemala, P.O. Box 1835, Duluth, GA 30096.

To discover more of his work, go to: or find Healing Guatemala  on facebook.


Missionary Update:  Sara Flores

Sara Flores works in and through the Methodist Conference in Ecuador.   She partners with the 14 Methodist churches in the Sierra District, the 8 churches in the Costa District and 8 mission sites in the Amazonica Region.  She also partners with UMVIM teams coming mostly from the U.S. establishing connections between the teams and local congregations.

There are days that are longer than others in Ecuador.   Actually, that is not true.  Each day at the equator is 12 hours of day light and 12 hours of dark.  The sun rises just about 6:00 am and sets just about 6:00 pm every day.   However, some days find Sara riding a public transportation bus for 4 hours south from the capitol city of Quito into the Amazon Rainforest region of Ecuador.  After the meeting, conference, teaching event or day of manual labor, climb back on the bus to travel home. Some days seem longer in Ecuador.  Sara travels to that region to help build the Methodist Connection between the mission sites and to help them grow from mission to ministry sites to Local congregations.  In that region there are typically temperatures in the lower 90’swith stifling humidity causing the air to be thick and heavy.  It can and does rains as much as 170 inches a year.

Some days she travels into the northern part of the country, into the mountains where the elevation can reach over 10,000 feet above sea level.  The temperatures rarely reach themed 70’s at any given time of the year and often reach freezing overnight.  The locals say that in Ecuador they have every season every day. 

Sara’s  work is varied and far flung.   She has to think about where she is headed and what the means about how to dress. The temperature is a factor, the type of work is a factor … will she be helping a nurse in a local church clinic, or helping a pastor paint a series of classrooms, will she be teaching professional church works or elementary students.   Or will she be helping to build a budget for a school.  Any and all of these are possibilities.  Some days she stays in Quito and works in her office in the Conference offices of the Iglesia Evangelica Metodista Unidadel Ecuadro planning her next move.

Beginning with our spring break until the end of the summer she will coordinate, host , and  several short term mission teams that come to cover the country.  One of those projects is a school in the town of Pastocalle about 40 minutes south of the capitol.   The school (El Sombrador Escolar) has been a cooperative of the government and church, teaching younger grades.   However a recent ruling requires that all schools teach through High School to receive government support.   To meet this requirement Sara has been helping U. S. teams as they attempt to build a new grade level classrooms each year.   Among those are at least two teams from the Columbia District.    Pictured are views of the school grounds and Sara with several students.

Sara is a United Methodist Missionary, sent on our behalf by the General Board of Global Ministries, to help to establish the Methodist ethos of ‘abundant grace’ in Ecuador.    The Columbia District through the District Connectional Ministries has established a covenant relationship with Sara.   If you would like to join in supporting Sara you may do so by making contributions to the SC UM Conference Treasurers Office.   Mark your contribution as “CO MISSIONARY”.

General Conference Votes 405-395 to Send Traditional Plan to Judicial Council

A motion to send the Traditional Plan to Judicial Council for a declaratory decision passes 405-395.

This vote is a sign of our division, given the fact that there is only a difference of 10 votes.

Lord, we pray in the midst of this difficult decision, where delegates have poured out their hearts and spirits in dialog, that your Holy Spirit may pour out peace. Help us, dear God of love, to find our common ground in Jesus. Lead us into the unknown future with our trust in You. We thank you for our SC delegates and for Bishop Holston, who leads us to focus on a future with hope. As our Body feels broken, remind us of your words in scripture: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13   Have mercy on us, O Lord, and forgive us for our division and for breaking your Body.  In the name of the One who’s Body was broken and blood was shed, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen

Youth Workers Gathering with Chris Lynch

This Spring, SCMYP (SC Ministry with Young People) is coming to your district to network with youth workers and hear from you about how we can best resource you in your youth ministry in the local church.  Plus we are buying you dinner.  So, complete the form below and click submit to reserve your spot.  Each gathering will take place at 6 pm.  Locations are listed on the registration form below beside each district.  If you have any questions, please email Chris Lynch,

SCMYP is coming to the Columbia District to connect with youth workers on Monday, April 1st
at 6:00 PM at Mt. Hebron UMC, (3050 Leaphart Rd, West Columbia). Don’t miss this incredible
opportunity to connect, laugh, learn, and of course, EAT! There is no cost, but we need you to
sign up at so that we have plenty of food. Come on your own, or bring
your whole youth ministry team.