Today, divinity degrees in hand, the pair is helping downtown's First Methodist Church shape a ministry meeting the needs of a growing population of young adults in the city's urban heart. Featuring music that draws from contemporary Christian and gospel roots and a casual, self-expressive style of worship, services will be geared to meeting the needs of a multi-racial, cross-cultural congregation. Hagans, 31, First Methodist's fourth African-American pastor, and Bowie, 29, likely the first pastor and church elder to wear a nose stud, are joined on the leadership team by music director Anthony Rogers, technical director Chris Taylor and graphics manager Tanya Metzger. While the Methodist church is steeped in the traditions of mainstream Protestantism, the new ministry targeting 18- to 34-year-olds will not be afraid to break with tradition, Hagans said. [...] downtown is home to about 3,600 people, reports the Downtown Management District, and developers are committed to building an additional 3,580 dwelling units through the city's Downtown Living Initiative. "More and more young people are moving closer to downtown and looking for an urban worship environment," Wende said, adding that the church also has taken steps to improve services for children and youth. In San Antonio, where about 5,000 people live in downtown's center and an additional 9,000 in neighborhoods on its periphery, First Baptist Church offers Sunday services for young adults in a renovated chapel fitted out with modern sound and lighting gear. In Dallas, with about 7,000 people living in the heart of downtown, First Presbyterian Church is reaching out to young adults through resident seminarians funded by a religious endowmentand through construction of an amphitheater, set to open this fall, at which religious and secular performances will be staged. The Rev. Elaine Heath, a professor at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, said a sense of community is important to young adults returning to city centers. With a divinity degree from Duke University and a background with white and black Houston-area churches, Hagans joined First Methodist's staff last year as part of an outreach to downtown's homeless community. Bowie, too, holds a divinity degree from the elite North Carolina university, pursing her religious studies only after teaching third grade for four years at Aldine Independent School District.
The final wall of a motel demolition project came down recently on a South Main Street property next to, and owned by, Statesboro First United Methodist Church, paving the way for future development by the church and simultaneously contributing to the ongoing South Main improvement project.
Four ministers met recently to talk about their churches and their pastorates. Two are ministers from St. Paul's churches and two come from Trinities. Two are women and two are men. Two are new to Toledo and two are in the seventh year of
On a quiet corner in northeast Dallas, the elderly members of Gaston Oaks Baptist Church make their way inside and find seats in the sanctuary on a Sunday morning, clutching programs handed out by a 99-year-old usher.
Every year, about 7,000 churches in the United States close their doors, the Christian ministers’ organization Pastoral Care estimates. In some cases, members’ numbers have declined, and those who remain cannot support the considerable cost of maintaining the buildings.
Billy Hinson, a deacon at Spring Hill Avenue Baptist, said that the congregation would continue to worship and was exploring options for relocating in west Mobile, where many of the members now reside.