June 2020


Bringing down walls of hostility



On May 8, I released a statement concerning the death of a young African American, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick. And now, just weeks later, we find our entire nation engulfed in a sense of shock, frustration, and anger over the death of another African American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. Tragically, you and I know that these deaths are only the latest in a long litany of such deaths that have occurred for generations among people of color.

In response, some are marching with peaceful determination in a show of support for communities across the nation and for the human family that is hurting and in pain. Others are expressing themselves in a violent rage that destroys businesses, community institutions, and even the lives of others.   

We stand with those whose commitment to non-violence is expressed in the kind of witness that unites all people. We are especially concerned for people of color in our conference - African American, Hispanic, Korean, Native American - our brothers and sisters in Christ. The strength of South Georgia is seen in our very diversity and yet our unity in Christ leads us to acknowledge that people of color bear special burdens of worry, hurt, and fear.  

Today, I call upon all South Georgia United Methodists to take the next step in being Alive Together in Witness in our communities. What is that witness and how do we offer it in the name of Jesus Christ, who was himself beaten, spat upon, and killed? 

First, I want to highlight these points from our United Methodist Social Principles:

  • We recognize racism as sin and affirm the ultimate and temporal worth of all persons.
  • The churches of a community, along with other religious communities, can act collaboratively to create an environment that is conducive to healing, justice, and mutual understanding.
  • As disciples of Christ, we are called to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict.

Next, I want to look to a group in our Conference - the Multiculturalism Task Force - to help us raise awareness and increase our understanding around these very points. This group, formed at the directive of the 2017 Annual Conference Session, released a Resource Guide last year along with a series of videos

As I watched the troubling events of the past week, I took time once again to review the guide and videos. Brothers and sisters, this is a place to start. As you read the Resource Guide and watch the videos you will see, as I have seen, that this is the way forward. These are the resources needed in every community in South Georgia. Please do not wait for someone else to do it. Use these resources and lean into this opportunity to be Alive Together in Witness in your church and your community.

Resource Guide | Watch Authentic Conversation Videos

I draw your attention to two specific examples of help found in these videos.  First, the last video in the series is about the Intercultural Development Inventory, which deals with identifying areas of individual biases and working to understand others. Self-examination and understanding constitute “root issues” that enable honest, fruitful engagement in communal race relations.

In another video, Rev. Michael Culbreth, pastor of Connexion UMC in Savannah, shares about the CURE program started by a young adult in this multiracial church. CURE - which stands for Connect and Understand Racial Equity – meets monthly and is an example of one program every local church can offer to its community they are not likely to get any other way.

As you study these resources, I want you to know that I am in conversation with the leadership of the Multicultural Task Force and the Advocacy Discipleship Team to consider online options for connecting laity and clergy across our conference at this time of special need. 

Just this Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, and all over the world Christians read the story found in Acts 2. Crowds were gathered in Jerusalem, and the coming of the Holy Spirit brought unity to those from all nations as they each heard the Gospel in their own language.   

Brothers and sisters, we know something about “dividing walls of hostility” and how they can be brought down by the blood of Jesus Christ. This is our wheelhouse. It’s who Jesus created us to be. It’s why the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon us. Our communities need us now. Our nation needs us now. 

We have the CURE. Will we be Alive Together in this Witness?

**For assistance in your local church setting, please contact Rev. Earnestine Campbell at

Specific Needs Your Church May Encounter

If there are specific issues affecting your church, please contact the office at 229-273-3119 or with these general questions. For technology questions (email, online worship options, website, Facebook, etc), please email Mandy at

Please continue to watch our Facebook page, calendar, and emails from us as information is constantly being modified based on new guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Magnolia Manor

Please click here to read some important information regarding Magnolia Manor and COVID-19.


Upcoming Events

The Moving Pastors Workshop (previously scheduled for May 21) has been postponed - TBD.

Jun 23 Set-up Meeting - please watch for possible date change
Jun 26-28 Grown Ups Summer Camp, Epworth by the Sea
Aug 15 UMM Men's Rally, Cordele First UMC
Sep 17 Sexual Ethics Training - moved from April
Oct 9-10 Basic Lay Speaking Training, Vidalia First
Oct 12-15 Autumn Adventures, Epworth by the Sea
Oct 16-17 Basic Lay Speaking Training, College Place UMC
Oct 23-24 Advanced Lay Speaking Training, Vidalia First
Nov 6-7 Advanced Lay Speaking Training, College Place UMC

2021 Dates

Jan 24-27 Winter Conference, Epworth by the Sea

You can also find our calendar on the District website:


(2020-2021 appointments)

Jun 3 George Masciarelli - Brinson Charge
Jun 10 Lance Kindred - Metcalf Charge
Jun 13 Bishop Lawson Bryan - South Georgia Conference
Jun 14 Larry Rollins - Cordele FUMC
  Kathy Israel-McCloud - Hand Memorial/Bethany Charge
Jun 16 Mary Stephens, spouse of John Stephens - Putney
Jun 20 Glen Hancock - Trinity (Donalsonville)
Jun 21 Ed Thomas - Leary Charge
  Tommy Fussell - USAF Chaplain
Jun 22 Keith Miller, spouse of Anna Miller - Albany FUMC Deacon
Jun 25 Gary Brady - Christ UMC
Jun 26 Anna Miller - Albany FUMC Deacon
Jun 30 Sally Flower - Dixie/Ozell


How Can We Pray for YOU?

The world has been shaken by the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone has been affected and some face dire circumstances. In times like this, our faith becomes paramount. One of the blessings of Epworth is the Wright Prayer Chapel, open 24/7/365, where people come to pray and leave prayer requests. I am privileged to read and pray for those prayer requests. At this time, you may not be able to leave a prayer request on campus. But we still want to pray for YOU. Send me an email ( with your prayer request, and every Thursday at 10 AM, our staff and I will gather in the Wright Prayer Chapel to pray for you and your needs. I look forward to hearing from you.


Jesus said, “[I]f two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” [Mt. 18.19-20 NIV]


We will get through this together in faith!

Autumn Adventures

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October 12-15, 2020


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UMM Vice President

The position of Vice President-South Central District and South West District for South Georgia United Methodist Men is available and the Executive Leadership Team of UMM is seeking interested candidates to fill this volunteer role.

The candidate for the position of Vice President should live in one of the Districts that he serves to assist the District Presidents in those areas.  The desire to serve in Men’s Ministry leadership, active work in the local church and experience at the district level are characteristics that will lead to success in this role.

Interested candidates should contact the UMM Conference President, Donald Rhodes, via email  or by telephone 478-397-0440.

Please remember to check out the conference page for a full list of classifieds.

Director of Music Ministries at Colquitt UMC
Director of Youth Ministries at Bainbridge FUMC


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Sexual Ethics Training

Click here to go to the District website page to see a list of who is due for training and register for an upcoming training.

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If you have technology questions...

Please email Mandy ( with questions. She can provide ongoing support for your Facebook page/group and/or website, setting up new computers, or updating old ones!

Rev. Doreen Smalls Cindy Rollins Martha Walls Mandy Fill
District Superintendent


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Southwest District Office | 1602 Goff Circle Cordele, GA 31015 | (229) 273-3119