Giving in memory of Sarah Hillman to the Africa University Scholarship


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The late Sarah Hillman with Rosia Jackson at a special event last summer.

Members of First United Methodist Church of Kosciusko believe, if a project is important to Rev. Byrd and Sarah Hillman, it should be important to them.

“Byrd and Sarah have been a part of this body of Christ for some time and this church family loves them dearly,” said Rev. Scott Wright, pastor of Kosciusko FUMC. “They are an amazing couple and love the Lord and His Methodist church through and through.  This church family knows that and reciprocates that love.  It is because of their example early on in our conference relationship with Africa University that we know and understand the importance of the work they does.  I think we believe that if it is important to Byrd and Sarah, it’s important to us!”

Over a year ago, the Starkville District of the United Methodist Church established an Africa University endowment in honor of Rev. Byrd and Sarah Hillman, with the goal of raising $130,000 over a three-year period. On Dec. 28, 2016, Sarah Hillman passed away, and churches throughout the district are sending memorials for the Africa University Scholarship program in remembrance of the passion this lady had for this mission.

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Rev. Byrd Hillman with Rev. Dr. Embra Jackson, Superintendent of the Starkville District of the United Methodist Church

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Bishop visits MSU Wesley to discuss Africa University


IMG_0273 As part of his recent visit to the Golden Triangle area, Bishop James Swanson stopped by the Mississippi State University Wesley Foundation to discuss education.

But the educational opportunities the Bishop discussed, was not concerning MSU students. His focus was to encourage local leaders to help support the Mississippi-Africa University Partnership, a college formed in Zimbabwe in 1992 by the United Methodist Church.

Under Swanson’s leadership, the Mississippi Conference has pledged to provide Africa University with 10 endowed scholarships in the amount of $130,000 each. Every local church in the Mississippi Conference is challenged to participate.

Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. has extended an invitation to Mississippi United Methodists asking them to support the 2015 Mission Offering that is designated to Africa University. This offering will be received during the 2015 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference in June. Continue reading

What makes a good United Methodist ‘lay leader’?


1924493_573583752748146_6244127900933588499_nAs we look to the Lay Servant Leadership Training event for the Starkville District of the Mississippi UMC, it seemed the perfect time to discuss who makes a good “lay leader.”

Lay Servant Training is set for April 11 at Starkville First United Methodist Church.

Dr. Embra Jackson, Starkville District Superintendent for the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church said a “good” lay leader is a person who understands that while their major role is to represent the lay persons (the laity–regular attendees of the church congregation) in their church.   Continue reading

Liberty UMC receives grant for tutoring program


imagePam Simmons described the program as “a creative opportunity for senior adults to stay active while helping the children and youth who are struggling in school to stay focused.”

And to help launch the new Wednesday night tutoring program at Liberty United Methodist Church in Eupora , Simmons wrote and the church received a grant for $1,000 from the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.

According to the grant proposal, the Wednesday Night Bible Study classes will provide a tutoring program for students K-12 grades and social time for senior adults (ages 60 +). Continue reading

New parsonage purchased following April tornadoes in Louisville


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Starkville District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Embra Jackson with Rev. & Mrs. Larry Haggard at the blessing of the new parsonage.

The EF4 tornado that ripped through Winston County on April 28 of this year brought with it change, sadness and uncertainty.

For the South Louisville United Methodist Church Charge, there was a mixed blessing in this midst of the devastation – their pastor, Rev. Larry Haggard and his wife, Eve, were not home when the tornado destroyed their church parsonage.

The Haggards were in Jackson, watching the news helplessly as they received phone calls of the devastation in their neighborhood and in their church family. Continue reading

Starkville District UMC launches TEAM HOPE


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   One-third of Jesus’ earthly ministry dealt with health and wellness, the holistic healing of mind, body, spirit, relationships, etc.
    With a Biblical mandate to follow Christ, healthcare has always been a major emphasis in missions worldwide. And while missionaries around the world deal with health crisis, few churches are working to deal with the health crisis in the United States.
   The United Methodist Church is working to change that on a state and local level.
   Starkville District Superintendent Dr. Embra Jackson said health and wellness has always played an important role, but is now developing into a major emphasis with the creation of the new TEAM HOPE, a healthcare advocacy team designed to promote health and wellness within the eight counties comprising the Starkville District.
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