Making college students feel welcome and connected

College is an incredibly formative time in the life of a student and it is an important time to make important decisions about faith.

Hugh Griffith, director of the Wesley Foundation at Mississippi State University, said college students are going to grow and develop in some way — positively or negatively — during their college experience, so it is urgent and crucial that students grow and develop in good and godly ways. 

“College students are ‘good soil,’ to borrow the image from Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13,” Griffith said. “There’s urgency in the fact not only good seed grows in good soil, but whatever is planted in good soil will grow and bear fruit, whether the fruit is desirable or not.  Wesley Foundation sows good seed–Kingdom seed–Gospel seed– in the good soil of college students.”

Griffith said “campus ministry serves students when they are away from home and no longer receiving the ministry of their home church like they did during their growing up days.”

There are a wide variety of campus ministries for students to experience on campus this fall, and many students who are in the area over the weekends may have the opportunity to visit local churches. Continue reading

Photos from Starkville’s Observance of The National Day of Prayer…

The speakers for Starkville’s Observance of the National Day of Prayer were FANTASTIC! THANK YOU to Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, Rev. Giles Lindley of Starkville’s First United Methodist Church, Dr. Paul Miller of East Mississippi Community College – Mayhew Campus, Dr. Joyce Yates, Senator Gary Jackson and Marvell Howard of the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors. SPECIAL THANKS to The University Florist and Vicki Leach for their help with the goody bags this year! And thank you to all those who made it a point to stop by and pray for our community, the state of Mississippi and our nation! We were so honored that you were there to join us!

A story about Starkville’s Observance of The National Day of Prayer is featured in the May 8, 2015 edition of The Starkville Daily News at


Lindley to serve as prayer panelist for Starkville’s Observance of the National Day of Prayer 2015

Giles LindleyRev. Giles Lindley of Starkville’s First United Methodist Church will be one of eight speakers at Starkville’s Observance of the National Day of Prayer.

The public is invited to join us at noon May 7 at the Starkville Sportsplex for a discussion on the importance of prayer in eight vital areas of the community. For more information and prayer guides for the National Day of Prayer, go to

Starkville’s First UMC Backpack Buddies Ministry receives $1,500 grant


Starkville FUMC member Karen Brown packs for the Backpack Buddies Ministry. (Submitted photo)

The ministry began to meet the most basic needs of many local children.

Members of First United Methodist Church of Starkville – both adults and students – began noticing children in the Starkville School District who were coming to school very hungry on Monday mornings.

“It became obvious that they were not getting enough to eat over the weekend,” said Rev. Giles Lindley, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Starkville. “We heard about the Backpack Buddy concept where packages of easy-to-prepare food items were discretely placed into backpacks on Friday afternoons. The schools help us identify the children and the placement is done very carefully.” Continue reading

From Starkville’s observance of the National Day of Prayer 2014



Voice of the people: Gwen Sisson

 I would like to thank the Starkville community for the wonderful turnout at this year’s Starkville observance of the National Day of Prayer. I would like to thank our speakers: Mayor Parker Wiseman, Rev. Joseph Stone, Rev. Giles Lindley, Marvell Howard, Dr. Paul Miller, Dr. Paul Ruff, Michelle Lowe and Sen. Gary Jackson, for the incredible job they did sharing their personal perspectives on prayer. I would also like to thank Tom Jenkins who set the tone for the day’s event with his musical talents.

What a wonderful time we had this week. It was a wonderful opportunity to unite for a time of prayer for Starkville, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi and the United States. Communities throughout the nation also took time out of their busy schedules to pray together. It was a special way to unite the community and the nation, and I am very happy to be part of such a special event.

I would also like to thank Michelle Tehan of The Biscuit Shop, Lynette McDougald of University Florist, Jay Yates at The Veranda, Carolyn Abadie of the BookMart and Cafe, Vicki Leach of Miss Vicki’s Custom Cuisine, Arma Ruth DeLaCruz of Eat With Us Group, Katharine Hewlett of the Palmer Home for Children and Wendy Brewer of Starkville Flooring for their donations to the event. Thank y’all so much!

If you were unable to join us, you truly missed a special blessing. Please make plans to join us next year on the first Thursday in May for Starkville’s observance of the National Day of Prayer.

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