Houston Area Methodist Pulpits to be Filled with International Guests

abr450John Wesley, the eighteenth century founder of Methodism, said it long ago.  When locked out of Church of England pulpits due to the rejection of his evangelistic message, he took to the fields and coal mines of Britain instead proclaiming that “the world is my parish.”

Reflecting that emphasis and as a part of the World Methodist Conference, an ecumenical gathering of the spiritual heirs of Wesley happening in Houston August 31-September 4, several Methodist congregations here will in turn welcome a diverse collection of bishops, pastors, and other spiritual leaders from around the world all on a single day, Sunday, September 4.

The global conference, which meets once every five years, is being held in the United States for the first time in thirty-five years, centered at the Hilton-Americas Hotel in downtown Houston, and is expected to draw over 2500 delegates from all around the world, representing a variety of Wesleyan denominations.

“The world truly is coming to our house the last week of August,” says Dr. C. Chappell Temple, the pastor of Christ Church (UMC) in Sugar Land and one of the co-chairs of the host committee.  “In turn, we are opening our congregations to many of those delegates in an unprecedented way, and we can’t wait to see all that happens with this program.”

In addition to worship, delegates to the conference will hear numerous international speakers, participate in workshops on a variety of topics, and enjoy a cultural night on September 2 emceed by local television anchor Deborah Duncan which will feature the choir from Windsor Village United Methodist Church, a Hispanic arts group, Mariachi Tradicion de Jalisco, a liturgical dance company, Chara, and a breakdancing troupe from Gethsemane UMC, all capped off by a concert by the Grammy-nominated Christian artist, Gungor.

The joint preaching appearances on September 4 will be a part of the morning worship offerings of numerous churches and all are welcome to visit in any of the congregations.  Those churches hosting delegates include:

Ashford United Methodist Church: Reverend Tevita Finau, Methodist Church of New Zealand


Bear Creek United Methodist Church: Reverend Daniel Munnangi, Methodist Church in India


Bellaire United Methodist Church: Bishop Gary Rivas, Methodist Church Southern Africa


Bering United Methodist Church: Reverend Teresa Burnett-Cole, United Church of Canada


Blue Ridge United Methodist Church: Bishop Sylvester Williams, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Alabama


Cypress United Methodist Church: Reverend Ranganathan Prabhu, Methodist Church Singapore


Deer Park United Methodist Church: Dr. Todd Stepp, Church of the Nazarene, Indiana


Friendswood United Methodist Church: Reverend Richard Waugh, Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand


Humble First United Methodist Church: Dr. David Jebb, Methodist Church of Britain


John Wesley United Methodist Church: Dr. Christopher Walker, Uniting Church in Australia


Katy First United Methodist Church: Bishop Wee Boon Hup, Methodist Church of Singapore


Klein United Methodist Church:  Reverend David Bush, Methodist Church of New Zealand


Lake Houston United Methodist Church:  Reverend Phil Meadows, Director of Inspire, England


Lakewood United Methodist Church:  Bishop Joseph Ntombura, Methodist Church of Kenya


Montgomery United Methodist Church: Reverend Peter Benzie, Wesleyan Methodist Church in New Zealand


Pasadena First United Methodist Church: Reverend Andreia Fernandes, Methodist Church of Brazil


Pearland United Methodist Church:  Archbishop Michael Stephen, Methodist Church of Nigeria


St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church: Bishop Everald Galbraith, Methodist Church in the Caribbean


St. Paul’s United Methodist Church: Bishop Patrick Streiff, UMC in Southern and Central Europe


St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church: Dr. Leao Neto, Methodist Church in Britain


Springs Woods United Methodist Church: Reverend Charmaine Morgan, Methodist Church in Southern Africa


Sugar Land Christ Church (UMC):  Bishop Subodh Mondal, Methodist Church in India


Trinity United Methodist Church:  Bishop Raphael Opoko, Methodist Church in Nigeria


Walls Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: Bishop Darrell Starnes, AMEZ, Charlotte


West University United Methodist Church: Dr. Karen Tucker, Boston University School of Theology


Westbury United Methodist Church: Dr. Samuel Uche, Prelate, Methodist Church in Nigeria


Woodlands Christ UMC: Dr. Kimberly Reisman, Exec. Director, World Methodist Evangelism


For information on service times, please call or check the websites of the individual congregations listed.