Three Iowa churches were recognized last week at the 2015 Iowa Annual Conference for achievement in making disciples of Jesus Christ. Created this year by Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Discipleship), the One Matters Discipleship Awards include a $1,000 grant to further the ministries of these congregations in nurturing disciples.
First United Methodist Church in Mount Ayr has received 77 new members received since 2009. Fifty of them were marginal or new Christians and about a third were newly baptized. In addition, worship attendance has grown from 70 to 110 on average.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is located in a working-class neighborhood on the north side of Waterloo that includes a significant population of African immigrants and Burmese refugees. Many new and diverse people have helped to boost their average worship attendance from 80 to 95, and they have baptized 9 people and received 21 new members by professions of faith.
The Quad Cities Korean UMC increased their professions of faith from zero in 2012 to eight in 2014. New small groups were created to focus on bi-racial marriages and families, and they have continued a long-standing ministry to American families who have adopted Korean children through an annual fall picnic.
Discipleship Ministries are supported in part with apportionment gifts from the United Methodist churches of Iowa.