Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church urged each conference to use the One Matters award to recognize one church that is turning zeros into positive numbers with a renewed focus on discipleship.
During Annual Conference 2017, held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, Don Jamison of the conference Board of Discipleship presented the award to Bethel United Methodist in Virginia Beach. Bethel had been declining financially and in membership, fearful of closing. In July 2014, a new pastor was appointed and the church revamped programs, invited children, and held a confirmation class. The progress has been slow in professions of faith, but there has been an increase in membership.
Bethel UMC received the first One Matters Discipleship Award in the Virginia Conference.
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