Olive Branch UMC Embraces Future Growth


Founded in the 1850s, Olive Branch UMC is a community of faith that cares. It cares when someone is ill, grieving the loss of a loved one or struggling to pay the bills. It cares that members and visitors alike experience Spirit-filled worship services, Sunday school programs and Bible studies. It cares that future generations will have a place to conduct ministry and learn about the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

It is this vision of caring that has sustained and propelled this 50-member church forward in steady, purposeful steps. About 10 years ago, a new addition was added to the original building, which is located in Talbotton, Georgia.

After the expansion, the congregation purchased 9.5 acres of land located nearby. When an additional 11 acres adjacent to the new property recently became available, the dream of building a new church to better serve the needs of its growing community was born. The need for a loan to acquire the land prompted the Rev. James Emery, pastor of Olive Branch, to contact the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.

Frank Craft, the Foundation’s former director of lending services, assisted Olive Branch with the transaction. “What made the Foundation’s loan so attractive was that it was the best interest rate that we could get, with the best terms of any lender in the community,” Emery said.  “It was a blessing from the beginning. Churches need to know that they really do have a splendid resource that they can tap into for financial need and future planning.”

This article was originally published in the Summer 2010 edition of Faith & Money.