St. Timothy UMC Gets a Face-Lift!
St. Timothy UMC in Stone Mountain received a face-lift that enhances the worship experience and look, functionality and safety of its facilities. The renovations are being funded primarily by a low-interest loan from the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.
“We paid off our mortgage for a building that was built in 1987 and realized there were several major improvements that we needed to make that were essential for our present ministry,” said Rev. Ellynda Lipsey, senior pastor of St. Timothy UMC. “We hope to attract new members as people sense the newness and more inviting appeal.”
Updates to the sanctuary included a new air conditioning and heating system and projection screens for audio/visual presentations. The fellowship hall and cafeteria at St. Timothy School, which is a Methodist School of Excellence for preschool through fifth grade, received new flooring. Unsightly fascia boards were replaced with low-maintenance siding. Roofing issues and problem areas in the parking lot were also addressed.
There were several reasons the leadership at St. Timothy UMC chose to partner with the Foundation. “The Foundation offered a better rate, provided sound advice and personal attention, and served as a good stewardship resource,” Ellynda said. “They are investing in our future as we offer hope, hospitality, the beauty of holiness, and a safe place for folks of all ages.”
The fact that the Foundation is part of the United Methodist connection was also important. “We are a multicultural church family with 25 nations represented. This was an opportunity for our congregation to understand that we are part of a network of churches that draws strength from a broader base. Others can benefit from our story and how we were able to do this face-lift because we were connected.”
Ellynda’s history with the congregation dates back to 1994 when she first served as an associate pastor until 1997. She was reappointed as senior pastor in 2003 and has been faithfully serving St. Timothy UMC ever since.
The vision of St. Timothy UMC is to be a church filled with people of all nations who are on fire with the love of Jesus.
“This is a very transitional congregation that has changed its demographic makeup every year,” Ellynda said. “We have folks from 12 nations in Africa, seven nations in the Caribbean, England, Germany, Pakistan, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Then there are our African-American and European-American members.”
The theme for St. Timothy UMC’s revival is “New Beginnings.”
“God is doing new things at our church, and they aren’t just cosmetic,” Ellynda said. “We are working on all fronts to attract more folks.”
St. Timothy UMC has been recognized as a Church of Excellence in Outreach by the North Georgia Conference. Some examples of its outreach programs are listed below.
St. Timothy School – This ministry has served the Stone Mountain community since 1972. The leadership also conducts preschool and elementary education workshops in North Georgia.
Hub for Community Gatherings – Each month, St. Timothy UMC hosts community events such as Pride Rings in Stone Mountain. This nonprofit organization promotes pride in the community.
Community Partnerships – St. Timothy UMC partners with other denominations and outreach programs to feed and minister to transient and homeless individuals in the community. Last year, they gave away over a ton of food through the Stone Mountain Cooperative Ministry.
Lord of the Dance – Through this initiative, St. Timothy UMC works with partners to promote health, wellness, peace and prosperity in the community.
Sports Ministry – This weekly program led by college students offers dozens of kids the opportunity to play basketball at St. Timothy UMC.
Forever Young Inside – This program, designed for folks ages 50 and older, is one of the fastest growing ministries at St. Timothy UMC.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2014 edition of Faith & Money.