History


  "The untraditional order of worship and dress code were low-key and informal so as to convey the statement to the community that Faith was a very accepting, non-judgmental group of people who were, at the same time, very structured and committed to being dedicated followers of Christ."


FAITH UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
'A Church With A Challenge'

A NEW CHURCH WAS CONCEIVED

in April, 1980, in the hearts of a small group of dedicated Christians.

PUTTING WORDS INTO ACTIONS

The small group met in homes as well as in the
Clay Civic Center to determine the feasibility of forming a new church and
whether to become independent or remain under the auspices of the United
Methodist Conference. Strong spiritual bonds were beginning to develop and
interweave the fellowship as their dreams were being put into action.
According to the writer of Hebrews, faith is "the substance of things hoped
for, and the evidence of things not seen," and that was all the group had to
sustain their determination of putting words into action. Consequently, when
the name of the new church was being decided, the suggestion of "Faith" seemed
aptly appropriate and was unanimously accepted.

RENTAL HOME ON CAVERN ROAD

District Superintendent Bill Davis presented the
petition to the Conference to recognize Faith as a new church. He provided
tremendous support during the 'crawling' days of learning how a church
functions. On June 5, 1980, Faith was accepted as a member of the North
Alabama Conference in the East Birmingham District.

..A church was born.

CONSTITUTING AND CHARGE CONFERENCE
HELD AT CLAY SCHOOL ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1980

Despite the challenges in facing the many obstacles encountered in forming a
church, Faith United Methodist Church held its first service in the front yard
of a rental house on Crystal Cavern Road on June 15, 1980. Services were held
there for the next five months. Through its determination and accomplishments
in overcoming difficulties, the group was inspired to adopt a motto:
"The
Church With A Challenge."

 

...The molding process had begun.

Because of growth in membership, all services on Cavern Road had to be held
outdoors to accommodate the large attendance. Accompanying musical
instruments included guitars and an organ loaded onto the bed of a pick-up
truck! God must have been well pleased with the church, because, despite the
outdoor services, the weather was always cooperative. The church focused on
'outreach' not so much in drawing people to church, but rather, the church to
people. The untraditional order of worship and dress code were low-key and
informal so as to convey the statement to the community that Faith was a very
accepting, non-judgmental group of people who were, at the same time, very
structured and committed to being dedicated disciples of Christ. Work groups
were formed to assist those in need; there were small group Bible studies,
picnics, pot luck dinners, and many other gestures of love that guided the
fellowship outreach. Committees were formed and officers were elected.

 

...The church was beginning to stand on its feet.

CLAY CIVIC CENTER

With the approach of fall and its accompanying cool weather,
Faith relocated to the Clay Civic Center. The accommodations were now large
enough to contain everyone indoors. In February of 1982, Faith purchased 22
acres on Old Springville Road.

 

CHURCH ON WHEELS

After holding services in either rented or borrowed
facilities, it was a welcome change when the Conference provided Faith with a
new pre-fab building to be placed on the new property in September, 1983.
Skilled and unskilled 'construction workers,' with the assistance of
architectural plans, turned the trailers into a church building by erecting a
wooden front, bell tower, and rear deck, as well as porches and rails. The
congregation was generous, both financially and in terms of service, providing
the church with room dividers, a piano, chairs, hymnals and other items, too
numerous to list, to support the growing demands of the new home.

 

...The church was surviving 'growing pains'

GROUND-BREAKING AND PHASE 1

Through financial sacrifice and digging deeply
into their pockets, the people of Faith 'Freed the Land' by paying off the
mortgage on January 27, 1987. Architectural plans were drawn up and studied
and finally, on November 17, 1988, a ground-breaking ceremony and celebration
were held on the building site of Phase 1. The dream had become a reality and
the people of Faith began construction of Phase 1 of their permanent
facilities. The building was consecrated on August 6, 1989.

 

...the church was maturing and flourishing

THE ETERNAL PHASE

Faith is an on-going process and, whether in a building or
in the heart, the construction must consist of strong spiritual values as well
as lasting building materials, for it to stand firm. Faith United Methodist
Church is standing on such a foundation. With consistent spiritual
nourishment, Faith will meet the challenge of

...fulfilling its purpose in achieving perfection in Eternal Life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

FAITH UMC PASTORS

6/1980 - 6/1981 Dr. Stan Beason and Rev. Homer Hayes
On September 21, 1980, the Constituting and Charge Conference was held at Clay School. Bishop Carl Sanders appointed Dr. Stan Beason to be the organizing pastor, and organize he did! His approach to the ministry was very oriented to the application of Bible principals to everyday life, and he generated an atmosphere of enthusiasm and teamwork. During that time, Rev. Homer Hayes, a retired minister of the North Alabama Conference, was appointed as assistant pastor. Rev. Hayes proved to be a great inspiration to the newly formed church.

6/1981 - 6/1982 Rev. Jean Baer
In it's early days,when Faith needed a pastor, it was a natural assumption for the Conference to consider someone who not only had a good ministry to offer, but was one of a minority status, the female gender, as well. This resulted in the appointment of Rev. Jean Baer in June of 1981. She very graciously served the congregation with her eloquently presented sermons, her caring personality, and her participation in church activities.

6/1982 - 6/1990 Rev. Grant Adams
In June, 1982, when the Conference needed to appoint someone to assist through the growing pains of Faith, it could not have made a better choice than Grant Adams along with his gracious and energetic wife Karen and their three young daughters, Jenny, Jill and Julie. This was proven through his well-prepared and well-presented sermons, his skillful counseling, and overall guidance and love. His ministry had a very profound impact on the church. His tireless energy prevailed in every aspect of his work, and he seemed to have an almost uncanny sense in knowing when and where he was needed. Under Grant's leadership, the Purpose Statement was developed, the church relocated to the property on Old Springville Road, and built the present facility.

6/1990 - 6/1994 Rev. Gary Yarbrough
In 1990, Rev. Gary Yarbrough was appointed to Faith. He came accompanied by his wife Linda, and two teenage children, Mary and Wayne. He often set the mood for a receptive audience with his witty personality and his musical talents before a more serious side would emerge with an inspirational message. He represented Faith well through his active involvement in the community and by always being readily available to meet the needs of his parish.

6/1994 - 6/1995 Rev. Malcolm Barrett
Rev. Malcolm Barrett was appointed in 1994. Among his leadership abilities were his enthusiastic interest in history, his knowledge of the Bible as it related to Methodist doctrine and how it applied to the lives of the congregation. Malcolm came with his wife Cindy and two children, Frances and Hannah.

6/1995 - 1/1997 Rev. Gerald Kimber-White
In 1995, Rev Gerald Kimber-White and his wife Merrie came to Faith with a very strong ministry. With his intellect and dry wit, along with his educated knowledge and spiritual understanding of the Bible, as well as his expertise in teaching and presenting it, he very quickly won the hearts of the congregation! Even though his manner was soft-spoken, the impact of his sermons was loud and clear!

6/1997 - 6/2000 Rev. Lyle Holland
Lyle Holland came in 1997, bringing a ministry with new direction. Among the ideas that he put into action were those of developing closer ties within the church as well as in the community by implementing small Bible-study groups, and by bringing all the churches in Clay together to share special services. Lyle brought with him his bright and capable wife Linda and their two young children, Maggie and Bennett.

6/2000 to 6/2004 Rev. Amy Bowers
In June of 2000, Faith was blessed with a fresh, new note to the tune of Amy Bowers. After hearing her first sermon, Faith was convinced that God would use her to bestow blessings on the church. Her knowledge of the Bible and her ability to convey that knowledge in a people-related and understandable manner was reflected in her interesting and heartfelt messages. She was gentle and thoughtful and had a profound effect on the congregation . She provided the leadership needed for Faith to continue to grow spiritually. Amy's husband Dean was pastor at Springvillle United Methodist Church.

6/2004 to 6/2005 Rev. Lynn Dimon

In June of 2004, Reverend Lynn Dimon was appointed to Faith. An experienced pastor, she came with her husband, Bill, from Huntsville, AL. They have on son, Geoffrey, who is serving in the U.S. Navy. A former Latin and English teacher, she was called to become an ordained minister. One of Lynn's many assets is her ability to incorporate her teaching skills into her ministry, which is reflected in her meaningful and effective sermons. She began her pastorate by inviting the community to come and "Meet the Methodists," a series of teachings she gave on the subject. Included in her other outstanding accomplishments was the tremendous work she did with the children in the Confirmation class and the inspiring study she led on "Companions in Christ." She also created an excellent newsletter, Faith Stories, and under her leadership, the Faith UMC website was revitalized, as well.

6/2005 to 6/2009 Rev. Don Barnett

Rev. Don Barnett came to Faith UMC in 2005, along with his wife, Tangie, and their two sons, Daniel and Micah. Among his many assets
were his inspiring and up-lifting sermons, his strong children's ministry, the interesting and informative studies that he led on select
Biblical topics, as well as his and Tangie's musical talent. He was also known for his caring support of the sick and their families and of many
other ministry needs. Don was also instrumental in employing the group called PEM (Pro-active Evangelism Ministries,) whose purpose was to
lead members to become more effective Christians within the congregation and administrative leadership
and to strengthen spiritual outreach.

6/2009 to Present Rev. Ameila Sims

Our faith is like the air we breathe.
It is only the current breath
that gives life.
Past faith is but a memory,
future faith but a dream,
but today's faith
defines our relationship with God.