Missions’ Philosophy

At Germantown UMC, we see ourselves as “sent” people. We are sent into the world by Jesus to continue the restoring and healing ministries He started while on this earth. Our vision is to become a church where our primary focus is outward to those beyond our culture and context. We are committed to enabling and fostering the spiritual growth of our members through their engagement in missions. Our goal is to have our entire membership involved in missions in some capacity. God has given each of us different gifts for the building of His kingdom, but we are all called to serve.

Disaster Relief for August Flooding

The UMC has been providing supplies and other forms of relief for first responders and those affected by August’s severe weather. Please click here for an updated list of needed supplies and dropoff points for donations.

Good Samaritan Outreach Ministries exists to equip, empower and support youth and families within inner- city Memphis and to effectively reach urban youth and nurture their development into purposeful adulthood. Go to goodsamaritanoutreachchurch.org for more information. Contact Norman Redwing at 901-859-1689 for volunteer opportunities.

Grace Place Prison Ministry

Grace Place Prison Ministry is a mission congregation of the United Methodist Church for female inmates at the Mark H. Luttrell Correctional Center. Along with worship services and communion, the congregation has a host of small groups available to the women, including choir, Bible study, book clubs, crafts and exercise classes.
Go to www.unitedmethodistreporter.com/2012/09/grace-place for more information.

Contact Rev. Diane Harrison at 901-647-5185 for volunteer opportunities.

Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, by Millard and Linda Fuller. Memphis Habitat was founded in 1983 with Savannah Simmons’ house on Jones Street in the SMART area of Memphis, located just off Poplar at Alabama.  There are now more than 500 houses in the Memphis area. Germantown United Methodist provided a room for a meeting in October 1984, but our first work team (7 men) came from the Alpha Class in March 1986, and we have been building one or two houses each year since. In 2017, Germantown UMC completed our 47th house.

Contact Derrick McNeal at 901-834-2217 for volunteer opportunities.

In 2006, an exploratory committee was formed at GUMC to look for ways that our congregation could positively impact the plight of AIDS orphans in Africa. The committee was directed to Methodist missionaries Bill and Jerri Savuto, who were serving at Maua Methodist Hospital (MMH), a rural mission hospital in northeastern Kenya. Later that year, Bill visited GUMC and made a presentation about MMH and the variety of community outreach programs sponsored by the hospital with which mission teams could participate.

Taking advantage of the experience of other U.S. Methodist church teams who had visited Maua, GUMC’s first team went to Maua in 2007. For those participating, it was a life-changing experience and the beginning of a long and close relationship between GUMC and MMH.

Since 2007, GUMC has sent 9 mission teams to Maua with over 65 different persons participating. Our teams have built 9 homes for AIDS orphans, sponsored life and job skills training for over 75 orphans, assisted with hospital renovation and construction projects and delivered thousands of dollars of medical supplies to the hospital, including specialty ophthalmology and cancer surgical equipment. GUMC has also assisted with remote medical clinics, rural school dewormings and has contributed to the start-up and operation of a school for orphans. And GUMC members in the medical field have assisted the staff at the hospital with patient care and educational materials and updates.

More recently, GUMC has partnered with Memorial Drive UMC and Chapelwood UMC from the Houston area to fund a new surgical program at MMH known as SAFE (Surgical Access For Everyone). This program will identify critical surgeries needed in the Maua Catchment Area and will provide funding for these, allowing life-saving medical actions for patients and revenue for the hospital which it would not normally receive.

GUMC has also created links between MMH and the Memphis medical community meeting between MMH representatives and Methodist Hospital in Memphis.

Those interested in providing financial assistance to support Maua Methodist Hospital and its missions may make contributions to GUMC Kenya Mission. These funds will be used by our Mission Team to support specific needs of MMH and its missions and may also be used to purchase medical supplies carried by the Team on its trips. Make checks to GUMC – Kenya Mission.

Those interested in joining a Mission Team to Keny in 2019 should contact Ed Clark.

For more information on the GUMC Kenya mission, you may contact Ed Clark at gec24753@aol.com.

Project Transformation is a children’s literacy program that transforms lives and revitalizes deprived communities by providing educational opportunities for children. The summer program is led by young adults engaged in faith-based internships designed to develop their leadership skills as they explore ministry possibilities. PT promotes opportunities for the churches and communities to build relationships. It has proven to have a tremendous impact on the lives of those that have been involved.

The children who attend this program already are behind in reading, so unless they receive literacy training such as PT provides, are apt to return to school in the fall further behind. The curriculum also promotes social-emotional health in addition to maintaining and increasing reading skills.

GUMC has been partner church of PT since it became a mission of the Memphis United Methodist Church Conference in 2012. The church that Germantown UMC supports with volunteers and funding is Centenary UMC in South Memphis. The primary role members are needed is to serve as reading volunteers for one week in June or July and to provide two meals for the summer interns. Donations that help fund art/craft supplies, new books for the children, and healthy snacks are welcomed.

For further information, contact:
Dan Moore, PT liaison, drm1969msu@gmail.com OR
Bill Whitaker, Mission Chairperson,cabiwhit@earthlink.net

Room In The Inn will operate on a limited basis during the summer months to shelter women. On the first Friday of each month, May through September, GUMC will welcome 12 women to The Cottage for food, fellowship, shelter and love. To register please click here. For more information, please contact Alise Davis at alisedavis4@gmail.com or at 901-496-6402.

This winter, members of Germantown United Methodist Church have found great joy in serving the homeless of Shelby County GUMC has committed to hosting Room in the Inn every Friday night November through March, providing a warm meal, showers, a safe clean bed in which to sleep, and breakfast the next morning. Hospitality is the primary goal of this mission, extending a helping hand and a place of acceptance, non-violence, and love to those in need.

Faith-based Streets Ministries provides a safe haven for at-risk students to come after school with programs to meet specific needs of each student. They have a wide variety of educational, mentoring and athletic programs to meet specific physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Go to www.streetsministries.org for more information and volunteer opportunities.

As Jeremiah points out, everyone’s well-being is connected, no matter where we live. The Urban Haven Project and its work in Shelby County schools lives out this Scriptural truth. Our involvement began a decade ago as an Adopt-A-School partner with a single
North-Memphis school, Caldwell Elementary. Since then, this mission offered many volunteer opportunities for church members throughout the year, but its primary focus is providing reading support for elementary students. We co-developed the Team Read program for second graders and have coaches or tutors in two elementary schools—Memphis Scholars at Caldwell-Guthrie and Belle Forest throughout the school year. The Urban Haven Project also includes a Weekend Backpack Program and Project Transformation, a summer tutoring program that supports undeserved children and families, and connect churches to communities in need to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry.

The Team Read concept of tutoring or coaching developed by GUMC volunteers and Caldwell-Guthrie professionals was so successful at helping children learn the 1,000 foundational words of reading that Shelby County Schools (SCS) adopted it as the model for its schools.  Without knowing these foundational or sight (or Fry) words instantly no one can read.

A study by SCS showed second graders who were coached gained nearly 200 more foundational words in a year than students who had no coaching. In addition, coached students performed statistically better on SAT II reading skill tests than non-coached students. GUMC first year results at Caldwell-Guthrie showed 73% of students gained 200 words or more (two Fry word levels), and our subsequent years were just as impressive. GUMC’s Team Read includes more than 65 coaches during the year — providing second graders with a coach twice a week.

For information on Team Read contact GUMC Head Coach JackieFlaum at jrflaum@yahoo.com.

The Weekend Food Program

Germantown UMC volunteers began a program in April of 2013, to provide food on the weekends to food-insecure children—children who often do not know where or what they will have to eat on the weekend. Currently, we are serving 350 children (identified as those most in need) due to the generosity of many in our church and community!

It takes $300 to sponsor one child for the school year. The food comes from the Mid-South Food Bank and is a nutritional assortment of cereal, fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, rice, protein foods; all child-friendly, and easy to prepare! The volunteer team packs the food and delivers it to Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary School, and the children receive the food on Friday afternoon—6 meals for the weekend!

To support a child, give a check payable to GUMC and note it is for “Weekend Food Program.”

Questions? Contact Barbara Schanson at barcons@comcast.net.