Crossgates umc celebrates over 40 years in crossgates/brandon community
Dale Tennyson tells a great story about mowing his yard, minding his own business, when a man came up and interrupted him. Rev. Tom Price said, “I heard you were a good Methodist and want to know if you’ll help me start a church right here in this subdivision?” With that question, Dot and Dale’s life was changed forever, along with forty seven other members who chartered the church. Those first members were willing to do whatever it took to start a church right here. Well, it actually started in the Rankin County Poultry & Livestock Pavilion. Interesting isn’t it, Jesus’ life began in a barn & so did our church!
Bob & Fran Rester opened their home to the children, but apparently Betts Henley was the boss & kept all the little kids in line. Their vision led to the Crossgates Methodist Children’s Center next door! Back in 1973, the Youth of the church met in different homes. In 2013, they are renovating their sacred space here at the church where they continue to worship, study the bible, & play as they grow closer to God and one another. The Pioneer Sunday School class was the first one founded on May 27th 1973. Robert Bracken & a couple of other men stood in a parking lot & decided they needed a Sunday School class. Now, we have 10 adult Sunday School classes and 10 more for our children and youth! Folks remember Helen Duke playing the piano with one hand & leading the choir with the other! Now, we have Celia on organ, Medero on piano & Ben to lead our very talented Chancel Choir that moves our hearts in worship. On top of that, we have the Beth Watson Memorial Handbell Choir, Youth Choir, and volunteer leaders of our Cherub, Melody Makers, and Carol Choirs. Plus many other talented musicians and singers that bless our worship. This church has always had a heart for Missions from helping out individual families in need to an annual trip to Mexico to Iglesia Metodista de Mexico Misson Juan Wesley. Now, you can do local mission work once a month on our SOUL Saturdays and plans are in the making for an International Mission trip to Brazil to work with Gordon Greathouse, our missionary. We also have dedicated people who work with our Helping Hands Ministry to give assistance to local people in need, as well as our Hearts and Hands Ministry to help out with odd jobs in people’s homes.
There is a reason God planted our church right here and these are just a few snapshots of all the wonderful things that have happened! What a legacy we are given by such great clergy and people willing to do whatever it takes to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Their lives were changed because they were willing to say yes to God! Our lives were changed because they were willing to say yes to God & to do whatever it took to get our church started! Lives continue to be changed by the transformational love of Jesus Christ found in the beloved community at Crossgates UMC!