Sowing Their Own Seeds In Ministry

Path 1 residents

Path 1 residents acquiring church-planting strategies by serving in North Texas Conference churches

North Texas Conference aims to make sure every church is planting. Some churches plant a new ministry in the community while others develop leaders to start a new place. The Center for Church Development oversees the church planting. 

Path 1 New Church Starts is the denominational church-planting movement of The United Methodist Church. Path 1 creates partnerships between Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church and annual conferences. The partnership provides funds and training to individuals called to plant churches through the High Impact Church Planting Residency Program (HIRP). Residents serve on a church staff while receiving training and practical experience.  

“The Path 1 residency allows leaders to continue to build their capacity by both growing in their knowledge and developing wisdom through practice in order to be prepared for the difficult and rewarding journey of starting a new faith community,” said Matt Temple, associate director of Church Planting for the Center for Church Development. 

The North Texas Conference currently hosts five of the seven Path 1 residents across the denomination that started in July. For one year, residents serve in a teaching church preparing them for planting high impact faith communities.  

“We are excited to partner with planters, host church mentors, District Superintendents and the Church Development office in North Texas to help train and equip the future planters of Methodism,” said Rev. Rachel Gilmore, who serves as director of recruiting, assessing, training community engagement and church planting/Path 1 for Discipleship Ministries.

The five HIRP residents for the North Texas Conference will serve in four churches:

  • Jesseca Aziz will serve at Grace Avenue UMC working with Revs. Billy and Laura Echols-Richter.
  • Rev. Josh Esparza will serve as campus pastor to Owenwood Farm and Neighbor Space, the second campus of White Rock UMC with mentor Rev. Mitchell Boone.
  • Flor Granillo will serve at Casa Linda UMC with the mentor Rev. Edgar Bazan-Garza.
  • Rev. Payton Parker will serve at The Village UMC with mentor Rev. Derek Jacobs.
  • Rev. Courtney Schultz, like Aziz, will be mentored by Revs. Billy and Laura Echols-Richter at Grace Avenue UMC.

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2019