Warren UMC and Zip Code Connection to test ministry model

Andrew Fiser and Joshua Manning

Church seeks to become a prime resource at corner of MLK and Malcolm X

Beginning March 1, 2018, Warren UMC and its pastor, Rev. Joshua Manning, started a test phase of a partnership with the Zip Code Connection to live into a call to become a ministry hub for the South Dallas/Fair Park community.

As part of the Center for Missional Outreach’s pivot toward catalyzing local church efforts, the Zip Code Connection is exploring ways to engage the South Dallas/Fair Park and the Clarksville/Red River County areas through local churches, existing organizations and in partnership with pastors and laity who are passionate about and committed to connecting to their community in a deep and relational way. Over the next few months, this effort is aimed at encouraging and resourcing Warren UMC to be the church at the corner of Malcolm X and MLK boulevards in Dallas.

In a church meeting Jan. 21, Rev. Andy Lewis, the director of the North Texas Conference’s Center for Missional Outreach, said that the conference remains committed to being in ministry with the people of South Dallas/Fair Park and to the vision of it becoming a vibrant place for operating businesses and raising families.


Rev. Lewis said the conference believes that the people of Warren UMC, with their commitment to remain in South Dallas/Fair Park and their openness to participating in a new model of ministry, will be excellent partners in this work. On Feb. 25, a church conference decided by consensus to pursue this partnership.

The practicalities of this partnership include Rev. Manning intentionally focusing half of his time and work outward. This means meeting with area residents, leaders and potential partners with whom the church can collaborate to impact the lives of neighbors. Rev. Manning also will create an advisory team of congregants and others who love Jesus as well as the neighborhood to discern a vision for going about their work following the Holy Conversations process facilitated by the Texas Methodist Foundation staff.

As part of its encouragement for this work, the Zip Code Connection will help Rev. Manning move to full-time status and provide some financial resources to assist with connecting with the community. In addition, Rev. Andrew Fiser, the Associate Director for Zip Code Connection, will office at Warren and assist with creating partnerships that will impact the neighborhood. This will include convening gatherings of UMC-related churches and organizations that have ties to South Dallas/Fair Park to explore ways to collaborate and innovate together.

If you would like more information on ways you can be involved, please contact Rev. Fiser at [email protected] or 972-526-5018.

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2018