“Antwerp United Methodist Church has always been a church committed to reaching their community,” says Northwest Plains District Superintendent Barry Burns, “but they have renewed that commitment to engage their community as it is, and not just as it once was.”
Recipient of this year’s West Ohio Conference One Matters Award, Antwerp UMC is a rural congregation in Northwest Ohio with a blended worship service that typically sees about 90-100 attendees on Sunday morning.
In 2018, the church had no professions of faith or baptisms, but just one year later, they saw that number rise to 16! Still, Rev. Michael Schneider, in his 15th year at Antwerp, insists that the church has done nothing out of the ordinary to achieve these numbers. And perhaps that is key – doing solid ministry year-in and year-out by providing a consistent, Christ-centered witness to their community of 1,700 people. “The biggest difference is yet to come,” Pastor Schneider says. “The adults who joined are very interested in becoming more involved. And the younger members will be able to assume leadership as our older members step back.”
The One Matters Award is presented by Discipleship Ministries to a church with a renewed focus on discipleship that is turning zeros in professions of faith and baptisms into positive numbers. The award includes $1,000 to encourage continued outreach and growth. The people of Antwerp UMC are committed to being a witness for Christ as they focus on their mission of loving God and loving others. Congratulations, Antwerp UMC!