Bryan Wesley UMC Sees Growth by Reaching Area Seniors

Bryan Wesley United Methodist Church has a long and faithful history in the city of Bryan, OH. Through the work, prayer and leadership of both clergy and laity, the church is once again seeing growth. In 2017, they had zero professions of faith and one baptism, and in 2018 they had ten professions of faith and four baptisms.

Bryan Wesley UMC was chosen as the 2018 Northwest Plains District Light of the World award winner at this year's West Ohio Annual Conference. Light of the World churches are outstanding in their commitment to shine the light of God's love into their communities and reach new people for Christ.

The community of Bryan, OH, has a population of about 6,000 people, many of them age 65 and older. The church worships about 200 people on Sunday morning, where the average age is 69.5. For that reason, several of the church's main ministries are directed toward seniors, including a grief support group and a fellowship group that organizes events such as a 'Wholeness Fair,' day trips, and Grandparents' Sunday.

However, the church is located only blocks away from the public school, so the congregation is also planning to focus on family ministries in the near future. This summer, Bryan Wesley UMC started a Freedom School for first through sixth graders that they hope will be a first step toward an after-school program. Supported by the whole community, Bryan Wesley's Freedom School had 29 students who now know just how much the church cares for them.

Other focus areas for the church include worship, music ministries, supporting a children's hospital in Haiti, a monthly food giveaway, and adult Bible studies.

"My hope for Bryan Wesley is to connect with more of the unchurched and de-churched in our community, offering them Christ's grace and love," says second-year Pastor Peter Paige.