REAd below

The February-March-April Issue of The Central Call is complete on this page. (Scroll down for all the news.)

  • Dates to Remember
  • Lenten Worship & Luncheon
  • Palm Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday Service
  • Easter Sunday
  • The MidWeek Forge
  • Rise Against Hunger [formerly Stop Hunger Now)
  • ShelbyNext
  • Administration and Finance
  • Coffee With The Pastors
  • A Note from the Pastor
  • Central's Children's Center
  • Children and Family Ministry
  • Student Ministry
  • Senior Adult Ministry
  • Missions
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • United Methodist Women
  • Music Ministry
  • On-Call Ministry

If you would like to print a pdf version of The Central Call for

February-March-April, click here.

Click here for the February printable birthday calendar.

Click here for the March printable birthday calendar.

Click here for the April printable birthday calendar.



5:30 p.m. - Zone/Club 412/Youth Worship

[March 11 - NO MEETING

[April 29 - FINALE Sunday Night ]


10:00 a.m. - Easy Chair Yoga

1:00 p.m. - Prayer Shawl Ministry


9:30 a.m. - Women’s Bible Study


5:00 p.m. - Supper

6:00 p.m. - MidWeek Forge/Programming

[March 14 - No Supper/Forge/Programs ]

[April 18 - FINAL Forge/Programs ]

[April 25 - FINAL Supper]


11:30 a.m. - Lunch Bunch

[March 30 - Will Not Meet]

XYZ - 11:00 a.m.

March 6

April 10

NAMED UMW - 9:00 a.m.

February 27

March 7

March 21

April 4

April 18

May 2

May 16

CWTP - 10:30 A.M.

March 18

April 15


February 25

March 25

April 29


March 11


March 18



Confirmation at both the 8:30 and 10:55 Services

3:00 p.m. - Easter Egg Hunt



7:00 p.m. - Maundy Service




April 2


April 25

Lenten worship

The downtown churches will once again gather for Worship and Lunch each Thursday during the season of Lent. Worship will begin at 12:05 p.m. with a short message by one of the pastors of the host church followed by lunch.

            February 22nd           Central United Methodist        Rev. John Branning

            March 1st                     First Baptist Church                 Dr. Scott Hummel

            March 8th                   St. Paul’s Episcopal Church     Rev. Austin McGehee

            March 15th                  St. Patrick Catholic Church      Father Matthew Simmons

            March 22nd                First Christian Church              Dr. Mark Benson

        easter sunday, April 1

W o r s h i p   S e r v i c e 

8:30 - Contemporary

9:45 - CONNECT Service

10:55 - Traditional

S u n d a y  S c h o o l

9:45 a.m.

the forge

The MidWeek Forge, “where iron sharpens iron,” is our Wednesday night activity for adults.  

[Children and Students have their own opportunities. ]

Our evening begins with Supper at 5:00 p.m. for everyone!  

To Make Your Meal Reservation, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

6:00 p.m. - The MidWeek Forge

(See the "Dates to Remember" section for dates we don't meet.)

[formerly STOP HUNGER NOW]

Mark your calendars for:

Wednesday night, April 25, 2018

5:00 p.m. - Supper [Fellowship Hall]

6:00 p.m. - Packing Event  [11th Street Gym]


For more information about Rise Against Hunger, visit:


shelbynext mobile

For an online instructional video for the apps listed, click on the link below:

You may also call the church office (601-693-1521) if you need additional help.


    To access the ShelbyNext Membership app, follow the instructions below:

    1. In your App store search for "ShelbyNext" 
    2. Download and install the "ShelbyNext | Membership" app
    3. Open the ShelbyNext Membership app
    4. In place of "domain" insert "cumcmdn" 
    5. In the Name field insert your name First.Last   (Notice that there are no spaces but that there is a period between the first name and last name.)
    6. If you know your password insert it here otherwise click "forgot password?" 
    7. You will receive an email with a random password
    8. Insert that password in the field  (You will probably want to change that password to one you can remember.) 

    If this does not work, then you may not have entered your name as we have it on file. (Generally, your first name is your preferred name in Shelby.)

  • Give using the mobile app

    To access the ShelbyNext Giving app, follow the instructions below:

    1. In your App store search for "ShelbyNext"
    2. Download and install the ShelbyNext | Giving app
    3. You will need to establish an account the first time with your credit card or bank account information. 

    You can then use the app to make donations to any of Central's funds, even using the other field to specify a fund that is not listed.

  • "Central methodist community" APP

    You may also want to download our “Central Community” app. This app will give you more detailed information about life at Central. To download the app, in your app store search for "Central Community" and install the app. You may need to narrow the search further by adding either "Methodist" and/or "Meridian."


JUST A REMINDER that you will no longer receive your Statement of Giving each quarter. You will receive your End-of-Year Statement the first of January via email or mail. If you wish to view your contributions at any time, you may do so by signing in under your personal profile using ShelbyNext. Your profile information [username; password] was sent to you previously. If you do not have this information, please contact the church office and someone will be glad to assist you.


MARCH 18, 2018

10:30 a.m. - Wesley Room

The Pastors and staff of Central offer Coffee with the Pastors to give inquirers the opportunity to come together in a small group setting and learn more about Central UMC, its mission, Methodism, and membership expectations. Also, it is a time when we can learn more about you and your family. For those that are attending, there is no obligation to make a commitment, however, you may join at the conclusion of the "coffee" and be baptized if needed. 

"What is God's will for us at Central?"  

As I begin my fifth year as the Lead Pastor of Central, I want to thank you for the love and support that you have shown me. You cared for my family during my deployment and you have embodied on a daily basis the IronMaker ethos.

It is time for us to cast our eyes to the future of Central. Over the next year, I challenge all of us to ask the question "What is God's will for us at Central?"  This is a deeply spiritual question that asks God to direct the path of our community of faith and to show us how we are to shape the ministries and focus of Central.

I also ask that we remain faithful to the task of stewardship as we financially support Central and minister to Meridian and the world. I firmly believe that our greatest days are before us and that life is truly better connected.

Rev. John Branning


If you would like information about Central's Children's Center or would like a tour of their facility,

please contact:  Glenda Thomas (Center’s Director) at (601) 483-8502.


Fall registration will be held February 26th & 27th. [Please see calendar below for specifics.]
If you have any questions or are interested in registering your child, please contact Glenda Thomas at the Children’s Center [morning hours] or at home [evenings].  This program is for children 1 - 4 years of age.
(Child must be one-year-old by September 1, 2018).

Children's Center's Events

Feb. 26th

8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m. - Fall Registration

[For church members not presently enrolled.]

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

[For siblings of former students.]


Feb. 27th

8:30 a.m. - 1200 p.m. - Fall Registration

[For all new students…until classes are full.]


Feb. 28th

8:30 a.m. - CCC Board Meeting

9:00 a.m. - Sock Hop/3-yr-olds

March 8th

9:00 a.m. - Teddy Bear Picnic/3-yr-olds

March 12th - March 16th

CLOSED - Spring Break


March 19th

8:30 a.m. - Parent Conf./3-yr-olds


March 22nd

8:30 a.m. - Parent Conf./3-yr-olds [older]


March 28th

8:30 a.m. - CCC Board Meeting

March 30th & April 2nd

CLOSED - Easter Holiday


April 12th

8:15 a.m. - St. Jude Activity Day

April 13th

11:00 a.m. - St. Jude Parade

April 19th

8:30 a.m. - Conf./Older 4-yr-olds

April 25th

8:30 a.m. - CCC Board Meeting

April 26th

8:30 a.m. - Conf./Younger 4-yr-olds




 (For more information and updates on Children’s activities at Central,

visit our Central UMC Children’s page on Facebook and send us a friend request.)

For additional information contact Central's Director of Children Ministry, Sabrina Williams at

Activities for Children K - 5th Grade:

  • 1st -5th Grade Rotation Sunday School

The children meet in Central Park [Children’s Floor] every Sunday morning at 9:40 for “gathering time;” then at 10 a.m., each class goes to their designated workshop.

  • Wednesday Night Programming for K-5th Grade

Dinner: 5:00-6:00 p.m. [Fellowship Hall-reservations required]

Lesson: 6:00-7:00 p.m. [10th Street Gym - Power Up Kids]

  • Sunday Nights [The Zone K-3rd Grade/Club 412 4th & 5th Grade]

Dinner: 5:30 p.m. [Kitchen & Stage in the 11th Street Gym]

Lesson: 6:00 p.m. Zone (Skills/Drills)/Club 412 (Small Groups)

glow-in-the-dark egg hunt

For Club 412 [4th & 5th Grade]

Friday, March 23rd 

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.  

11th Street Gym - Central UMC



Sunday, March 25, 2018

3:00-4:30 P.M.

(Birth - 3rd Grade)

Host Home:  Matt & Amanda Cassell [7364 Savannah Dr.]


Zone/Club 412 [k-5th GRADE]


Sunday, April 8, 2018

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Skate Odyssey

Cost: $5

(Families are welcome to stay.

Grab a pair of skates and join us or sit back and relax!)


As our Wednesday Nights come to an end, it's time for a party!

Bring a snack to share and two cans of Silly String, and join us on:

Wednesday, April 25th 

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

11th Street Gym

additional opportunities for children k-5th Grade

Children's Music & Liturgical Dance [with Caroline Carnes]

The elementary children will perform their programs on Sunday evening, December 18, 2017.

  • Music Practice will be held during regular meeting times.
  • Liturgical Dance Practice will begin in November.

Student ministry 


  • Sunday School:  Sunday mornings at 9:45 on the Youth Floor
  • Sunday Night Worship:  5:40 - 7:00 p.m. 
  • Wednesday Nights:  5:30 - 7:00 p.m.


Want more details?

Sign up for the Weekly Youth Email Newsletter by emailing

Benji Riddle at or visiting our webpage by clicking here.

If you would like to join the REMIND texting group, text @cumcyouthp to 81010.

important dates for our youth

  • Confirmation sunday

    Join us on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at both the 8:30 and 10:55 Worship Services.  Central will welcome seven young disciples as full members, as members of the 2018 Confirmation Class profess their faith in Christ and express their desire to unite with our congregation.

    The 2018 Confirmands are:

    Sara Scott Davis, Jayden Fedden, Caroline Hodges, Meredith Mitchell, Emery Nelson, Sarah Dudley Reed, and Lachlan Thornton

  • Make note of these dates:

    • March 11th and March 14th - Spring Break Week - Will Not Meet
    • April 18th - Final Wednesday Night Small Groups
    • April 29th - Final Sunday Night Worship

Fifth-Grade Students move up to youth ministry

On Sunday, August 6th, Youth Ministry welcomed fourteen excited fifth-grade students to the Youth Floor to become a part of their ministry group.

Colton Bohl

Kristopher Booker

Lilliana Burkes

Sara Scott Davis

Jordyn Eldridge

Jayden Fedden

Caroline Hodges

Nicholas Lewis

Meredith Mitchell

Emery Nelson

Sarah Dudley Reed

Jake Rodgers

Lachlan Thornton

Braxton Whitaker


Central's 2017 high school graduates

Congratulations to our 2017 high school graduates.  A Baccalaureate Service/Banquet for our graduates was held on Wednesday, May 3rd.  Our graduates are:

  • Madison Anderson [Lamar]
  • Caden Clodfelter [Lamar]
  • Kayla Feist [West Lauderdale]
  • Cassie Hines [Meridian High]
  • Wes McRae [Lamar ]
  • Matthew Moore [Newton County Academy]
  • Caroline Parker [Lamar]
  • Heather Roberts [Meridian High]
  • Kamryn Shields [West Lauderdale]
  • Brad Stokes [West Lauderdale]
  • Tate Thompson [Lamar]
  • Hannah Thornton [Lamar]
  • Madi Thornton [Lamar]


SAM is is a group of 50+ senior adults from Central UMC, Meridian, MS. 

Our goal is to fellowship with our hearts focused on the Lord.
Everyone is welcome to join us!



You can stay connected to our Senior Adult Ministry by visiting our new Facebook page “Central UMC’s SAM.”  Choose “Join Group” and a request will be sent for you to become a member. We have almost 100 members to date!



Lunch Bunch is a group of Senior Adults who meet each Friday at 11:30 a.m. (unless notified otherwise).  They meet in the Adult Activities Room [3rd Floor] for fellowship and a meal.

Meal cost: $5

(We need volunteers to help decorate tables and occasionally prepare a meal.

If you are interested, please contact Dennis Gossett.)



XYZ - Extra Years of Zest

This group of Senior Adults meet the first Tuesday of each month (unless notified otherwise) starting with an exciting program.  After the program, they enjoy a meal together which is only $6.

You do not have to be a senior adult to attend.  Everyone is welcome!   If you wish to attend, please call the church office at 601-693-1521. [Reservations Required]


Central’s Prayer Shawl Ministry meets throughout the school year. This ministry serves as a mission and small group opportunity. A group of ladies come together to crochet, knit, and share their spiritual walk. This group meets every Monday at 1:00 p.m. in the Library [1st Floor].

If you would like to learn how to crochet/knit, this group of ladies would love to share their talents with you. If you already know how to crochet/knit, you are welcome to join us too!

Blessing of the Prayer Shawls - Sunday, October 8th

[All three Worship Services]



Tuesday, March 20th - 2:00 p.m. - Home of Peggy Eakes

If you are interested and need a ride, please contact Glenda Thomas [601-483-8502].


Meets the first and third Wednesday of each month 9:00 a.m. - Room #351

March 7th & 21st

April 4th & 18th

May 2nd & 16th

If you have any questions, please contact Julie Quigley at [601- 934-4046].


Tuesday, February 27th - 2:00 p.m. - Adult Activities Room

Representatives from all Circles are urged to attend this meeting.

Rev. John Branning will be the guest speaker.

The Board Members will host the meeting and are asked to bring finger foods to share.


March 2-3 - Conference Spiritual Growth Retreat-Camp Wesley Pines, Gallman, MS. 

Elizabeth Wilkinson will lead the retreat.

For information regarding registration for this event, please contact:

Elizabeth Wilkinson at


If you are interested in using your musical gifts and talents in any of our three worship services, please contact Tim Wise or Bob Peden.



   February 23-25         Bob Peden                   601-938-7868

   March 1-2                 Dennis Gossett            919-339-5303

   March 9-11               John Branning              769-218-7704

   March 16-18             Benji Riddle                  601-685-8133

   March 23-25             Bob Peden                   601-938-7868

   March 30-April 1       Dennis Gossett            919-339-5303

   April 6-8                    John Branning              769-218-7704

   April 13-15               Benji Riddle                  601-685-8133

   April 20-22               Bob Peden                   601-938-7868

   April 27-29               Dennis Gossett            919-339-5303

   May 4-6                   John Branning               769-218-7704

   May 11-13               Benji Riddle                   601-685-8133

   May 18-20               Bob Peden                    601-938-7868

   May 25-27               Dennis Gossett             919-339-5303

   June 1-3                  John Branning               769-218-7704

   June 8-10                Benji Riddle                   601-685-8133

   June 15-17              Bob Peden                     601-938-7868

   June 22-24              Dennis Gossett              919-339-5303

   June 29-July 1         John Branning                769-218-7704

   July 6-8                   Benji Riddle                    601-685-8133

   July 13-15               Bob Peden                     601-938-7868

   July 20-22               Dennis Gossett              919-339-5303