REAd below

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

  • Dates to Remember
  • Pentecost Sunday
  • 2018 Pastoral Appointments
  • The MidWeek Forge
  • Coffee With The Pastors
  • Church-Wide Shrimp Boil
  • ShelbyNext
  • Administration and Finance
  • A Note from the Pastor
  • Central's Children's Center
  • Children and Family Ministry
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Camp Wesley Pines [Younger/Older Elementary]
  • Student Ministry
  • College Scholarships
  • 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

May-June 2018, click here.

Click here for the April printable birthday calendar.

Click here for the May printable birthday calendar.

Click here for the June printable birthday calendar. 


May 2

5:30 p.m. - High School Baccalaureate Service

6:00 p.m. - Banquet


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

[April 29 - FINALE Sunday Night]

[RESUMES - August 19, 2018]


10:00 a.m. - Easy Chair Yoga

[meets year-round when church is open]

1:00 p.m. - Prayer Shawl Ministry

[FINAL mid-May / RESUMES mid-August]


9:30 a.m. - Women’s Bible Study

[FINAL June 12 - RESUMES mid-August]


5:00 p.m. - Supper

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

[FINAL - April 18] 

[RESUMES - August 14, 2018]


11:30 a.m. - Lunch Bunch

[does not meet certain holiday weekends]

XYZ - 11:00 a.m.

April 10

May 1 [FINAL]

[RESUMES - September 11]

NAMED UMW - 9:00 a.m.

April 18

May 2

May 16 [FINAL]

CWTP - 10:30 A.M.

April 15

May 20

June 24


April 29

May 27

June 24


MAY 28


May 20

July 29

September 30

November 18


May 30 - June 2


5:00 p.m. - June 3


June 18-22

The church will celebrate Pentecost on May 20, 2018. As the name implies, Pentecost is the 50th day after Easter Sunday, counting both Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday. 

In the Jewish tradition, it was what the Old Testament refers to as the Festival of Weeks. Jesus appeared for 40 days following his resurrection. The disciples witnessed his ascension and then being good Jews gathered to celebrate the Festival of Weeks ten days later in the upper room in Jerusalem. It was at that gathering that the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, sounding like a mighty wind and appearing as though it were tongues of flame above their heads.

This indwelling of the Holy Spirit gave them the courage to begin to witness to all that they had seen and heard of Jesus Christ and thus began a movement that spread quickly through the known world of that time. The church continues to celebrate Pentecost as “the birthday of the church.”  It is known in England as Whit Sunday; in Germany as Pfingsten; and in Italy as Pasqua rosatum.  

2018 Pastoral appointments

Since 2013, Dennis Gossett has served as our Associate Pastor here at Central. He has shared with us his passion for Christ and gentle nature through Senior Adult Ministries, Missions, and Evangelism. Dennis along with his wife, Dawn, have truly left their page in the story of Central United Methodist Church.

The Bishop and Cabinet have identified a ministry opportunity and need that requires Dennis’ gifts and graces. It is with sadness we see him transition from Central to Lead Pastor of Greenwood First United Methodist Church. However, we know that God will use Dennis and Dawn to grow the Kingdom of God in this season of ministry that they are entering.

We will celebrate Dennis and Dawn’s ministry among us at our annual Shrimp Boil on June 3rd and will present them with a token of our love from Central.

As much as our hearts are saddened to see Dennis and Dawn leave us, we rejoice with the appointment of Matthew Farmer and Tim Wise to our Ministerial Staff. Matthew will be leading us in the areas of Missions and Evangelism while Tim will transition into our Senior Adult Ministry in addition to his Chancel Choir Ministry.

Let us continue to pray for our community of faith and ask God to use us to bring others to follow him.

Rev. John Branning

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 and Programs



MAY 20, 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. 


Sunday, June 3, 2018

5:00 p.m. - Soule' Steam Works


Tickets will be on sale in May for our Church-Wide Shrimp Boil. We will have a water slide for the older kids, a water activity for the younger kids, as well as a time of fellowship, and lots of shrimp for everyone. If you do not eat shrimp and would like to special order chicken, please do so when you purchase your ticket. 

Cost: Adults $12 Children $6 (ages 12 & under)

If you have joined our church family in the past year, you will be receiving a special invitation to be our guest for this afternoon of fun!

Once again, we say “THANK YOU” to the Jim McRae Family and the Soule’ Museum Board of Directors who have been gracious in opening the doors of Soule’ Steam Works for an afternoon of fun and fellowship for Central!

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."


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.


Children's Center's Events

April 26th

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

May 1st

11:00 a.m. - Teacher's Luncheon

May 1st

11:15 a.m. - Board Meeting

May 16th

6:00 p.m. - End-of-the-Year Program

(Everyone is invited)

May 24th



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.

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.

"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




 (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 kids K-5TH

  • 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)

additional opportunities for children k-5th Grade

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

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


jUNE 18-22, 2018

               9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.            

Come join us at Central and meet Daniel and hear his story of how he was torn away from his homeland and forced into service of a foreign king. VBS is for children who will be four-years-old [by Aug. 1st] through students who have completed 5th grade. To register or volunteer for VBS, click here 


[If you are volunteering, we will have both a nursery and a special “three-year-old class” available. If childcare is needed, please email Sabrina at]


We will also need volunteers prior to the week of VBS to help us transform the entire 2nd floor of Central into Babylon as we prepare to learn about the adventures of Daniel.  We will need help with props and decorations as well as MANY hands for setup on Sunday, June 18th, and the week of Vacation Bible School.  Sign-up sheets will be in the Crossing [2nd Floor] near the VBS display.


For additional information, please contact:

Becky Roebuck

Erin Honeycutt 


If you have a child who wants to learn more about God and make new friends, then Camp Wesley Pines (Hazlehurst, MS), is the camp for them.

To register or for  more information,  click here.  

The camp dates are listed below:

Younger Elementary (Cost: $140 - includes a t-shirt)

 [entering 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade] (without parent)

  • Monday, July 23rd - Wednesday, July 25th

Older Elementary (Cost: $300 - includes a t-shirt)

[entering 4th, 5th, or 6th not over the age of 12]

  • Monday, June 4th - Friday, June 8th
  • Monday, June 11th - Friday, June 15th
  • Monday, July 2th - Friday, July 6th
  • Monday, July 9th - Friday, July 13th 


Drop-off time is 10:00 a.m. on the first day. 

Pick-up time is 10:00 a.m. on the last day.  


After visiting the website and you still have questions, please contact Sabrina Williams [].

2018 glow-in-the-dark egg hunt

A big "thank you" to all the volunteers who made our annual Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunt a great success and also to those who take the time to teach and love our children every day! 

Sara Scott Davis, Rachel Mason, Anne Preston McRae,  Anna Lacy Ward, Ginger Mason, Jennifer McRae, Nicole Ward, Brad & Linden Barefield, Robbie & Kathleen Boman, Benji Riddle, Lee Williams, Jennifer Ringle, Cassie Davis, April Hosch, and Sabrina Williams


2018 Easter Egg Hunt

Thank you Dr. Matt and Amanda Cassell for opening your home for Central's annual Easter Egg Hunt.  A special "thank you" to Benji Riddle, Emery, Kennon, and Amy Nelson for helping to hide 1000 eggs.  We would also like to say "thank you" to Angie Hales for the petting zoo.

Sweet kids, lovable pets, Easter eggs, fellowship, goodies, and sunshine made this an awesome day for everyone!



As our Sunday 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:

Sunday, April 29th 

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

11th Street Gym

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.


Central's 2018 confirmands

Congratulations to our 2018 Confirmation Class.  On Sunday, March 25th, during the 8:30 Worship Service, Central welcomed seven young disciples as full members, as members of the 2018 Confirmation Class professed their faith in Christ and expressed their desire to unite with our congregation.   Our Confirmands are:

  • Sara Scott Davis
  • Jayden Lucas Fedden
  • Caroline Kenley Hodges
  • Meredith Parks Mitchell
  • Emery Powell Nelson
  • Sarah Dudley Reed
  • Lachlan Lee Thornton


A Baccalaureate Service for our senior high school graduates will be held Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary followed by a banquet in the Fellowship Hall.  If you see any of these students, please congratulate them on their achievement!


Eli Bancroft [Meridian High]

Darby Gillette [Lamar]

Savannah Gonzalez [Northeast]

Cole Gossett [Meridian High]

Elizabeth Hale [Lamar]

Maggie Hawkins [Lamar]

Kyra Howell [West Lauderdale]

DJ McGrew [Lamar]

Cameron Munn [Lamar]

Anna Carole Purvis [Lamar]

Camille Richardson [Lamar]

Davis Thames [Lamar] 

important dates for our youth

  • Make note of these dates:

    • April 18th - Final Wednesday Night Small Groups
    • April 29th - Final Sunday Night Worship

  Scholarships available   

College students who are members of Central UMC are eligible to apply for the following scholarships. All scholarships are paid directly to the school of choice for the applicant.


  •  L.O. Todd Memorial Scholarship:   Church or school related vocation
  • Walter Henderson Memorial Scholarship:  Ministerial vocation
  • Birdie Brooks Memorial Scholarship:  Church related vocation
  • Crooks Memorial Scholarship:  No vocational restriction
  • Virginia Phillips Scholarship:  No vocational restriction
  • H. Lowry Rush, Jr. Scholarship:  Medical related vocation
  • Bob Rivers Memorial Scholarship:  No vocational restriction

Scholarships are awarded by the Scholarship Committee of Central UMC and are based on character, commitment to Central, and need. Applications are available in the church office.

The deadline to receive applications is May 30, 2018.


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!



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

April 18th

May 2nd & 16th

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


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.



Phone Numbers

  • Benji Riddle      601-685-8133
  • Bob Peden       601-938-7868
  • John Branning  769-218-7704
  • Matt Farmer      601-616-7543
  • Tim Wise           228-234-8946


   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               John Branning               769-218-7704

   June 1-3                   Dennis Gossett              919-339-5303

   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          Benji Riddle                    601-685-8133

   July 6-8                    Bob Peden                      

   July 13-15               John Branning

   July 20-22                Benji Riddle

   July 28-29                Matt Farmer


    Aug. 3-5                   Tim Wise