REAd below

The current information for The Central Call is complete on this page. (Scroll down for all the news.)

  • Weekly Opportunities/Dates to Remember
  • Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday
  • NOW [Nights of Worship]
  • VBS 2019 [June 24-28]
  • The MidWeek Forge
  • The NextStep
  • ShelbyNext
  • Administration and Finance
  • A Note from the Pastor
  • Central's Children's Center
  • Children and Family Ministry
  • Student Ministry
  • Retreat for Adults 55 & Older
  • Senior Adult Ministry
  • Missions
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • Backpack Buddies [Mission Opportunity]
  • Music Ministry
  • On-Call Ministry Staff

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

March-April-May 2019, click here.

Click here for the March printable birthday calendar.

Click here for the April printable birthday calendar.

Click here for the May printable birthday calendar.

weekly opportunities/dates to remember


8:30 a.m. - Contemporary Worship

(Fellowship Hall)

9:45 a.m. - Sunday School

9:45 a.m. - CONNECT Worship (Fellowship Hall)

10:55 a.m. - Traditional Worship (Sanctuary)

SUNDAY NIGHTS - 5:30 p.m.

Zone/Club 412/Youth Worship

[Will Not Meet:  April 14; April 21]



10:00 a.m. - Easy Chair Yoga

[meets year-round when church is open]

1:00 p.m. - Prayer Shawl Ministry

[4/22 will not meet - Office Closed]


9:30 a.m. - Women’s Bible Study

6:30 p.m. - Praise Band Practice


10:00 a.m. - Easy Chair Yoga

[meets year-round when church is open]


5:00 p.m. - Supper

6:00 p.m. - MidWeek Forge/Programs for Children/Youth

(during the school year - FINAL NIGHT MAY 1ST)

7:00 p.m. - Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal


6:30 p.m. - CONNECT Band Practice


11:30 a.m. - Lunch Bunch



                                                           7:00 p.m. - April 18 - No Trip/MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE                            

                                                        4:30 p.m. - May 16 - Harvest Grille [Meridian, MS] 

                                                       10:00 a.m. - May 25 [To Be Determined]

THE NEXTSTEP - 10:30 a.m.

May 19

June 16

July 21

August 18

October 20

November 17

XYZ - 11:00 a.m.

May 7 [FINAL]


May 19

July 21

SPRC MEETING - 5:00 p.m.

April 28

May 26

ASHER CIRCLE - 2:00 p.m.

April 16

May 21

NOW (Nights of Worship) SERVICES - 6:00 p.m.

April 28


[For Club 412 Students]



EASTER EGG HUNT - 3:00 p.m.

[For Children Birth - 3rd Grade - Host Home: Cassell]

[No Children/Youth Programs]






5:30 p.m. - Service [Sanctuary]

6:00 p.m. - Banquet [Fellowship Hall]



CREATED BY GOD - MAY 19 - 2:00 p.m.

 [For 5th & 6th Graders]





Lenten Season


It’s not too early to start planning for VBS 2019!

If you want to imagine what it feels like to leave a life of privilege and power to face angry mobs, painful imprisonment, and chain-breaking earthquakes—all to spread the life-changing truth of God’s love, then come join us at Central June 24-28 and meet Paul and hear his story of his dangerous journey to spread the life-changing truth of God’s love.

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, please click on the

website listed here:

Volunteer sign-up sheets will also be available in the Crossing on the [2nd Floor].

We need volunteers prior to the week of VBS to help with props and decorations as well as help with setup on Sunday, June 23rd, and the week of Vacation Bible School.

For additional information, please contact:

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.

For the menu, PLEASE CLICK HERE.


Adults $7

Kids $4

Maximum family $25

6:00 p.m. - The MidWeek Forge and Programs

During our MidWeek Forge adult study, we will focus our tactical teaching around the following points that will challenge us as a follower of Jesus. They are:

  1.   Jan 9: Integrity
  2.   Jan 16: Spiritual Warfare
  3.   Jan 23: Identity In Christ
  4.   Jan 30: Fighting Isolation
  5.   Feb 6: Biblical Leadership
  6.   Feb 13: Freedom in Christ
  7.   Feb 20: Discontented Heart
  8.   Feb 27: Getting Back To Grace
  9.   March 6:  ASH WEDNESDAY [Meal in the gym/Prayer Walk/No Programs]
  10.   March 13:  SPRING BREAK [No Meal/No Activities]
  11.   Mar 20: Counting It All Joy
  12.   Mar 27: Living Intentionally
  13.   Apr 3:  Keeping It Simple
  14.   Apr 10:  Cultivating Healthy Relationships
  15.   Apr 17: Coping with Change and Crisis
  16.   Apr 24: Being on the Same Team
  17.   May 1: Using your Gifts to Serve Others


MAY 19, 2018

10:30 A.M. - WESLEY ROOM



If you are interested in learning more about Central or have been attending and want to join our community, NextStep is for you.


With NextStep, we have designed a brief small group experience to engage and connect you with our leaders and community.  This is a time for you to ask questions and grow in your understanding of our history and structure.


NextStep also provides you the opportunity to join with us in your faith journey by becoming a member of our community. 

We really do feel that life is better connected and think that NextStep is a great way for us to connect with one another.


shelbynext mobile

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

Central App

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 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


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) 693-0830.

This year, the Childcare Center is offering an Early Bird Program (beginning at 7:50 a.m. each morning)

and two "stay-and-play" days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Both of these programs are separate from our normal hours and will be an additional fee.




St. Jude Parade

APRIL 19 and APRIL 25

Easter Holiday - CENTER CLOSED


Conferences [4-year-olds]


Conferences [4-year-olds]


Teachers' Luncheon

MAY 15

End-of-the-Year Program/Graduation

MAY 22

Last Day of School for Students

Children's Center's

upcoming events

  • St. Jude Week

    During the Week of April 8th, CCC will host a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital [Memphis, TN].

    • April 12 - St. Jude Parade [through downtown Meridian]   The parade will begin in front of the church at 11:00 a.m.  Come see the children dressed in costumes with their awesome floats (made on wagons). Last year, we raised $15,000 for St. Jude.

  • Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10, 2019.  To show our appreciation, we will have a luncheon for our teachers on May 7.

  •                 end-0f-the-year


    Join us on


    May 15th- 6 p.m.

    to see our three and four-year-old classes perform: 

    “Down By The Creek Bank


  • If there is enough interest and we have teachers available, there is a possibility that we may offer a Summer Mothers’ Morning Out Program. If anyone is interested in participating as a teacher or enrolling their child, please contact Glenda Thomas at (601) 693-0830.

    In the past, the Center was opened to children who would turn one year old by September 1st through those children who are presently in Kindergarten. A decision concerning this age issue will be made by the CCC Board during our meeting in April.


 (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

created by god!

Created by God is open to 5th & 6th grade students. The class will be held on Sunday, May 19th, from 2:00-7:00 p.m. in the Cinema [3rd Floor]. If you have questions or need more information, please contact 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 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.  [FINAL MAY 5, 2019] 
  • Wednesday Nights:  5:30 - 7:00 p.m.  [FINAL MAY 1, 2019]  


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.


  • CONFIRMATION - april 14, 2019

    Join us on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at both the 8:30 and 10:55 Worship Services. Central will welcome ten members of the 2019 Confirmation Class into full membership as they profess their faith in Christ and express their desire to unite with our congregation.

    Madison Barefield

    Gracie Boman

    Aidan Branning

    Caroline Fruge

    Emma Hale

    Anabelle Hodges

    Samuel Hosch

    Jett Morgan

    Katie Rush


    MAY 8, 2019

    Service - 5:30 p.m. [Sanctuary]

    banquet - 6:00 p.m. [Fellowship Hall]

    We invite everyone to attend the banquet.  Reservations must be made through the church office by May 1st.  Cost for guests is the same as Wednesday Night.  No charge for honorees and their families.

BREAKTHru 2019!

central umc students

Out students had a blast at BreakThru this year.  A big thank you to all of the volunteers who accompanied us on this journey of faith.  Per Kevin Hatch, "I saw each and every one of our youth take a giant step in their spiritual journey. Praying they will continue to make Christ their #truenorth in 2019!"


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

 (If you would like to volunteer to help decorate tables, please contact Tim Wise.)


XYZ - Extra Years of Zest

This group of Senior Adults meet the first Tuesday of each month [September - May) starting with an exciting program.  After the program, they enjoy a meal together which is only $7.

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]



Join us for a retreat to Lake Junaluska on August 4-9, 2019. Total Cost: $600 [ includes lodging, twelve meals, transportation, and participation in Festival of Wisdom and Grace.] A non-refundable deposit of $250 is due by May 17th, and the final payment is due by Friday, June 21st. Optional activities are available at an additional cost [Biltmore Estate visit $75, Tea at Lambuth Inn $15, Blessing Bags Project $10, and Asheville Day-Trip $30]. 

If you need further information, please contact Tim Wise at (228-234-8946).

Monthly day trips to nearby destinations!

The Senior Adults will be taking monthly day trips to nearby destinations for fellowship/activities.  We invite anyone else who would love to join us.

Reservations should be made three days in advance by calling the church office (601-693-1521).

  • May 25 - 10:00 a.m. - [To Be Determined] 

             Senior Adults

The senior adults have added a new opportunity for fellowship.  There will be a dinner trip every third Thursday of each month.  

Reservations should be made by the Wednesday before the date of the trip.  For most of our trips, we will meet at the church in the 10th Street Parking Garage and will leave as a group.

  • April 18 - 7:00 p.m. - No Trip/MAUNDY THURSDAY
  • May 16 - 4:30 p.m. - May 16th - Harvest Grill  


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!


West End Elementary School Staff would like to say “thank you” to Central for the love and support shown to some of their students through Central’s participation in the Backpack Buddies Program. 


Central will continue an ongoing collection of food items throughout the school year for these students.  We appreciate our Tuesday Morning Bible Study for packing the backpacks each week.


If you have questions or would like to participate in any way, please contact Sabrina Williams 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.




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 12-14             Bob Peden

      April 19-21             Benji Riddle

      April 26-28             John Branning

     May 3-5                   Tim Wise

     May 10-12               Matt Farmer

     May 17-19               Bob Peden

     May 24-26               Benji Riddle

     June 7-9                   John Branning

     June 14-16               Matt Farmer

     June 21-23               Bob Peden

     June 28-30               Tim Wise

     July 5-7                     John Branning

     July 12-14                 Benji Riddle

     July 19-21                 Matt Farmer

     July 26-28                 Bob Peden

     August 2 - 4              Tim Wise

     August 9-11              Benji Riddle

     August 16-18            John Branning

     August 23-25            Matt Farmer

     Aug. 30-Sept. 1          Bob Peden

     September 6-8           Tim wise

     September 13-15       Benji Riddle

     September 20-22       John Branning

     September 27-29       Matt Farmer

     October 4-6                Bob Peden

     October 11-13            Tim Wise

     October 18-20            Benji Riddle

     October 25-27            John Branning

     November 1-3             Matt Farmer

     November 8-10           Bob Peden

     November 15-17         Tim Wise

     November 22-24         Benji Riddle

     Nov. 29-Dec. 1            John Branning

     December 6-8              Matt Farmer

     December 13-15          Bob Peden

     December 20-22          Tim Wise

     December 27-29           Benji Riddle

     January 3-5

     January 10-12

     January 17-19

     January 24-26

     Jan. 31 - Feb. 2

     February 7-9

     February 14-16

     February 21-23


     Feb. 28 - Mar. 1

     March 6-8

     March 13-15

     March 20-22

     March 27-29