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Amazing UMC heroes of The United Methodist Church

Amazing UMC Heroes artwork by Troy Dossett, United Methodist Communications
Amazing UMC Heroes artwork by Troy Dossett, United Methodist Communications

In 2018 we put out a call for church members to nominate #amazingUMCheroes who are doing extraordinary things – either as difference makers in their communities or through courageous or selfless acts.

We sifted through submissions and it is clear that United Methodists across the connection are doing amazing things as an expression of their faith.

We are highlighting a few of these inspirational church members on our website and The United Methodist Church Facebook page.

We hope that these stories will inspire you to lean boldly into your faith.

Kay 'Bibi Kay' Oursler sits with two children who live at Sunrise Children's Home in Tanzania, the orphanage Oursler founded. Photo courtesy of Kay Oursler.

‘Bibi Kay’ Oursler readies for new crusade

Thirteen years after founding an orphanage in Tanzania, "Bibi” Kay Oursler has begun new endeavor to open a working/teaching farm in her adopted home country.
Pat Gardiner serves as a Calvary United Methodist Church representative at community events. Photo Courtesy: Calvary United Methodist Church.

Pat Gardiner: Warming bodies, feeding souls

After years working in food and hospitality, Pat Gardiner welcomes her community through warming center and meal program ministries.
Jackson Rogers uses his carpentry skills during mission trips. Photo courtesy of New Paltz United Methodist Church.

Jackson Rogers: Finding his 'fit'

After a lifetime punctuated by pain and feeling outcast, Rogers found his purpose — and a connection to God — by serving others.
John Alexander shares of his work with kids at Jacksonville (Texas) First United Methodist Church.

John Alexander: Driven by love

By transforming old school buses, Alexander assists disadvantaged kids in Jacksonville, Texas.
Bill and Laura Roy travel every summer to volunteer at Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky. Photo courtesy Mike Feely, Henderson Settlement.

The Roys: Going where God calls

Bill and Laura Roy are dedicated to go wherever they're called to serve the church.
Burt Bennett of Alva (Florida) United Methodist Church encourages others to be fully present with people and show genuine care and interest. Photo courtesy of Alva United Methodist Church.

Burt Bennett: A life well-marked

As a child, he watched his mother feed the homeless. Today, the trained substance abuse counselor is leaving a mark one life and two-dollar bill at a time.
Matthew Marchetti, a member of Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, looks at three computer screens as he works to locate people who need rescuing during Hurricane Harvey. Marchetti, along with fellow Chapelwood member Oliver Carter, came up with a design for a web app,, to help connect those in need with volunteer rescuers. Photo courtesy of Matthew Marchetti.

Matthew Marchetti: A disaster plan

Rescuing more than 37,000 people was not what Marchetti had in mind when he developed an online platform during Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
Rev. Karen Jones (far right) helping African refugees at First United Methodist Church in Center, Texas. Photo courtesy of Shannon Martin, Texas Annual Conference.

Congregations show God's boundless love

The United Methodist Church is filled with examples of how God's love knows no bounds. Read the story of three local U.S. congregations.
Scott Gilpin (center) stands with Red Cross workers with whom he volunteered in the days following the Westgate Mall massacre in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Scott Gilpin.

Scott Gilpin: Lesson from tragedy

During a terrorist attack at a Kenya mall, Scott Gilpin led six people to safety. That forever changed the trajectory of this lifelong United Methodist's life.
Delores Howell calls nine-year-old Haliegh her angel after suffering a fall. Haliegh comforted Delores, cleaned her "boo boos," and stayed until medics arrived. Photo courtesy Delores Howell.

Haleigh: A good neighbor

Delores Howell calls nine-year-old Haleigh her angel after suffering a fall. Haleigh comforted Delores, cleaned her "boo boos," and stayed until medics arrived.