THE HISTORY OF BLUFF ROAD UMC
Bluff Road United Methodist Church is dedicated to empowering persons to serve as disciples of Jesus Christ and to do God’s work that will open hearts, doors and minds.
Early in 1974, Reverend Edwards E. Jenkins, then District Superintendent, conducted a religious census of the Bluff Road area that included Bluff Estates, Starlight and Eastway Park communities. He conducted the services in the school on Atlas Road. The response was encouraging, as a need for a United Methodist Church was ascertained. A mission was started and at the Annual Conference in June 1975, the Reverend Collie L. Moore was appointed to serve the mission as pastor. Reverend Moore had the task of finding a permanent place for the mission. He was able to secure an abandoned building owned by the Reeder Point Community Club.
On the first Sunday in September 1975, the first formal worship service was conducted in the mission. Ten people became affiliated with the mission as full members. From the beginning of formal worship service, attendance was good, and the membership continued to grow. The mission was formally organized on April 25, 1976 as a church with 40 adult members, 35 children and 20 affiliate and associate members. The mission was given the name Bluff Road United Methodist Church.
Reverend Collie Moore served another two years and his commitment, leadership and love for the people of Bluff Road will never be forgotten. The Reverend John Elliott was appointed in June 1978. Reverend Elliott served faithfully until 1980. The Reverend John C. Pearson was appointed to Bluff Road in June 1980 and during his tenure the church was constructed at a cost of $150, 000. The church was dedicated in 1983 and the congregation marched from the temporary site to the new church singing, “We’re Marching to Zion.” Reverend Pearson served for five fruitful years and the church flourished under his leadership. In June 1985, Reverend Joseph Frazier was appointed to Bluff Road.
The Reverend Jimmie Sanders was appointed in June 1990 and he challenged the church with the theme of “Let’s Get Busy”. The church responded to the challenge with a church revitalization and after school tutorial programs were implemented. A Boy Scout troop unit was established and the inquiring of securing a community developer was started under the Reverend Sanders tenure.
June 1992, the Reverend Ellis White, Jr. was appointed as pastor. Under Reverend White’s leadership, the mission statement of the church was revised to include a greater emphasis on mission and outreach. In June of 2008 Reverend Leatha Brown was appointed to Bluff Road. Under Reverend Brown’s leadership, the church turned its focus on the community. Focusing on the community, Reverend Brown led the charge as we planned for the 33rd Anniversary held November 13-16, 2008.
In July 2014, Bluff Road United Methodist Church welcomed Rev. Daniel Troy Hembree, Ph.D., and his wife, Amenti Sujai, Ph.D. Under the leadership of Pastor Hembree the church became financially solvent and focused on service to the community, religious education and social justice.
In June of 2019 we welcomed our current pastor, Reverend Kenneth Middleton and his wife Jenny Middleton whose passion to to lead Bluff Road to be a community that embraces one another as family with love.