SURGE (noun): 1a strong, wavelike forward movement, rush, or sweep; 2 a sudden, strong increase or burst, such as a surge of energy
Our ministries at Wesley United Methodist Church are experiencing a surge of activity, participation and impact in our work to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Our membership rolls are increasing, as attendance at our Sunday morning worship service, including a new Children’s Church, also continues to grow. Our Church School classrooms have increased in variety and number, as attendance has more than doubled. Wesley’s Youth Revival has set a new standard for community service and engagement. Our ministry for senior members is finding new energy. We continue to serve the local community through ministries like the food pantry and Manna Station and the world through our commitment to support broader initiatives and ministries of the United Methodist Church. We are partnering with other United Methodist congregations in unprecedented ways, including with our brothers and sisters at Main Street UMC, who have graciously opened their doors to the Wesley congregation during our period of dislocation.
The Surge Campaign
Wesley is launching a Surge Campaign to produce a “sudden, strong increase” and “wavelike forward movement” toward phase I of The Dream -- to return to our home of worship and ministry at 1725 Gervais Street.
Our bold Surge Campaign goal is to increase our capital funds to $500,000 in six months. We are already 25% of the way there with $125,000 so far! In accordance with our congregational poll results, the Surge Campaign will allow Wesley to:
Provide funding for Phase 1 of The Dream
Return to Wesley’s sanctuary at 1725 Gervais Street by Homecoming 2018.
Develop construction plans
Repair/replace ceiling and roof
Address water infiltration of the building perimeter (brick repointing and basement)
Add a handicap accessible bathroom on the sanctuary level
Create enthusiasm for a longer-term capital campaign for future phases of The Dream
Promote spiritual growth and development in faithful and sacrificial giving.
Our Past, Present and Future
Wesley United Methodist Church stands today as the oldest historically African American Methodist congregation in Columbia. Founded as the Columbia Mission during Reconstruction, Wesley traces its origins back to 1869 in an upstairs hall on Main Street. In 1910, the congregation was renamed Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church and erected its Gothic Revival sanctuary at the corner of Gervais and Barnwell.
Over the past century, Wesley has worked tirelessly to minister to our church family and to expand God’s reach in the capital city. The church’s eﬀorts in the civil rights movement and the planting of two Columbia UMC congregations serve as enduring examples of God’s work through the people of Wesley. Through the decades, the members of Wesley have continued to faithfully sustain a tradition of mission, outreach, and reconciliation in the city center, showing God’s love to all people.
Now, Wesley’s sanctuary – which was so well built in its time – has begun to show its age. In the fall of 2015, parts of the ceiling collapsed. Since that time – and by God’s continued providence – we have met regularly at Main Street United Methodist Church. Most of our ministries, planning, and mission work continue at the James S. Gadsden Building, which is on the same property as the sanctuary and was acquired in the mid-1990s under the visionary leadership of our beloved pastor for which the building is named. We are mindful that an earlier generation of Wesley members conceived and built our church home as a beacon of light and hope over a century ago. Since that time, we have worshipped together, built ministries, served God’s people, and expanded the Kingdom from our facilities on Gervais Street. We have faith that God is calling us to set our face toward Gervais so we can unify all that we are doing and continue writing the old but still unﬁnished story of Wesley United Methodist Church.
How long will the Surge Campaign last? The Surge Campaign will last until December31, 2017. It will be followed by a more traditional, three-year capital campaign beginning in 2018 that will fund a future phase of The Dream which will entail more extensive renovation of the sanctuary and the James S. Gadsden Building.
Why isn’t the connector between the sanctuary and the Gadsden Building included in Phase I of The Dream? In the recent congregational poll, support for the connector was significantly lower than for other Phase I construction recommendations. Therefore, the connector will be evaluated further with future phases of The Dream.
Can our tithes and offerings count as contributions to the Surge Campaign? No, our tithes and offerings fund the ministries and missions of Wesley and of the United Methodist Church; as well as, daily operational expenses, such as, personnel, maintenance and utilities. Sacrificial giving above and beyond our tithes and offerings is needed for the Campaign.
What is the difference between giving to the Surge Campaign and the Capital Campaign? Contributions designated for the Surge Campaign will be applied to your pledged commitment, but both Surge and Capital Campaign donations will be utilized, as needed, for current and/or future construction phases.
How can I help? Pray for the future ministries of Wesley UMC. Prayerfully consider what you can financially contribute in addition to your tithes and offerings, step out on faith to make a sacrificial commitment and follow through with it. You may make contributions during weekly worship services by noting your gift on the offering envelope or you may utilize the Church Office Online app or website www.churchofficegiving.com/surge to make one-time or recurring online donations. Contributions may also be mailed to the Wesley church office. Updates on the status of the overall Surge Campaign and your individual giving will be provided throughout the campaign.