Pelham Pathways Church holds first services

Published 2:50 pm Monday, November 13, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Pathways United Methodist Church officially debuted in Pelham with a kickoff on Sunday, Nov. 5.

“The United Methodist Church realized that Pelham is just too vibrant of a community to not have the United Methodist Church here,” said Pathways’ pastor Rev. Matthew Kilpatrick. “So, they’ve been planting different resources and personnel to figure out what the ‘need’ is in Pelham because the last thing people think they need is just another church.”

It was determined that Pelham’s needs would best be fulfilled by a church that follows the Pathway model.

“We just want to offer an uncomplicated space for people to participate in what we call the five pathways,” Kilpatrick said. “The pathways to discipleship that we want to provide for the community.”

Along with the five pathways, Pathways United Methodist focuses on being accessible to a wide range of people by holding services in the late afternoon and encouraging parishioners to not worry about having to look their best.

“We’re really big on people just being people,” Kilpatrick said. “We don’t have to put on our Sunday best and be self-conscious about our stinkiness. We want our congregation to be able to accept a visitor at their house without having to worry about their living room being clean.”

A key portion of the pathways model of worship is the idea of forming fellowship and community with the wider congregation of people worshiping together and holding discussions about faith in smaller groups. Kilpatrick commented that having a more casual air in the church helps make parishioners more relaxed and often makes it easier for them to have more in-depth discussions.

“We feel like we’ve lost the art of discussion in the church, where if somebody has a question or somebody that knows something, they just sit silently in the back of the church and never get to discuss that thing,” Kilpatrick said. “So, all of our small groups are built on discussion where people feel very comfortable asking questions and telling about their experience and how they interpret Scripture.”

Pelham Pathways church currently meets at Crosscreek Baptist Church at 600 Crosscreek Trail.