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Candace Lewis joins Path 1 New Church Starts

The Rev. Candace Lewis
The Rev. Candace Lewis
(NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 12, 2009/Discipleship Ministries) — The Rev. Candace Lewis, pastor of New Life Community United Methodist Church, will officially join The United Methodist Discipleship Ministries as a Path 1 New Church Strategist, effective July 1, 2009.

"Candace has literally written the book on planting, starting and revitalizing churches in the Florida Conference," says the Rev. Thomas G. Butcher, Discipleship Ministries executive director of New Church Starts.

"We are blessed to have someone with her level of expertise and proven growth strategies join the Path 1 New Church Starts team," said Butcher.

An ordained elder in the Florida Annual (regional) Conference, Lewis began New Life Community United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, in June 1997 with seven people. Today, the church has more than 250 members worshiping in their own church buildings, including The Village Child Development Center and Christian Academy, which cares for more than eighty children.

After completing seminary, Lewis was appointed to plant a new church. She and a team of committed laity have spent the last 12 years successfully planting the New Life Community UMC, which is an African American congregation based in Jacksonville.

Lewis' new book, A New Day: A New Way -- Planting, Starting & Revitalizing Ministries (Discipleship Resources, 2009), will be available soon.

She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications, where she received the Distinguished Outstanding Female Student Leader Award. She earned her Master of Divinity from Gammon Theological Seminary. Additionally, she has a certificate from Harvard Divinity School's Institute on Faith-Based Community Economic Development.

Active within the Jacksonville community, Lewis has served on the Boards of Community Hospice, Girls Inc., Campus Crusade for Christ, and The Eden Group.

She joins the team mandated by General Conference 2008 to recruit 1000 church planters to create 650 new congregations by the end of 2012.

Discipleship Ministries' mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries (www.umcdiscipleship.org) is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, call the Media Relations Office toll free at 877-899-2780, ext. 7017.

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