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Center United Methodist Church, North Dakota

Rev. Cory Thrall
Pastor Cory Thrall (right) of Center United Methodist receives the One Matters award in recognition as one church that is turning zeros into positive numbers with a renewed focus on discipleship.

Pastor Cory Thrall of Center United Methodist Church discovered this when he was appointed to the congregation of three people. Instead of working to close the doors, he decided to fling the doors wide open; not to try to get people to come in, but to let his people go out. He and the members committed to prayer walking in the town. As the town’s people saw the members get outside and initiate conversations, the church’s image changed from that of a dying church to a vibrant church where God’s love is felt and seen. More than 50 people now regularly attend. Just doing the math – that’s an almost 1,700 percent increase in attendance!

They worked together, as a group of four, as Center UMC, to go out and get to know and be known by the people in their area. As relationships began to form between the people themselves, they were able to work corporately and personally and made something all together wonderful happen!

Learn more about #SeeAllThePeople.