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Blair Road UMC Church Council Meeting

March 6, 2022, 7:00 PM


Attending:   Tom Latimer, Vince Foster, Sarah Price, Barry Price, Gary Moore, Jeff Workman, Peggy Dulin, Barbara Bingham, Ron Payne, Steve Denison, Paula Styron, Pam Binkley, Tim Mabes, Renee Hatley


Chairperson Vince Foster opened the meeting with prayer. 


The January 23, 2022 Council Meeting minutes were reviewed for approval.   Gary Moore made first motion to approve followed by Ron Payne’s second motion.  Minutes were approved.


The following committees provided updates.


Trustees: Co-chair Pam Binkley and Chair Tim Mabes presented the update. Door locks are working on the CEB. Work is underway on a new trustee email.  AC leak in storage room still not fixed. Call will be placed on Monday. Vehicle inspection is being completed. Roof maintenance has been completed. Sink leak is being looked at on Tuesday. Gutters have been cleaned.  Church wide cleanup is scheduled for April 2, at 9:00 AM. Estimates are being acquired for a new temperature monitor. Restroom leak was fixed.  New water heater was installed in CEB.   Three Boy Scout projects are outstanding:  1) Cleaning up around pond area 2) Working on fence and around boy scout hut and dumpster 3) Updates to amphitheater.


Finance: Chair Jeff Workman reported as of February month end, expenses exceeded income by $2,610.   Church was well positioned early in the year. This current report indicates we haven’t recovered from the two weeks pause in January for in-person services.  Finance will   monitor to see if trend continues.


Generosity:  Chair Jeff Workman reported as of February month end, 84 Estimate of Giving commitments totaling $380,649 have been received.  The average commitment amount is $4,531.54.  The giving commitments are $159,000 short of the $540,000 giving budget.


Jennifer Damm has requested to be replaced as Treasurer.  Let Tom or Jeff know of any potential replacements to be presented to the Nominations Committee.


SPRC:  Chair Ron Payne reported one member had resigned from this committee and they will be looking to the Nomination Committee for help on how to fill the position.   A search for a new parttime Youth Minister is to begin.  Al Miller and Pastor Tom will lead a search committee comprised of 8 – 9 people.  Youth parents and a youth will be represented on the committee.  Pastor Tom will begin a 2022 confirmation class later this month.  This class will also include those candidates who missed 2021 due to Covid.


Lay Leaders:  Gary Moore reported this morning’s attendance at the 11:11 service topped 50. We need a stronger evangelism program focusing on inviting others to church. Sarah reported an American Red Cross blood drive has been scheduled at the church for May 13.


Missions:  Pastor Tom reported on the delightful visit from Lebanon Road Principal Polite.  She is very enthusiastic and passionate about the children, facility and staff, and grateful for the Book Bags of Love program.  We will continue to follow up with support for the facility and staff at Lebanon Road.


UMM:  Steve Denison announced a spring golf tournament is scheduled for Friday, April 22 at Olde Sycamore.  Teams will be comprised of four persons.   Registration fee is $100 for 16 and over, and $90 for 60 and over persons.  A BBQ will be held at conclusion of tournament.  Spread the word.  Tournament will be advertised on church’s website.


Age Level Ministries:  Pastor Tom said volunteers are needed to revise the youth Sunday school program.   Ellen is working on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings with youth activities.


Faith and Family:  Tom reported the Renewal Team is working on a “Time to Renew’ period beginning May 1 and lasting four Sundays.  Special activities are planned and opportunities provided to connect to small groups and service to the community.   It will be a time for refreshment and renewal.  


Clergy and Staff Reports: Tom received news this week that the full General Conference would not be meeting until 2024 due to pandemic conditions still in effect.    A Wesley Covenant Association, a conservative traditionist group, is moving ahead with plans to form a new denomination even though the protocol for separation is still to be deliberated.  This new denomination is being publicized as the Global Methodist Church.


Our District Superintendent has been in contact with the District Superintendent in Ukraine to provide humanitarian relief to the refugees.   UMCOR is also available to provide disaster relief.  More information will be provided soon to the congregation on how to participate in helping Ukraine and the refugees.   Pastor Tom invited prayers for peace and a ceasefire.


Five praises:

Return of eyesight for Becky Stradford

Return of good health for Gary’s great grandson

Poland for taking care of refugees

Public health improvement

People who turned in their Estimate of Giving commitments


Pastor Tom offered the closing prayer.


Next Meeting is May 1 at 7:00 PM


Respectfully submitted by,

Renee Hatley, CC Secretary

September 12, 2021, 7:00 PM

Attending: Barry Price, Vince Foster, Gary Moore, Bob Southern, Tom Latimer, Rhonda Hermann, Jeff Workman, Al Miller, Pam Binkley, Peggy Dulin, Al Millman, Loree Heimbach, Barbara Bingham, Rita Mabes, Kim Heimbach, Katie Heimbach, Becky Barnes, Lee Madden, Kathy Madden, Connie Puckett, Pat Cray, Lynn Smith, Renee Hatley

Chair Barry Price opened the meeting and   Co-Chair Vince Foster gave the opening prayer.

The July 11, 2021 meeting minutes were presented for approval.  Al Miller made the first motion to approve followed by Gary Moore’s second motion.   Minutes were approved.

The following committees provided updates:

Trustees:  Chair Pam Binkley reported a quote had been secured for fixing the leak on the Heritage building.  Other projects in progress include addressing  the leak out front, fixing the refrigerator, working on the fence and bench back of the Heritage building and cleaning the path to the pond area.  

Finance:   Chair Jeff Workman reported through the end of August, revenue exceeded  expenses by $26, 270.  However, this amount includes the $50,885 PPP loan and $10,000 in pastor’s assistance provided by the Conference.   Givings through September 5th are short $20,390.   The PPP loan has been forgiven.

Kim Heimbach, a member of the congregation, shared some thoughts about the relationship between BRUMC and the BRUMC preschool and after school.

Generosity/Stewardship:  No update

Lay Leaders: Gary Moore reported average attendance at the 11:11 service is in the 70’s and the people are feeling safe.  He praised the energy and dynamic worship at this service.  Barry reported the combined attendance for both services has been averaging between 150 – 160.

Missions:  Lynn Smith reported approximately 60 book bags were delivered to elementary schools.  Pat Millman is taking over the Book Bags of Love activities.   The October Missions meeting will be devoted to planning for Advent.  Steve Denison is coordinating the One7 mission meal which is provided every 3rd Friday. 

Worship and Music Ministry:  Pat Cray reported work is being done to get back screen working for the 11:11 service.

United Methodist Men:  Al Millman reported work is underway for the Christmas Marketplace.  36 vendors have already signed up.  A BBQ is in the works  for the  same day.  Advertising will be through social media and local newspapers.  New vendors are coming.  All items are handmade crafts.  A Silent Auction is also being planned.   

UMM will be providing the One7 meal in October.  Al expressed his appreciation to the scouts for their participation in the recent roadside litter pickup. 

Faith and Fellowship:  Lynn Smith reported  “Trunk or Treat” is planned for Wednesday, October 27th.    Rita Mabes said handbells are starting back up.  She and David  Hodges are hoping to get the children’s music going again on Wednesday nights, beginning September 22nd.  Pastor Tom will be featuring a Pastor’s Bible study on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 to 7:30 beginning September 22nd.

Staff-Parish Relations:  Chair Al Miller reported Karen Henry has been hired to fill the Financial Secretary position.    Karen began work on September 7th and is being trained by Lee Madden and Tami Brown.    Al expressed his appreciation  to Lee for volunteering as the interim Financial Secretary while a search was underway for Tami’s replacement.
Financial Responsibility Team: Al Miller provided an update that this team and the Staff Parish team had worked together to make a recommendation on the church’s actions for the 2022 budget.  It was not an easy decision.   Staff Parish has signed off on the recommendation

ACTION                                         SAVINGS       EFFECTIVE DATE 

Reduce Health Ins. Benefit 25%          $4,750            Jan 1, 2022

Reduce Apportionments                     $30,000          Jan 1, 2022

Discontinue Continuing Education       $3,800            Jan 1, 2022

Discontinue Youth Director                 $47,230           Jan 1, 2022
Position. Utilize volunteers for this 

Reduce Lead Pastor Salary                 $10,000            July 1, 2022
Total Savings                                     $95,780    

Bob Southern, a member of the Financial Responsibility Team, assured the council, the team did not rush into this recommendation.  Many different scenarios were looked at on how to save $100,000.  Countless hours were spent to determine the least number of people impacted.   Barry Price, another member of the FRT,  shared that a lot of agonizing thought had been put into the recommendation.

Rita Mabes asked who will be handling the technology “non youth” activities the current Youth Director is doing.  Pastor Tom stated some pieces are to be determined.   Johnsie Littlefield is gradually doing some of the web technology.    Pastor Tom reiterated the ad hoc team and Staff Parish were motivated by how do we continue to go forward and live within our means.  We will not stop preschool, scouts or youth activities, but will work to meet those needs with the fruit God has given us.  Gary Moore encouraged staff and laity to step up to meet the  youth needs.   

Al Miller made a motion to present the Financial Responsibility Team’s recommendation to the Finance Committee for guidance in planning the 2022 church budget.    (A second motion was not required since the recommendation was coming from a committee.)   Council approved the motion.   Pastor Tom abstained from voting.

Becky Barnes, a member of the congregation, asked when the congregation would be informed.   Pastor Tom indicated it should be soon, over the next month once the Finance Committee has a financial plan for next year.  Becky also questioned why no financial information is going out on a regular basis.   Jeff Workman  said the  financial  updates in the Musings had gotten dropped during Tami’s leaving.

Connie Puckett, another member of the congregation, would like to see more transparency and  additional  information (Church Council minutes, church leaders, etc.) posted on the church’s website.

Becky also questioned why the Church Council minutes were not being distributed to the congregation.  Pastor Tom and Barry will coordinate  this with Johnsie.  The minutes should not be distributed until they have been approved. 

Clergy and Staff updates:  Pastor Tom expressed a big “Thank You” to Lee Madden for filling the gap when Tami left. 

Five Praises:
Today’s worship service and music (Barry Price)
Al Millman (Lee Madden)
Al Miller coming back to choir and a new choir member (Rita Mabes)
Vacation Bible School:  (Gary Moore)
Staff Parish for their hard work:  (Peggy Dulin)

Pastor Tom adjourned the meeting with prayer.

Next CC Meeting is November 7th at 7:00 PM.  Charge Conference will probably be the following week.

Respectfully submitted by,
Renee Hatley, Church Council Secretary



July 11, 2021, 7:00 PM


Attending:  Barry Price, Sarah Price, Jennifer Damm, Bob Southern, Tom Latimer, Rhonda Hermann, Jeff Workman, Al Miller, Peggy Dulin, Al Millman, Loree Heimbach, Lynn Smith, Barbara Bingham, Becky Barnes, Kim Heimbach, Renee Hatley


Chair Barry Price welcomed the attendees and provided a devotion from the “Upper Room”.


The May 16, 2021 meeting minutes were presented for approval.   Al Millman made first motion to approve, followed by Loree Heimbach’s second motion.  Minutes were approved.


The following committees provided updates.


Trustees:  No update was available.


Finance:  Chair Jeff Workman reported the June YTD budget is negative $30, 676 (after considering the impact of the PPP loan proceeds).  The process has started for forgiveness of the PPP loan.  Jeff is optimistic the forgiveness will be given. Paperwork for the ERC (Employee Retention Credit) has been filed.   The tax refund credit may not be received until next year.


Generosity/Stewardship:  No update for this meeting.


Staff-Parish:  Chair Al Miller reported the Staff Parish committee has completed employee meetings to review duties and responsibilities.    There are some changes to what the staff is doing.


Lay Leaders:  Sarah Price reported the Prayer Team is going well.  It meets at 8:15 AM on Sunday mornings.   Sarah has talked with   Pastor Tom about forming a second Prayer Team to accommodate the 11:11 worship service attendees.   Sarah would co-ordinate the second team.   The two Prayer Teams can share the prayer concerns list.   The Prayer Team sends letters to the persons on the prayer list.


Missions:   Lynn Smith reported a new chair is needed for this team.   The next team meeting, Thursday, July 15, will focus on missions involvement in Reengagement (a time of rebuilding our ministries) which starts on September 19.


Worship and Music Ministry:  Pastor Tom reported David Hodges had recently participated in a music week at Montreat.  He came back with some new ideas.   Tom commended the music teams for their recent performances.    Technology is now working okay in the 8:45 service, but improvements are still in process for the 11:11 service.


United Methodist Men:   Chair Al Millman reported Blair Road UMC will have a Marketplace in the gym and fellowship room November 13 from 9 – 3.  Approximately 55 invitations to participate have been sent out and 12 vendors have already signed up.  A BBQ and Silent Auction will also be held in conjunction with the Marketplace.  Al and Johnsie Littlefield will be working on the social media platforms to advertise the event.


Another roadside pickup will be held at end of July or first of August.  No exact date has been determined.


Faith and Fellowship Team:  No report was available.


Age-Level Ministries:  Pastor Rhonda reported VBS is coming up July 19-22. Seven boys and seven girls, ages 6 – 8, will be attending Camp Lydia in August.


Youth will be leaving Sunday, July 18, to participate in ASP work in TN.


VISION TEAM:   Tom reported a change in direction for the Vision Team.  This team had been focused on a longer term “30,000” view of what our church should become.   This team is now focused on a shorter-term view with more urgency on our coming out of and bouncing back from the pandemic.   Another item requiring attention and careful consideration is how our church will   navigate through the major decisions the United Methodist Church will be deciding next year regarding human sexuality.


RENEWAL TEAM:  Lynn Smith reported on the work the RENEWAL Team is doing.  The last two weeks in August, Pastors Tom and Rhonda will be leading worship focused on “Out of the Wilderness” and remembrance of losses we’ve experienced during the pandemic.  Beginning September 12, the focus will be on renewal with a “Family Reunion” theme.  Activities scheduled include a picnic, petting zoo, children’s custard ice cream and bake sale. September 19 will be a time of Reengagement to welcome and engage folks into small groups, and to see all the opportunities for participation in missions support.    September 26 brings a time of Revival where we focus on renewing our spiritual life and our commitment to God.


New Ad Hoc Team:   Pastor Tom commented on “signs of hope” coming out of the pandemic.  Folks are gradually coming back to worship for the first time and visitors are showing an interest in Blair Road.   The pandemic has resulted in attendance and givings being down, and the church needs a plan if this does not improve.   Tom and Council Chair Barry Price presented a motion to form an ad hoc team of church leaders who will meet over the next 2 -3 months to plan for 2022 and beyond.  The following persons will be invited to participate on the ad hoc team:  Al Miller, Jeff Workman, Pam Binkley, Sarah Price, Gary Moore, Bob Southern, Vince Foster, Barry Price and Tom Latimer.  This team will look at the spending and givings in detail, and all items must be evaluated.  Planning for 2022 needs to move forward taking into consideration the PPP loan and pastoral salary assistance that will not be available after 2021, and the 2022 United Methodist denominational decisions.   Recommendations from the ad hoc team will be brought to the Church Council.   Church Council members approved the motion to form the ad hoc team.

Becky Barnes, a member of the congregation, spoke at the end of the meeting. She expressed her opinion that the congregation should be informed of the forming of the ad hoc committee and the purpose.  She said she is concerned the general membership does not understand the seriousness of this situation.   Council agreed Tom should send a constant contact to the entire congregation explaining the committee, the members and its purpose. 


Five Praises:

102 attendees in 8:45 service today (Barry)

In person VBS (Lynn)

ASP (Jennifer)

Office Guild back (Rhonda)

SS class bouncing back in attendance and new visitors (Bob)


Pastor Tom adjourned meeting with prayer.


Next Meeting date to be determined.


Respectfully submitted by,

Renee Hatley, Council Secretary

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