For retired United Methodist Church pastor David Ford, the calling to establish a new congregation began in the summer of 2010.
Describing it as a “leading of God,” Ford retired from the UMC in 2016 and began to work on a Doctor of Ministry degree. He officially surrendered his ordination in 2018.
Following discernment and prayer and “providential circumstances,” Ford and his wife moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 to begin plans to start a new church.
Known as Mission Charlottesville, their first publicly promoted service was last December. They meet weekly at Jackson P. Burley Middle School and have an average worship attendance of about 30 people.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Ford said that Mission Charlottesville was built on “a missional model,” with the aim of maintaining “Wesleyan theology,” and to be overseen by a team “comprised of those gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve as apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, and exhorter, to the end of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the advancement of the kingdom of God.”
Ford also explained that while he is no longer an ordained UMC clergyman, he and his church maintain a connection to a fairly new theologically conservative United Methodist group known as the Wesleyan Covenant Association.
“I am a charter clergy member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association beginning in 2016 and remain a covenanted, clergy member of the WCA to date,” explained Ford.
“Mission Charlottesville became a covenanted congregation in the WCA in 2018 and remains a covenanted congregation to date.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski