Lynchburg District Theme

Lynchburg District Theme
92 Churches Strong

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A "Dying" Church

The following is a letter written by Patrick Pillow, a young VMI graduate who declared his intention to become a pastor in the United Methodist Church. Right now he is working as an Assistant to the Pastor at Court Street UMC. His enthusiasm for what is happening at the church he serves is contagious so I thought you might enjoy reading it.

Dear Members and Friends,

We are doing way too much! According to many sources in the Lynchburg area, we are a “dying” Church! We are supposed to have only twenty some members in our sanctuary on Sundays; the extra 90 we had on Palm Sunday cannot happen again. We are supposed to be without any sort of weekly programs, so Bible Studies, Wednesday Nite Alive and Choir Rehearsal will have to be cut. Finally, we are supposed to be on the brink of closing our doors, so the twenty plus ministries we support financially will have to be discontinued. It is time we face the fact and realize Court Street United Methodist is a spent force.

Sorry to disappoint you Lynchburg, but we are back and better than ever! For a church on the “brink of extinction”, I think it is safe to say that we are the most stubborn and brazen Church in the entire Virginia conference!

You cannot help but feel energized when you walk into our halls every day of the week. Many of my VMI friends often tell me how they are suffering from “a case of the Mondays” when they walk into their places of business to start the week. I wish they all had the opportunity to feel the way I do as I climb the steps up to Court Street. The leaps and bounds that we have grown since January is truly mesmerizing.

I was so glad to see so many of you take advantage of our Lenten services, delicious luncheons, and the uplifting worship on Palm and Easter Sundays. Just as Jesus’ death and eventual victory over sin led to a rebirth for his people, so too will Court Street benefit from our willingness to put his sanctuary back on the map.

The late spring is a time of bright, colorful flowers, beautiful green trees, and the birth of new life. We are like the caterpillar in the cocoon, just waiting for a chance to hatch and spread our wings in the gorgeous splendor that God has made.

While the Lenten season has come and gone, let us not forget that our Lord’s resurrection offers us the chance to begin anew and continue on a path towards righteousness. Let us keep building, professing the faith, and reviling in his joyous works that are all around us! If this is a “dying” church, I don’t want to be anywhere else…

May the Lord God bless you and keep you,

Patrick S. Pillow ‘09B
Minister's Assistant


  1. What uplifting thoughts! I'm not a big fan of our local Methodist church as they treated deplorably an organization my children are involved in. However, this is an exiting perspective on how the "community" views a congregation. God be with you!

  2. ^Someday I will learn how to spell exciting.

  3. What a great post, and glad to hear CSUMC is still actively pursuing the call of Christ for ministry in Lynchburg. Kudos!