FUMC Marietta, GA- Church: Methodist, Local Church Service
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stories at FUMC

 The Harper's Story

When Jeanine and I initially visited Marietta First Methodist, we experienced a feeling of coming home. Having been raised in our “town” Methodist church in South Carolina, we grew to love our church’s sense of formality and reverence woven with warm personal relationships and a genuine sense of belonging.
At first glance, we recognized the familiar traditional architecture, order of worship, inspiring hymns and welcoming message. When we looked a little deeper, we found loving nursery workers, devoted Sunday School teachers, energetic youth programs, opportunities to serve, the warmth of caring friend, and the love of Jesus Christ.
Marietta First Methodist felt like home and has truly become our family’s church home.
The Mingledorff's Story
As a life long resident of Marietta, my family and I have been members of the church for nearly 30 years. In that time period, a lot of exciting and wonderful things have occurred in my life as a result of my involvement at the church. As an elementary aged child, I recall attending Vacation Bible School at the church every summer; whether I realized the importance at the time or not, my mother was my VBS teacher several of those years. 
As I entered middle school, I became very involved in the youth group (which was led by Mike Mozley). I participated in Sunday School, Sunday night fellowship (which was called MYF at the time) and all other youth activities such as the weekend retreats. As a sixth grader, I participated in the confirmation process and still use the Bible that was presented to me at the conclusion of confirmation. In addition to participating in the youth group, I was also an active member in the Church sponsored Boy Scout Troup 277.

Upon entering high school, I joined the high school choir (which was led by Ray Fountain) and remained active in the youth group (which was now led by Carey Akin). As a high school youth, I had the privilege of participating in Wednesday night discipleship. To this day, my participation in discipleship is one of my most cherished memories and I remain very good friends with several of the guys in my discipleship group. In fact, several of them were groomsmen in my wedding.
At age 15, during the youth group ski trip, I met my wife (Emily Graham) who was also a high school freshman. Nine years later when Emily and I married, Carey Akin performed the ceremony and added an invaluable personal touch to the event. During my junior and senior years at Marietta High School, I participated in the MHS Youth Apprenticeship Program. I elected to serve as an intern in the youth department on the weekdays. This experience was incredible and is one that I will not soon forget.

While away at college, the church was always a place to which I could return on the weekends and during the summers which would provide me with a wonderful feeling of family, friends and comfort. Three years ago, as an adult, I was asked to lead the high school boys Wednesday night discipleship group (Fusion). I was flattered and honored to be asked and without hesitation took on the role. Attempting to give the current high school boys the same wonderful experiences that I enjoyed has not only been a great experience for me in the past three years, but has also been another spiritual and growing adventure for me at the church.

Ultimately, the church has been a bedrock in my life and will continue to be a bedrock in my life for years to come. As a new father, I am excited about the participation of my children in the same church and youth group which I enjoyed.