Equity & Justice Ministries Welcomes Rev. Charlie Rivens


Equity and Justice Ministries is pleased to announce that Rev. Charlie D. Rivens will serve as the Coordinator of African American/Black Church Growth and Vitality for The Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. This position is a part of the Ministry Action Plan that was created by the Conference several years ago that focuses on strengthening the Black churches in the WNCC through leadership development, revitalization, new places for new people and Christian/spiritual formation. The plan underscores that this effort also strengthens the WNCC.
Rev. Rivens will serve as a part-time consultant, enabled by funding outside of 2021 conference apportionment funds. He will be working in cooperation with and under the supervision of the Director of Equity and Justice Ministries; research best practices of church growth; work with African American clergy and churches, resourcing them for growth and increased vitality by implementing the Black Church Master Plan and other proven programs; schedule workshops and secure leadership—including conference leadership—to address specific issues and skills that will lead to growth and increased vitality; and work with conference ministry teams and conference staff in understanding distinctive characteristics essential for African American/Black church growth and vitality.
Rev. Rivens is a full elder and the pastor of The Place UMC, Charlotte, NC, which is a new church start. He is a graduate of Montreat College, with a BAA in Business Administration and a Master of Divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC.

Please join us in welcoming Rev. Rivens to this new role, which begins November 1, 2021.


Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.