Explore Summer Ministry Intern Highlight: Matthew Waddell, Intern at First UMC, High Point


Matthew Waddell, a junior at Pfeiffer University, studying counseling and psychology, interned at First United Methodist Church in High Point, NC, where Rev. Willis Greene served as his clergy mentor.
Matthew is quick to celebrate all the people who have been a part of his faith journey through the years. He recalls serval, who include the members of the Victory Sunday school class at Pine Woods United Methodist Church in Thomasville, NC, Vince Murphy, and especially Rev. Mike Burris, who passed away in 2015. Matthew says that after Rev. Burris’ death and the death of many of his mentors, “I knew all the while that God was with me and had a purpose for me, but I just felt lost when there was no guide.” Then Rev. Keith Edwards, who was serving at High Point at Ward Street United Methodist Church and Rankin United Methodist Church asked Matthew to help over summer with worship services, the clothing closet, food pantry, weekly community meals at both locations, and different group meetings such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, and AA meetings. Matthew says, “That summer the spark was relit, making me realize how much more I enjoyed being around people and just being able to participate in ministry rather than sitting idly by and not doing much of anything.”
Since starting college, Matthew expresses, “It has been tough trying to figure out my next steps and I have struggled in trying to figure out what I should do.” However, he found Rev. Maegan Habich, Chaplin at Pfeiffer, as well as Rev. Jennifer Orr and Dr. Bellmore, who teach counseling at Pfeiffer, to be people who can see and name his gifts for ministry.
Matthew says, “My internship through the Explore program was a wonderful and eye-opening experience. Working with the staff and members of the congregation of First United Methodist Church of High Point is something that will be unforgettable.” This summer "reaffirmed that working more with the congregation and the older generation was what I am more capable and better at doing.” Matthew discovered there are ways he might integrate his love for counseling and psychology into ministry. “I can't thank the members of First United Methodist and the staff enough for being so open and welcoming to me.  Their support allowed me to be so hands-on in the church, which helped me to figure out what I am being led to do.”

Matthew shared how he was seeing God at work during WoW: Worship on Wednesday on July 21, 2021, at High Point United Methodist Church. If you would like to hear what he shared you can use this link https://youtu.be/7OIHM2CtS6w

The Explore Ministry Internship is for young adults, ages 18-25, interested in exploring ordained ministry through 10-week summer internships in United Methodist settings within the Conference. All interns are placed in a context where they can explore their gifts and particular aspects of ministry in a safe and encouraging environment. Each intern is matched with an ordained clergy mentor, and they get to shadow their mentor to do all the things pastors do. 

If you would like to learn more about the WNCC Explore: Summer Ministry Internship and how you might support the ministry please contact Rev. Annalee Allen, Associate Director of Ministerial Services, at aallen@wnccumc.org

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.