St. Mark's UMC member and rising sophomore at Bennett College receives OZY Genius Award


Marcinia Johnson, sophomore at Bennett College and member of St. Mark's UMC in Charlotte, has been selected as a 2021 OZY Genius Award Winner for her “Anti-gentrification low-income homes for seniors” initiative. Marcinia is one of 10 recipients of the prestigious award. Previous award winners include National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.
Inspired by the friends of the late Harper Lee, who pooled their money together to provide Lee with the gift of a year free from work to write what would become the esteemed novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the OZY Genius Awards provide visionary college students the means to turn their vision into reality. Each award winner receives $10,000 and a mentor to launch their project and begin changing the world.

Johnson also serves as a Lina H. McCord intern for the Black College Fund and received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

We offer our congratulations on these accomplishments and look forward to joining Marcinia in the great work she is sure to inspire in the years to come. 

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


  • Resources
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