Why Methodism keeps me focused on the future

My United Methodist faith is about more than family heritage. It is about the Church’s commitment to serving ALL the people of our diverse world.

I am a United Methodist because I love the witness of John Wesley and the radical stands of inclusion and service woven into his theology. I am thankful that my heritage is grounded in this theology as I am committed by my faith to all people.

William Hammet was my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was ordained by John Wesley in the British Conference. He was sent to Charleston, SC in 1791 and attended the SC Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. The conference was held at Cumberland Church (the first Methodist Church in Charleston) with Bishop Frances Asbury presiding.

Hammet traveled for some years with Asbury, then returned to Charleston and founded Trinity Methodist Church.

Eight generations of Methodists

Starting with Willliam Hammet, I can trace a line of eight generations of Methodist ministers (now United Methodist). I am married to a UM minister (Dan Martin) and am the mother of an UM minister (Duncan Martin, serving Hawthorne Lane UMC in Charlotte, and his wife, Meredith, also a UM minister).

Through the generations, this family of ministers has been committed to Christian evangelism while leading the church in addressing the social issues of the times.

Christian people are forward-looking. We believe tomorrow, with Jesus Christ, will be a better day. I have no room for nostalgia in a modern church. I do not want to go back to some previous age, only sing the old hymns, or become stagnant in my spiritual relationship through the Holy Spirit.

I believe in our future and I am not afraid to let the living Word of God transform the world from popular heresies.

‘Stay in love with God’

I am dedicated to: welcoming and serving all God’s people, celebrating women as faithful leaders in the church and society, having courage in the face of racism, and believing in the victory over the evil of divisive hate actions that are acted out in our society and churches for the cause of becoming exclusive.

I have lived my professional and spiritual life believing in the rules of John Wesley: “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.”

I am honored to lead as a faithful, forward-looking Christian — in the Church and also in my role as chair of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

Note: This reflection is part of a series of faith stories to help you get to know Foundation leaders and friends.

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