Stewart Memorial UMC

Pilot Church

We are just beginning a five-year project with Bethune Cookman University as a part of their $1 million Thriving Congregations grant from the Lilly Endowment. A key part of this project is the Equipping Leaders for Ministry (ELM) program, in which we will work to create energy within congregations and excitement for the future of 25 local churches. Stewart Memorial UMC is currently the pilot church for the program this year, between 2021 and 2025, we will be working with six churches per year. Each of the churches will be participating in a cohort for 12-months, receive a new iPad, and will be working with Ministry Architects to shore up or establish systems and processes and focus on innovation for an 18-month consulting relationship.

Cohort members will meet together monthly throughout the length of the project. The cohorts will work through three books and share in the innovative work that each church is embarking on. Additionally, each church will meet monthly with a Ministry Architects coach and each pastor will receive a monthly support for the journey ahead.

ELM Cohort 1

Selected Churches:

1. Church of the Holy Presence
2. Living Word Family Church
3. MT Calvary Freewill Baptist Church
4. MT Zion A.M.E Church
5. Power House C.O.G.I. C.
6. Word And Praise Family Church, Inc.

ELM Cohort 2

  • Fire to the Nations Church
  • Thompson Street Tabernacle Church of Praise
  • New Life Church
  • Greater Bethlehem
  • United Evangelical and Missionary Outreach Church
  • New Saint James Missionary Baptist Church

ELM Cohort 3

Applications open March 2023
Launches August 2023

Apply Now



Is there a church that you believe might be a great candidate for our next cohort?