Celebrating Mission Grants: Seniors Lead at Liberty UMC


By Jessica Love, Mississippi Conference Intern  
Photo right: One of the senior volunteers at Liberty UMC was seen helping a young girl with her homework.
How did the senior citizens of Liberty United Methodist Church bring fellow seniors, youth and Bible study under one roof? They did it through the Senior Lead Tutoring Program.

The church is located in Eupora, Mississippi. Its retired educators and senior volunteers provide tutoring services for kindergarten through 12th grade students, while building relationships with the youth and elders within the community. In addition, workers incorporate Bible study. Classes are held every Wednesday night an hour before Bible study. Each tutoring session concludes with a biblical lesson and a meal. 

Their mission is to reach one, teach one the program director, Pamela Simmons, expressed in a written report to the Mississippi Conference. According to several testimonials, the church is doing just that. One mom wrote:
"The tutoring has improved my kid's self-esteem. Their confidence level has improved so much. Their participation in church activities is amazing. This program has been a great asset to them."

A mission grant made possible by the Mississippi Conference Office of Connectional Ministries helped fund a new computer for the program. This allows students to review math charts and other educational material through video presentations. The grant also helped purchase snacks.
Liberty UMC is committed to decreasing dropout rates in their community. Eupora is a predominately African-American rural city. With the help of United Methodists congregations who pay their mission shares, the church can fulfill its ministry.