Meridian, Laurel churches land grant for TV ads


in Hattiesburg and First United Methodist Church in Laurel received a matching grant from The United Methodist Church to launch a local advertising campaign designed to reach out and welcome people into the church.

The local initiative accompanies a $1.7 million national advertising campaign which began March 29 on 18 cable networks and continues through April 15. A new television commercial entitled “The Prayer” is the latest component of The United Methodist Church’s “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” media campaign, and will air for the first time during Lent. 

The local campaign by the Main Street and First United Methodist churches will include broadcast television advertisements totaling $6,000 and is expected to reach an estimated 150,000 viewers.

 In the new television spot, a boy carefully writes a note on a piece of paper, then grabs a kite and heads outside. He attaches his handwritten note to the body of the kite and, with great anticipation, sends it soaring into the sky. This message reminds us all to “believe again” in the power of prayer.

United Methodist Communications awarded approximately $360,000 to 60 grant recipients across the nation for local media campaigns to supplement the national television campaign.  Every dollar provided by the national agency is matched by a dollar from the local church.

 “These grants enable local congregations to broadcast the church’s message of welcome in ways that are more targeted and more specific to their communities,” said The Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “Local efforts will increase the impact and reach of the overall campaign.”