The Staff of Epworth United Methodist Church bring a combination of life experience and appropriate accredited academic preparation for each one’s respective field. It is our goal that the staff resource the congregation in fulfilling the mission of eumc. Frequently, they will be among the first people you meet as you experience the warm welcome of Epworth.
Brief Job Description
|Rev. Saunnie Butts||Senior Pastor||Pastor Butts is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and UVA. She has served over 20 years in Youth Ministry and Missions. She has a passion for evangelism to young people and families as well as social justice ministries to the firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Donna Benken||Administrative Assistant||The welcoming voice of Epworth, Donna also coordinates the church calendar, publishes our weekly bulletins and The Carillon (monthly Newsletter)||757-622-2970; email@example.com|
|Dr. Jean Thiel||Director of Music||Jean also serves as the Organist, directs the choir and other special services. Trained as a classical musician she is dedicated to excellence and faithful preparation for each service in which she leads the firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ellen Belfi||Director of Epworth Day School||Ellen offers a warm welcome to interested persons who wish to learn more about our Day School program.||757-313-5301; email@example.com|
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Epworth United Methodist Church was founded in 1850 as Granby Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Composed of members of Cumberland Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the church was located on the corner of Granby and Freemason Streets. 1890, a congregational meeting was held, which decided that a new sanctuary needed to be built to minister to the needs of the growing congregation and community. November 22, 1893, over 1,000 people attended the ground breaking ceremony for the new church. That evening a conference was called to select the name of the new church. On the third ballot, the name Epworth was chosen, which was the boyhood home of John Wesley, founder of Methodism. January 19, 1896, the building was dedicated. The press of the city declared this to be the handsomest ecclesiastical structure south of New York. Built of granite and sandstone in the shape of a cross, the sanctuary provides a large seating capacity. There are twenty two stained glass windows which are original to the sanctuary. The four corners of the dome of the sanctuary each have an angelic figure which represents the cardinal virtues done in fresco. The pipe organ, built by the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company, was installed in 1959. In four divisions, the organ contains 50 stops covering the full range of both classical and romantic periods. Most of the stained glass in our Memorial Windows was crafted by Lamb Studios. Lamb was a contemporary of Tiffany and was well known for his skillful creations. The church has two Rosetta Windows, one on the North and one on the West Walls. These Windows have a large circular pattern in the center with 12 smaller satellite windows surrounding the large one. The sky dome is made with similar glass to the Rosetta Williams. It is lighted with Halogen lamps when worship is being held in the church. Over the years, Epworth has provided a wide variety of ministries. We have provided a home away from home for Navy personnel in times of war and peace. We have served countless families. We haves had many of our young members choose to become pastors and several of our pastors become bishops and District Superintendents of the United Methodist Church. Epworth has been and continues to be a landmark structure in downtown Norfolk, providing nurturing, outreach and witness to the community.
Our Theological Foundation is articulated through our commitment to the Authority of Scripture and the “Wesleyan Quadrilateral.” (Learn more about this concept) We believe that scriptures contain all the guidance we need to experience a personal and living relationship with Jesus Christ. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral speaks to a Wesleyan understanding of how we encounter God through Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience.