Parkway Hills UMC Overview
The cross and flame is the traditional symbol of the United Methodist Church. The cross reminds us of Jesus' sacrifice for us and the flame reminds us of the presence of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2), the beginning of the Christian church in the world. The cross and flame are often enclosed by a circle, the symbol of perfection and of eternity, which reminds us of God's eternal love and care for us, his church.
Parkway Hills UMC's logo incorporates two of the traditional symbols associated with Christianity - the fish, which in Greek is ichthys from which one can produce an acrostic for the Greek words for Jesus (i) Christ (ch) God's (th) son(y), savior(s), and which is an enduring symbol for Christ, and the dove, which is the sign of the Holy Spirit present in our world. The swirling lines in the animation of the logo suggest circles as well as the creative spirit of God at work in the world.
In June 1994, Bruce Taylor, his wife Susan, and their children, Mandy and Ben, moved to Madison to begin a new United Methodist Church. With no people, no land, no building, and no office from which to work, Bruce began knocking on doors across the Madison/Ridgeland area and found families interested in the possibility of creating a new congregation. The seed of our church was planted.
Thirteen people worshiped together in the first service held at the Taylor home August 3, 1994. The group continued to grow, meeting in the Taylor home until the first official worship service January 15, 1995, at the Madison Central High School Field House. A great crowd of 119 people worshiped together that day.
In December 1994, eight acres of land were purchased on Highland Colony Parkway in Madison, and a master plan developed for future buildings to be phased in as the church grew. On April 9, 1995, Parkway Hills United Methodist Church was officially named and constituted as a United Methodist Church and 54 people became the first full members of the congregation with 20 children on the preparatory roll.
In 1996, the stained glass windows in our buildings were acquired from Capitol Street United Methodist Church in Jackson and incorporated into the church's master plan.
On the third anniversary of the very first meeting in the Taylor home, August 3, 1997, we held a groundbreaking service for the new Worship Center. Less than two years later, Parkway Hills UMC held its first service April 18, 1999, in the Worship Center, moving from Madison Central High School into its permanent home on Highland Colony Parkway. Not long after this initial service, the second phase of the master plan began.
In November 2003, Phase 2 construction of the Education/Administration Building was completed. This building houses Sunday School classrooms, a children's area called The Garden, youth rooms, a choir rehearsal room, administrative offices, and The Parlor. The original office space in the Worship Center building has been converted to an large kitchen and food service area.
After shepherding Parkway Hills UMC through its founding and early years, Reverend Taylor was appointed to Pascagoula First United Methodist Church in late summer 2004. Rev. Richard Robbins became Parkway Hills UMC's senior pastor until his retirement in 2010. In June 2010, Bruce Case moved to Madison with his wife Jen and two children, Trip and Susannah, to become the third senior pastor in our history. In June 2017, Dawn Flowers moved to Madison with her husband, Shawn, and three children, Abby Jo, Davis, and Coady, to become the fourth and current pastor of Parkway Hills UMC.
We are a vibrant, growing church, with new programs developed and added as needs arise. God continues to bless our church as we strive to be His Church in our community.
We invite you to join us for any of our worship services or ministry activities. You will then understand the words of our unofficial motto, "We do best the things we do together"!
Our Core Values
On Monday night, September 11, 2006, the Church Council unanimously adopted the following statement as the Core Values for Parkway Hills United Methodist Church. These core values guide us in planning and evaluating our ministries:
As people of the United Methodist Church, we will welcome each other and the strangers in our midst with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We are a community which values everyone and extends the love of Christ to all.
Spiritual development is a lifelong journey—from cradle to grave. We will live to be more like Jesus and never stop growing into a deeper relationship with God.
With the hearts of servants, we will nurture and care for those within and beyond our walls. We are the hands and voice of Christ.
God's grace and love are in us and all around us. They are the source of all our gifts. We will praise God in our worship, with all of our gifts, and through our stewardship of the beauty and the bounty of the Earth.