We Welcome Atlanta’s Newest 2018 Macedonian Ministry Cohort!

A Lab for Adaptation and Innovation

Our newest Atlanta cohort not only represents the rapidly growing diversity of the city, but also the necessity of experimenting, innovating, and adapting ministry to complex communities…urban, suburban, refugee, homeless, seekers, searchers, skeptics, podcasters, old, young, and in-between!

There are few populations around the city that don’t have some point of intersection with this uniquely creative cohort. Join us as we anticipate the Holy Spirit providing unique avenues for cross-pollination and support among these pastors and their congregations. They need your prayers, support, and encouragement!

Meet the Cohort!

Marthame Sanders

Mentor, AIJCast

“I said yes to being the mentor of this cohort because I have experienced the gift of Macedonian Ministry, as a former member of a cohort, and I wanted to pay that forward.  Also, the timing was right in my ‘bandwidth’ to do this and I’m thrilled about the incredible cohort that we have brought together.”

Emily Bagwell

Cohort Member, St. James United Methodist Church

“From the very beginning the conversations have been open and exciting, and I’ve really appreciated the diversity of the cohort that it’s developed.  I feel like it’s really going to allow the genuine and deep conversation that I’ve been longing for and craving.  Just to be in conversation with colleagues across the city is exciting to me.”

Myron Deas

Cohort Member, Alexander Memorial AME Church

“I’m looking forward to expanding my ministry, growing how I pastor and to building relationships with those outside my denominational walls.  I’m excited to learn new things, different ways of ministering and pastoring, and to better my congregation and what we did in ministry and in our community.”

Cassandra Henderson

Cohort Member, The Breakthrough Fellowship

“Being a part of this cohort is an opportunity to connect with other clergy who are in different areas of their own journey.  It is an opportunity to build relationships with one another, learn from one another, be sharpened by one another, be supported by one another, and to journey together in this thing called ministry, where it’s so easy to get lost and be alone.  When I asked other pastors who are currently in their own Macedonian Ministry cohort to share their experience, their level of enthusiasm about the program, its network and the relationships that they’re building and establishing, all played a role in my saying yes to being a part of this cohort.  Good word of mouth goes a long way!”

Maggie Leonard

Cohort Member Mercy Community Church

“Following a really rough year with the institutional church who seemed to really not care about individuals living in extreme poverty, I said yes to be a part of this cohort because I wanted to join together with a group of social justice-minded pastors from different denominations across the city and find some hope for the larger church.”

David Lower

Cohort Member, St. Luke's Presbyterian Church

“I wanted to be a part of this cohort because I am looking to journey through this life of ministry with colleagues and friends, and to learn and grow.”

Gad Mpoyo

Cohort Member, Shalom International Church

“I said yes to be a part of this cohort because, in the current context of my ministry I’m transitioning from being a church planter, so being together with other colleagues in ministry who have experience and knowledge, and the diversity of this cohort, I believe, will help me grow in my own ministry.”

Esther Powers

Cohort Member, Mathalama AME Church

“Being a part of this cohort gives me the opportunity to be exposed to different faiths, different viewpoints in ministry…I’m all about growing and learning.  I’m a lifelong learner so to have the opportunity to sit with other people and share, and the growth that comes from that, will benefit my ministry and I will benefit theirs.  We are not in this by ourselves so we have to find ways in which we can come together and cross all lines.”

Matt Seadore

Cohort Member, North Avenue Presbyterian Church

“I said yes to be a part of this cohort because I’ve been looking for a group of people who are very diverse denominationally, racially, and the ways that they approach ministry in the city.  My hope is that through this cohort, my own leadership will grow from learning from others who are different from myself.”

Sherice Simmons

Cohort Member, Fidelity AME Church

“I said yes to this cohort because I want something different from my norm in order to give me an opportunity for growth in regards to my ministry, personally, to be more diverse and to learn how to engage in ministry in a different way.”

Karen Slappey

Cohort Member, Redeemer Lutheran Church

“I said yes to be apart of this cohort because I think I’ve been looking for something like this since I graduated from seminary.  Community is hard to come by for people in the ministry.  It’s often really lonely and busy because even if you could get people together that were willing, schedules don’t always line up. So, I said yes because I’m excited about the curriculum and the community, but also because it’s intentional.  We will gather monthly and we have accountability to one another.  I was looking for something like this and I need something like this…I’m really excited.”

Terrence Smith

Cohort Member, Buckhead Church

“I said yes to be a part of this cohort because I felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  In seminary, there’s a lot of talk about burnout and how real it is, and so whenever I heard about the opportunity, got the chance to experience and meet a few people, I knew that I had to jump on board.  Just knowing that it would benefit not only myself but the congregation and people I serve as well, by me not being burned-out.”

Victor Tate

Cohort Member, First Mount Pleasant Baptist Church

“I said yes to be a part of this cohort because it provides the opportunity to build relationships with a diverse group of pastors in the city, where we can learn and grow in our ministries together.”

Michel Wortham

Cohort Member, Ebenezer Baptist Church

“I wanted to be a part of this cohort because it’s good to be around people who understand what you’re going through. I think a lot of times people don’t fully understand what it means to be a pastor and so it’s good to be around a community that actually gets you.  You can grow together, learn together and build together so that we can be better pastors to God’s people.”

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