2005-07-20 / Front Page

Rev. Bandy is new M.U.M.C. pastor

Millen News Editor
By Deborah Bennett

Rev. Bandy is new M.U.M.C. pastor

The Rev. Christy Bandy is the first woman to serve as pastor of the Millen United Methodist Church. She assumed the pastorate of the church June 1.The Rev. Christy Bandy is the first woman to serve as pastor of the Millen United Methodist Church. She assumed the pastorate of the church June 1.

By Deborah Bennett

Millen News Editor

It is often said that the best presents come in the smallest packages. And so it is with the Rev. Christy Bandy. "Small in stature, but large in spirit," could best describe the first woman to ever step behind the pulpit of the Millen United Methodist Church as its pastor.

Rev. Bandy assumed the pastorate of the church on June 1.

While a woman minister may seem strange to some, Rev. Bandy points out that throughout the history of the Methodist church women have been assuming the role.

"Often in the 1800’s, when a minister would die, his wife would take over the church," she said. She is also quick to point out that women played a vital role in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

"They were the first to proclaim that He had risen from the tomb," she comments.

Rev. Bandy, a native of Stockbridge, is a graduate of Georgia State University with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and a master of divinity degree from the Emory University Candler School of Theology. Prior to coming to Millen, she has served as associate pastor of Swainsboro Methodist Church; pastor of the Wrightsville Circuit which consists of five small churches; pastor of Buck Creek Methodist Church in Sylvania; director of the Savannah District Wesley Foundation where she oversaw the college ministries; and pastor of the Irwinton Charge which included three small churches.

Although she has always been involved in the Lord’s work, finding her place behind the pulpit was not an easy task, Rev. Bandy admits.

"I fought it. I did everything to run from it. Even in seminary, I was not sure about the pulpit. I was thinking I would go into mission work," she said. But then a friend asked her to serve once a month at a church.

"That just really affirmed that calling. Finally I surrendered to the fact that God was calling me to full time ministry," she said.

Her father’s reaction, she recalls, was one of disbelief and laughter. "But he is 100 percent supportive," she adds.

The same has been true of the congregations she has served.

"Everyone has been very respectful and supportive. Once they get to know me, they can see beyond a woman in the ministry. They come to see me as a caring pastor and an effective minister."

Rev. Bandy said that her desire for this community is for its citizens to work together hand-in-hand.

"It’s a dream God has placed in my heart," she said. "For all of us to work together as Christians."

The Southern Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church ordained its first women ministers in 1975.

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