New United Methodist Church plant opens to serve the faith needs of the Greenville community

December 19, 2023

A new United Methodist Church (UMC) plant has opened at 2703 Augusta Street in Greenville called Open Hearts United Methodist Church. The new church plant intentionally embraces the UMC’s “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” philosophy. Since its official opening on July 1, attendance has averaged 150 children, youth and adults from across Greenville County each week, addressing the needs of the community with love and grace.

Rev. Karen Jones, its lead pastor, received her Master of Divinity from Emory University – Candler School of Theology in 2009 and was ordained in the United Methodist Church of South Carolina. She is supported by a group of passionate lay leaders, who have been hard at work to create a warm, welcoming place for anyone seeking a new Christ-centered church home where they can find spiritual fulfillment, Christian education and guidance, as well as fellowship with each other.

The lay leadership team is comprised of:
• Pete Byford
• Sammy Cely
• Tom Creech
• Matt Hawley
• Matt Raven
• Jenna Robinson
• Linda Sarratt
• Lynne Shackelford
• Susan Way
• Carol Wilson

“What unifies our congregation is our common passion to love God and serve our neighbors with our hearts, minds and strength,” said Rev. Jones. “My hope is that we will be a church that serves as a brave space for all people seeking to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through study, worship and service, where we can have differing opinions and still respect and love each other as God commands.”

“We are excited to invite the community to visit us. We have something for everyone, so if you want to be an integral part of a growing faith community where you can make an impact, come check us out,” said Jenna Robinson, Leadership Team member at Open Hearts UMC.

On Sundays, programming is as follows:
• 9:45-10:45 a.m. – Adult, youth, and children’s Sunday school classes, children’s nursery (ages 3 and under), and intergenerational community coffee time to meet and get to know other members and visitors.
• 11 a.m.-noon – Traditional worship service, including a special children’s ministry (K4-2nd graders)

“We have a perfect location with lots of room to grow,” said Tom Creech, Leadership Team member. “We have wonderful people, and the resources, values, theology, mission, vision and leadership to bring people closer to God and to continue the work of Jesus.”

To learn more about Open Hearts United Methodist Church, visit its website, or Facebook page for frequent updates. Sermons can be found on its YouTube channel.


About Open Hearts United Methodist Church

Open Hearts United Methodist Church is a new congregation, founded in 2023 that is proud to be a part of the United Methodist denomination. We strive to embody the values of open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We believe that by opening ourselves to others, we can create a welcoming community where everyone can feel valued and supported. We recognize that faith is a journey, and we embrace the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds that make up our congregation. Our community is a place where you can ask questions, share your experiences, and learn from one another in an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance.