A Building Ministry: The Role of a United Methodist Minister in the Major Building Project of Dublin First UMC, a Large Historic Church
ABSTRACT DAVID TYLER PLAXICO A BUILDING MINISTRY: THE ROLE OF A UNITED METHODIST MINISTER IN THE MAJOR BUILDING PROJECT OF DUBLIN FIRST UMC, A LARGE HISTORIC CHURCH Under the direction of GRAHAM WALKER, Ph.D. Dublin First United Methodist Church is a large historic United Methodist Church located in downtown Dublin, GA. This church is much like many of its kind; it has a long proud history of effective ministry in the community in which it resides. For over 150 years DFUMC has been a faithful body of believers bent on making disciples of Jesus Christ from its location in the heart of Dublin. As time has progressed, the facilities of the church have begun to decline and the existing structure became much in need of renovation, remodel and new construction. The leadership of DFUMC decided that a Building Project was needed to directly address these acknowledged needs in order for the church to continue to be a place of meaningful worship, study and fellowship. The purpose of this Project Thesis came as a result of this decision and of the desire to ascertain what the specific role the Senior Pastor of the church would be in this building project. In pursuit of this end, extensive research on pastoral identity, sacred architecture, institutional change theory and Christian leadership was conducted. Following this research, Qualitative Research methodology was employed through the utilization of subject interviews. The interviews were focused on similarly situated Senior Pastors of large historic UMC congregations that have or were currently undergoing a ! ix ! similar large Building Project. Four such Senior Pastors were chosen according to these criteria and were interviewed using identical targeted interrogatories. The data gleaned from these interviews was then analyzed by coding the resulting information. Specific categories and codes that were identified as pertinent to the study were identified and the data was examined accordingly. The findings were that there is indeed a specific role for the Senior Pastor of a large historic UMC in a Building Project of this type. The identified role was that of a “Managing Agent of Visionary Change.” The future study of this work is varied and includes the continued examination of Pastoral Identity and perceived ministerial responsibility as it pertains to particular congregations and to the church-specific needs of a Senior Pastor. The information gathered and examined in this Project Thesis may be expanded accordingly and may serve as a foundation for studies on ministerial responsibility within the UMC.
Plaxico, David Tyler