Congregational Development






The Office of Congregational Development exists to enable the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church to better fulfill its mission of "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world" by:

  • Starting New Congregations in connection with District and Local Church Partners.
  • Encouraging and resourcing existing congregations to start Fresh Expressions of Church.
  • Assisting Existing Congregations large or small to Excel In Ministry, i.e., Antioch Partnership.

Please contact us today:
Office of Congregational Development  
Sandy Gutting, Office Administrator
4861 Soundside Drive
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Office: 850.291.1244

New Places for New People
contact: Sandy Gutting

The Board of Congregational Development is actively engaging new church ministries in our conference.  New churches create new places for new people, often un-churched people and thus typically reach many new people for Christ.  The Board of Congregational Development is putting together a comprehensive process for starting new congregations.  This plan includes an extensive discernment/assessment process for determining potential church planters along with providing appropriate training.  It includes a support component partnering a new church pastor and congregation with a healthy mother church, a district support team, and the Board of Congregational Development.   In addition the plan calls for a continual/supportive evaluative relationship with the new church as it moves to becoming a fully self-supporting congregation. 

A person can enter the church planter assessment process either by nomination by his/her District Superintendent or by self-selection.  The discernment process is designed to help determine if the potential new church pastor has the call of God and the gifts and graces to engage this special ministry.  If you feel you may be called to this ministry, please let your District Superintendent know and then click on the two (2) assessment tools found below.  One is “Am I Being Called To Plant A New Church” and the other is a spiritual gifts assessment.  Please complete both of these and forward the results to Sandy Gutting (, Office of Congregational Development.

Those who successfully complete the assessment process will be placed on a list made available to the Bishop and the Cabinet.  Of course you will discuss with your District Superintendent when is best for you to be considered for a new church appointment.  Please note that completion of the process does not guarantee that you will be appointed to launch a new church.

If you have any questions, please email Sandy Gutting, Office of Congregational Development. (850.291.1244)

Assesment Tools:

1. Spiritual Gifts Profile

2. Am I Being Called to Plant A Church? Quiz