For immediate release July 15,2013
Media contact: Donna Dodson  (410) 945-8397

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CHANEY APPOINTED AS REVITALIZATION PASTOR, TO START A NEW FAITH COMMUNITY

The Rev. William T. Chaney Jr. has been appointed to the Infinite Grace Parish which is comprised of two congregations by resident Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. . A new church initiative Infinite Grace Fellowship and revitalizing church West Baltimore United Methodist Church.  Rev. William T Chaney Jr began his pastoral duties in the historic 40 West Corridor of Baltimore on July 1.  The initial worship will be located at 5130 Greenwich Avenue in Baltimore.

Rev. Chaney most recently served as the District Superintendent of the Baltimore Metropolitan District. Rev. Chaney, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a natural, dynamic speaker, who has also served churches in Georgia, Ohio and Maryland since 1990, prior to coming to Baltimore. William has a passion for youth which was demonstrated while he served The Youth Theological Initiative at Emory University , the Youth Hope Builders Academy at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Frederick County. He has also been a featured speaker with Monster.com’s “Making it Count” program to provide students with templates for success in high school, college and beyond.

Regarding his appointment with enthusiasm, Pastor Chaney explains, “My main objective is to develop a dynamic, multiethnic congregation that is relevant to this current generation and serves the needs of the people in the West Baltimore community.  I have a vision of both congregations being healthy, vibrant churches that function through team ministry to provide opportunities for people’s lives to be transformed.”

Chaney is married to Rev. Michelle Holmes Chaney, and they have one daughter, Courtney Elizabeth.  Pastor Chaney holds degrees in communication from the University of Cincinnati and Georgia State University. He obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in Georgia.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.
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Missional Communities vary widely but can be described as mid-sized groups (20 – 50 people) who are bonded in vision and on the mission of God for their group together. At Infinite Grace we call them Grace Communities and Grace Circles.  We are preparing to launch 4 Grace Communities in September.  We are looking at Arbutus, Catonsville, Woodlawn, and Randalstown.  Check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/infinitegracefellowship

Yesterday Andy Lunt (Director of Congregational Development), Paul Nixon (Path One Consultant) and I drove through the City of Baltimore.  We were loaded down with maps, demographic reports and news clips about about the various communities, that comprise the Charm City.  Our goal was simple, to identify places where a UMC community of faith was missing.

We drove through Franklin Square, Lafayette Square, Bolton Hill, Fells Point, Canton. Paterson Park, John Hopkins Hospital and then straight out Belair Road to Overlea and back across the city to Catonsville, through PIkesville and Mt. Washington.  As we drove through and talked to people, observed the community differences and the obvious challenges I was most disturbed and shaken by the extreme poverty that exists in several neighborhoods where there is no UMC.  I know that the rule of thumb in starting a new church is go to where there is community growth.  I get that but we need a new strategy for our urban communities and for city centers.

I am praying that God will send ministry servants who care and will participate in a ministry to directly address the plight of the poor, the working poor and those living in communities where the social problems including food insecurity, access to healthcare, drugs being sold on the streets and addictions of every kind outweigh and overshadow the hope that there is a better life and the realization of God’s love in their lives.

My prayer is that we develop a team to change one neighborhood in a major way to reflect the Reign of God’s kingdom here on earth. If you will join me in this prayer, please leave a comment.