United Methodists were in high spirits as they gathered Sunday, August 7, for the groundbreaking ceremony of the “Bishop Mike and Marsha Coyner Epworth Discipleship Center” and “Buck Lodge” at Epworth Forest Conference Center located in North Webster, Ind. The dual-groundbreaking was a result of a year-long “Building Discipleship Centers” campaign, orchestrated to help plant structures where youth and people of all ages can discern their calling, strengthen their ministry, and grow closer to God.

When he was invited to speak, Bishop Mike Coyner shared the significance of Sunday’s date, stating that it was 100 years ago that Epworth Forest Conference Center and many other centers were built as gathering locations for the newly-founded Methodist Church. The center was built as a collective effort to provide a space for worship, fellowship, and connection. The bishop also reminisced on being a 16-year-old, 50 years ago this summer, when he walked inside the Epworth Forest Center auditorium and accepted the Call to ordained ministry. And though he holds some regret for the auditorium which is scheduled for demolition in September, Bishop shared his excitement for a new chapter of camping ministry in Indiana.

Update: In total, the Building Discipleship Centers Campaign has raised $8.8 million. 


Photos from the event can be found here.