Our current name does not represent the communities we serve and our unique military context. Not only are we the United Methodist Church for Fort Leonard Wood, Saint Robert, Waynesville, and several surrounding communities, but we are the oldest church meeting in Pulaski County today. We desire to have a name that is inclusive of the vast communities we serve and builds on the legacy of our church’s ancestors.
The Governing Board and Pastor Brett began working with a coach on visioning for the church’s future in late 2021. A church-wide visioning session was held, followed by a church-wide survey. Afterward, Pastor Brett worked with the coach to draft a Strategic Ministry Plan, which included a proposed name change. After prayerful consideration and revisions, the Governing Board approved changing the name to Waypoint United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2022.
Waypoint is a military term and describes our unique military context. Pastor Brett describes our church as having a “revolving door.” We are often one stop on a family’s faith journey as they travel from place to place through the military. We recognize that our unique call is to welcome families for a short while, share Jesus’ love with them while stationed at FLW, and then send them to their next assignment equipped to share the Good News of Jesus. It is not uncommon for some families to return to us multiple times in their military careers while stationed at FLW.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6 Jesus is the WAY to salvation and God’s love. Our purpose is to POINT people to Jesus.
We love Waypoint because it has indirect but direct meanings and could represent something different for each person.
Changing our name does not change who we are as a faith community. We define the name, not the other way around. Waypoint reflects who we are, who we serve, and the work we hope to accomplish for Jesus Christ.
No. The Governing Board considered the trend in other mainline churches dropping their denominational associations in their name. However, we value our connection to the United Methodist Church and believe our deep Methodist roots set us apart from other churches. Methodism is rooted in grace and a journey of personal holiness, committed to social justice, and sharing the work of “making disciples for the transformation of the world.” Our church has been the leading Methodist presence in Pulaski County since 1833, and we affirm that connection by maintaining United Methodist Church in our name.
“Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because
unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.” – Peter Marshall
In late 2021, we felt the time was right to begin dreaming about where God might lead our church in the future. Churches with a clear and unified vision are proven to have a greater impact in building relationships that lead people to Jesus Christ. Vision offers any organization a strategic road map for where it is going, how to get there, and knowing when it has reached its desired destination.
We began prayerfully considering God’s vision for our future in January 2022. The Governing Board finalized a Strategic Ministry Plan in May and shared it with the church at the end of June. It is effective on July 1. These steps will help us better fulfill our purpose, build on the legacy of our ancestors, and allow us to thrive as a faith community for generations to come.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19
We are a church for all generations aiming to share God’s love, grow in faith, and positively impact in our community by helping people discover the way to Jesus.
Jesus – Everything we do points to Him.
Relational – We are better together.
Growing – Our faith leads us to change.
Future – The next generation is worth everything.
Authentic – We are real people following a real God.
Excellence – We always give our best.