May 15

Michael Shuford to Become Next Pastor of Elkin FUMC

The Rev. Michael (Mike) Shuford, currently pastor of First UMC, Sylva, will be appointed as Elkin FUMC’s next pastor effective July 1. Shuford, 60, is a graduate of UNC-Asheville (B.A. – 1979), Western Carolina (M.A. – 1983) and received his seminary training at Chandler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Mike and his wife, Donna have two grown daughters, one of whom will be moving to Boonville. Donna is an assistant teacher in the church pre-school in Sylva.

In his current position, he led the church in paying down the debt on a Christian Life Center, helped his congregation revamp the missions program to be more a part of the connection and do more significant missions in the community. 

Prior to his career as a full-time pastor, Mike served as a part-time local pastor for 20 years and worked as an elementary school counselor for Shelby City Schools for 15 years. 
“My heart is set on grace as I understand it in the Wesleyan Spirit,” said Shuford. “God has come to us with abundant grace and therefore it is our calling to offer that grace in the same manner Christ has for us.”

He has enabled his current church to become more focused and effective in mission in the community through Bible studies, discipleship and “how we react as Christians in our contemporary world.”
Mike and Donna will be visiting Elkin in the near future to meet with staff, church leaders and our current pastor. Moving week is set for the first week in July. His first day “on the job” will be Monday, July 10 with his first Sunday preaching on July 16.

During the next two months, Pastor Mark will be working with Mike and our church leadership to ensure a smooth transition. The Vision & Leadership Team, along with the Staff-Parish Relations Team, have already begun to follow the steps outlined by the conference for an orderly transition. The bishop is appointing our current pastor to Central UMC in Shelby. 

“I am excited for Elkin FUMC,” said Mark. “I know Mike will do a great job in leading this congregation. He will bring gifts and graces that will make this a stronger and better congregation. I am confident you will be in good hands.”

Please keep both churches and pastors in your prayers. And, take a moment to welcome your new parsonage family with a card, email or phone call. Michael’s contact information is: 
PO Box 296, Sylva, NC 28779


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