Courthouse Community United Methodist Church is a congregation that is 25 years old located in the geographic center of Virginia Beach (near the Courthouse). This area of the city has grown over the past 25 years, with new housing starts and continued retail and service industry development. This growth offers many opportunities for our church's future. Our current membership is 960 members, and we received 99 new members this past year and 27 baptisms. Average weekly attendance is approximately 514 during our four worship services. Our diversity of worship includes one traditional service and two contemporary services. The traditional service at 8:30 A.M. is highly valued as are the two contemporary services ( 9:45 A.M. Sunday, and 11:15 A.M. Sunday). Worship is enhanced by a variety of music offerings and includes three bands, an Adult Choir, Handbells, and Youth and Children's music programs. Five worship services are offered on Christmas Eve, including child and family-oriented, contemporary, and traditional services. At present, we have thirty outstanding, highly committed church staff members supporting our church’s ministries and missions (including our Preschool Director and fourteen nursery staff). Our Christian Preschool has twenty-six teachers, assistants, and helpers.
Courthouse Community strives to grow disciples within all of our ministries and functions. Our ministries designed to grow our members in their faith walk work hand in hand with our ministries and mission to bring Christ’s love to those outside of our church’s physical walls. Included in our outreach efforts is our “mugging” program. In an effort to further welcome visitors and invite them back to be a part of our church family, “muggers” go to the homes of our visitors on Sunday afternoons to present them with a Courthouse mug and goodies, along with information on our programming opportunities. We also offer a new member orientation program to help new members become involved with the church more quickly as they begin to explore and identify their own unique spiritual gifts.
Members are continually nurtured in their faith through faith education and a variety of small groups. Three Sunday School session hours are offered weekly for children, youth and adults. We also offer small groups and classes for all ages through our Marvelous Midweeks (Wednesday evenings) program. Midweeks programming includes the Disciple Bible Study Series, men’s and women’s groups, young adult groups, youth Bible study, and book discussion groups. The children’s Midweeks programming is based on missions and service opportunities. Our small groups have continued to expand with groups meeting at varied times and days to accommodate a variety of schedules. We also involve more members in our small groups and adult Sunday School classes by tying them to the sermon series being preached by our pastoral staff. Our Christian Preschool serves the families of about 145 children. Our annual summer Vacation Bible School for children had an enrollment of over 270 in 2011. These small study groups provide further opportunities for Christian formation and nurturing by offering an open and supportive environment. We also continue to offer a Biblical Financial small group study.
Our church is actively involved in a number of outreach ministries, and outreach is an integral part of our children’s, youth and adult ministries programming. Service programs include Volunteers in Mission (local, national, and international), Carolina Cross-Connection and participation in Youth Outreach Week with other local churches, as well as joint mission trips to areas affected by natural disasters. Many of our members are actively involved with the Emmaus and Chrysalis communities, as well. Our church provides meeting facilities and support for local groups, including Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Our Christian drama team presents regular skits to enhance worship. We have also teamed with a neighboring (predeominantly African-American) church, Turning Point Church, to offer an alternating joint Thanksgiving Eve service for the past several years. Our Stephen Ministry program benefits our membership through nurture, support, and ongoing care. Currently there are nine commissioned Stephen Ministers and two Stephen Ministry leaders.
Our newest facility, our Family Life Center opened on November 16, 2008. This multipurpose building has greatly expanded our ministry opportunities. It houses an industrial kitchen, food pantry, bathrooms with showers, Young Adult Loft (for ages 18-25), storage, an office, lobby, and a gymnasium with a stage that will double as additional fellowship and worship space. The following are ministries and events that are currently happening and anticipated: After School Program, Upward Sports Ministry, The Storehouse (food pantry), midweeks meals, worship (our only facility that will hold all of us), UMYF meetings and events, The Loft (young adult space for ages 18-25), blood drive, Courthouse Creations (catering team), Youth Outreach Week, young adult weekly worship, homeless rotation, Christian concerts, hosting community events, hosting out of town churches that come into town to do mission work, basketball camps which coincide with Upward, Sunday School classes, and a Red Cross emergency shelter. There is much excitement over the outreach opportunities that this facility makes possible. Our mission to the community and the world includes making or exceeding our askings and offering of apportionments; monthly Meals On Wheels delivery; providing meals to the homeless at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center; support of Samaritan House (shelter for battered women) through a continuous outpouring of gifts; support of local jail ministries; holiday food baskets for the needy; continued support of Union Missions (including Hope Haven); a Christmas Angel Tree; and quarterly American Red Cross blood drives. In addition, our United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men’s groups are actively involved in a number of outreach missions programs.
This year, our church stepped out in faith to lead in the development of our Young Adult faith group. We have feared the loss of this new and emerging generation, and realized that something had to be done. In just a few months, we are already seeing the young adult small groups being developed and growing. Young Adult Events and Mission endeavors are also taking off. We have a new Young Adult Leader in place. It is exciting to see this Young Adult group grow here at Courthouse Community.
In the July of 2012 we have had a change in Pastor's with the addition of Reverend Randy McMillen. A long time pastor who came over from Oakgrove UMC in Chesapeake.