The Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Dodson was appointed as senior minister at Peachtree City United Methodist Church by Bishop B. Michael Watson at the denomination’s North Georgia Annual Conference, meeting in Athens, Ga., June 14-17. Dodson will preach his first sermon to the Peachtree City congregation on June 26.
“I am grateful to God for the opportunity to ‘come home’ to North Georgia and honored to be coming to serve the Peachtree City Church. I am very excited and I believe this will be a good relationship for fruitful ministry,” Dodson said. “I am eager to become a part of the community and get to know people, serve where I can and share life together.”
The appointment will be the fifth for Dodson, a Georgia native and fourth generation Methodist preacher. His father, Dr. Malone Dodson, was the longtime senior pastor of the Roswell United Methodist Church, one of the state’s largest Methodist congregations, until his retirement in 2001.
Dr. Steve Dodson comes to Peachtree City from Memphis, Tenn., and Christ United Methodist Church.
“While it is not unprecedented, being appointed across annual conference lines is not the norm,” Dodson explains. The bishops of both conferences must agree to the unique appointment. Such was the case in 2007 when the Memphis congregation requested Dodson to serve as senior pastor after a nationwide vetting process. Dodson has also served at the following United Methodist Churches in Georgia: Trinity on the Hill in Augusta; McKendree in Lawrenceville; Faith in Cartersville; and Mt. Bethel in Marietta (as associate pastor). He and his wife, Susan, have one daughter, Elizabeth.
Peachtree City UMC was formed in 1974. Dodson becomes the sixth senior minister, following the Rev. Herzen Andone who was recently appointed by Bishop Watson as district superintendent of the Northwest District of the North Georgia Conference.
During his more than 25 years in ministry, Dodson has developed a reputation as an engaging preacher and a visionary church leader. Dodson earned a bachelor’s degree at Wofford College, where he was named outstanding graduate in the department of religion. He continued his education earning the master of divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He later completed the doctor of ministry program at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.
During his doctoral studies, Dodson says he discovered a passion for assisting churches in the development of wide-reaching mission and outreach. His passion has earned him invitations to preach across the nation (from Seattle, Wash. to the Outer Banks of North Carolina) and around the world. Dodson has preached and taught on mission trips in India, Togo and Zambia. In addition, he is a frequently requested evangelist at churches, revivals and camps across the South.
Most recently, Dodson preached at White Oak Camp Meeting’s spring revival in Columbia County in April. Last spring, he was one of the evangelists at Indian Springs Holiness Camp Meeting near Jackson, where his ministry has been requested again in 2013. In July 2012, Dodson is scheduled to share the pulpit with his father at Mt. Zion Camp Meeting near Griffin.
“I am not arriving in Peachtree City with a predetermined agenda,” Dodson says. “Instead, I am coming to learn and love the people of Peachtree City UMC as we discern how God is calling us forward into his preferred future. Naturally, I bring my own experiences to the table, but this church has developed a strong, vital presence in the community and we will work together to build upon that.”
The Peachtree City UMC Worship Center is at 225 Robinson Road. The congregation holds worship services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday mornings. The public is invited to attend and help welcome Steve, Susan and Elizabeth Dodson to Peachtree City and Fayette County.