Wednesday, November 29, 2023

A ‘solid rock on Christ’

Granbury residents form new Methodist church


A group of Granbury residents are witnessing firsthand just how powerful faith can be after relying completely on God for guidance as they embarked on their latest venture.
Granbury residents Debbie Parcel and Jake Caraway are just two of about 50 community members who decided to step out in faith completely and organize their own church on Aug. 21, 2022.
The church, called Solid Rock Global Methodist Church, was essentially created to “provide a new and fresh start for people who love the Lord, follow Christ, and believe in following the Word of God through the Bible,” according to its website.
Parcel, who is now the pastor of the one-year-old Solid Rock Global Methodist Church, said the church’s name was the first thing their congregation needed to figure out.
"When we stepped out in faith, they all kept saying, ‘We want to plant our feet on the foundation of Christ,’” she explained. “So, we said, ‘OK, well, what do you want to call it?’ And they kept saying, ‘The foundation.’ I said, ‘Well the foundation is really not a church name,’ and they kept coming back to ‘Well, I love the song ‘Solid Rock on Christ.’’ We put it out to the members at the time and said, ‘What do you want?’ and they came up with Solid Rock, because we are using our foundation, and Christ is our foundation."
Although Parcel had obtained her Master of Divinity and her Doctor of Ministry in the past, she never dreamed of going back to seminary at this point in her life — but it was something God was leading her to do.
"It's almost like a revival,” she said. “At least it seems to be in the hearts of the people that I'm dealing with, but it is for me too, because I didn't plan on preaching, but that's where God has placed me. I will be ordained a full elder in the Global Methodist Church in February. It was simply God’s plan.”
What was once a group of 30 individuals who met as a congregation in Caraway’s garage has now become a congregation of 50, who meet every Sunday above Ketzler’s Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten at 201 E. Pearl St. Suite C207.
"We were wanting to follow the Bible, to follow Christ, and to see where it took us,” Parcel said. “We're renting right now above Ketzler's, and that used to be the location of the original Methodist Church in this town. If you drive by the square, you'll still see the arch of the sanctuary. It's now the pavilion, but that was a sanctuary, and that whole area was a Methodist Church, before it became United Methodist, so in a way, we're going back to our roots by renting there.”
Parcel said one of the first orders of business when they officially formed the church was to really get back to the basics in what was preached.
"During our first service, I preached on the Bible,” she said. “’Do you believe in the Bible? What do we believe? Where do we go?’ We've gone through communion, and we've gone through weeks of the Lord's Prayer. Right now, I'm in the middle of the fruit of the Spirit. We’re just trying to get people to find Jesus in their heart again.”
The church recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, with the congregation united in its focus of one main goal — giving back to the community.
“I have a congregation that's on fire and they all want to serve,” Parcel said. “They want to help, particularly small ministries that maybe don't get a lot of attention.”
She said the first charity project they started was the change box, where members of the church started to donate their extra change to give to local nonprofit organizations.
“A little bit of change can change the world,” Parcel said.
At first, Solid Rock Global Methodist Church was only raising about $40 to $50 at a time, but to some nonprofits, it made all the difference.
“There are just certain groups that don’t get any support,” she said.
The donations grew, and now, the church has donated checks, toiletries, clothes, and backpacks to organizations like the Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center, the Ada Carey Women’s Shelter, Operation School Supplies, and Hood County Children’s Charity.
For the month of September, the church will be taking its change box to purchase supplies for senior residents at The Oaks of Granbury.
"Every quarter, we do something with the senior citizens there,” Parcel said. “We've done Bingo, we've done singalongs, we've done Christmas parties, Valentine's parties, all sorts of things. We're also (hosting) a sock hop for them. We are small. We can't take on some of the big, huge areas, but we certainly can take on 25 people in an assisted living facility.”
Female members of the church have also crocheted beanies for the NICU unit at the Lake Granbury Medical Center and sewed prayer blankets for those who are in dire need of prayers.
“For just over a year, (we’ve been) really involved," Parcel said.
Additionally, a sister church of Solid Rock Global, Lovech Methodist Church, was formed in Bulgaria on May 1, 2022, inspiring the Granbury congregation to step up and assist as needed.
“For five years, our mid-Texas conference of the Global Methodist Church has been helping the Bulgarian church to get on their feet so that they can survive, readjust, and move forward for God,” Parcel said. “Bulgaria has gone through a lot more than most people in the United States ever understand. So, our little area (now) has a sister church, and we are to come up with a certain amount of money each year to help them until they're on their own. It's kind of an exciting thing to reach out beyond, but most of the time we stick pretty much to something local.”
Parcel said the congregation may be small, but there’s enough love and care to go around in the members alone.
"It's been such a delight to watch people others have known for years, all of a sudden blossom, because they found their spot,” she said. “They plugged in and they're doing things that they hadn't done before and stepped out, so offering that opportunity is precious to me.”
She said she encourages congregation members to share God with others in the community.
"As wonderful as it is to get people in the door of our church, it's more important that we help people find the door to heaven — and that's kind of the approach we've been taking,” Parcel said. “This church has been an absolute blessing and a gift and I'm way out of my comfort zone, but they seem to help me get there. God has led me, and God has led us every step of the way. Every time something has come up, and we need a door to open, the door has opened, but that comes from trusting that we're doing what he wants.”
Every Sunday morning, Solid Rock Global Methodist Church hosts Sunday school at 9 a.m. and worship at 10 a.m.
A women’s bible study meets on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at Caraway’s garage on Pearl St, while a men’s bible study — that was recently formed — meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Caraway’s Garage on Pearl St.
Group bible study will also be held every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Caraway’s Garage, with discussions centered around the “I Can Only Imagine” movie.
“We can't really do a lot with children, youth, and even nursery until we define ourselves a little better, and we can't define ourselves until we land somewhere,” Parcel said.
Although the church has a temporary location for its services, Parcel hopes to find a permanent location for the congregation soon.
“We're in the process of that,” she said. “We have a building fund that is in process right now that's growing. We are actively looking, but we figure God will lead us where we're supposed to be — hopefully sooner than later.”
But in the meantime, Parcel said she also loves giving to senior residents as well as helping people find a relationship with God.
"I'd love to see more youth involved,” she said. “Our senior citizens are ready to be involved with the youth, so it's just sharing and being able to help people find that relationship with God, but I don't want anybody to feel marginalized. A lot of our senior citizens that I'm working with now who are so active and busy felt like they were pushed aside.”
She made a comment about her mother who is 92 but remains active by baking five dozen cookies every week for their reception area.
"It keeps her going,” Parcel said. “She said, ‘They're just cookies,’ and I said, ‘That's your ministry.’”
Parcel said the Solid Rock Global Methodist Church is the first — and only — Global Methodist Church in Granbury.
"It's exciting to me,” she said. “It's a revival of the Holy Spirit, it's a revival of people's spirits, and their outlooks, and it’s hope — and in this world, we need hope.”
She added she couldn’t have done any of this without the help of her “wonderful support group.”
"Over the years, I've heard (people) say that 10% of the church does 90% of the work, but right now I would say 95% of the church does 100% of the work,” Parcel said. “And the only ones that don't are in prayer because they're too old to do a lot anymore. Everybody's actively involved, so it makes it a lot easier for me. Yeah, it's scary, but it should be whenever you do something for God.”
For more information about Solid Rock Global Methodist Church, visit online or call 682-498-3838.
“Everybody’s welcome,” Parcel added. “But the Bible is still the guide.” | 817-573-1243