Questions about Project Bountiful?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about PB (Project Bountiful)

  1. What is Project Bountiful?
    Project Bountiful is a renewal and revitalization three-year initiative to assist 48 rural churches and communities across the North Carolina Conference to connect with the rural community and their spiritual abundance. Church Teams will discover how to listen to their communities and to design ministry that is vision-driven, deeply intentional, highly relational, strategically relevant and always contextural. They will explore best practices, form partnerships within their communities and be guided in managing conflict.
  2. Who makes up the Project Bountiful Team?
    The team is comprised of the pastor and 2 laity who attend each of the 5 two-day retreats, and at least 2 additional laity on the extended team. The entire team will meet at least 3 times between retreats.
  3. Who is needed as a part of the team? Team members, as influencers and/or stakeholders, will have demonstrated wisdom within the congregation. Gender, age and season are to be considered. Discovery of spiritual gifts will be a part early on for the team. Members look with hope towards the future, appreciate wisdom gained from the past. They anticipate new opportunities for their local congregation to create a plan for furthering God’s kingdom in and among the place and people around them.
  4. When are the retreats?
    What are the accommodations for the overnight? Sept. 9-10; Nov. 18-19; Jan. 13-14; March 10-11; and May 19-20. For those traveling a long distance, we will help in seeking options of accommodations. It is important that all know and abide by the starting and ending times for each session.
  5. Where are the retreats held?
    Garris Chapel UMC, 823 Piney Grove Church Rd,
    La Grange, NC 28551.
  6. What if I can’t be at a retreat?
    The expectation is that all retreat/core members of Project Bountiful will be at each retreat for the entire time. If an emergency comes up, another member of the extended team must attend in that person’s absence, to insure continuity.
  7. What is the retreat schedule?
    Retreats are Friday/Saturday of designated weeks. Friday: gathering at 8:30 am with pick-up breakfast; programming begins promptly at 9:00 am; day ends at 5:00 pm. Saturday: gathering at 8:00 am with pickup breakfast; programming starts at 8:30 am; day ends at 4:30 pm.
  8. What happens after the retreats?
    Between retreats, participants will meet 3 times with the extended team, first sharing what they experienced on the retreat as well as any assignments given. Every other month (October, December, February, April, October) the entire PB Team will receive a Coaching call focusing on insights and how to incorporate learnings into life of the church and the community. At the end of each Retreat, there will be questions offered that the Coaches will use for a guide. The third meeting will focus on planning for ministry.

The PB Team will also use multiple means of sharing with the larger congregation (worship, newsletters, Sunday School classes, book studies, Admin./Church Council, bulletins, phone chains, etc. ) to include the entire community of faith in sharing what they are learning and discovering, involving the entire church in an expanded vision of ministry and mission to be shared within the church context as well as the community.

  1. Why is our church being asked to pay $1,000?
    Project Bountiful is a joint endeavor of The North Carolina Conference, Duke Endowment and the Academy for Leadership Excellence. The selected rural churches of Project Bountiful are asked to pay $1,000 each as their part of the investment. Contact Rev. Bill Gattis in the Academy office for other special considerations needed.

Resources provided include 5-6 books, child care over retreats if needed, snacks, meals and the wisdom gained through regional experts which will be brought in. In addition a thumb drive is provided each team which includes access to materials used over the retreats. Books will be given to the retreat team members (extended team members may purchase their own or borrow from core team). It is hoped that some of the books (i.e. personal devotional as well as others) will be life-long companions for the spiritual journeys of the PB team.

  1. Isn’t there an easier way?
    Be assured that Project Bountiful is not about finding an easy fix or even that this is just another program. This is a journey of faith for your congregation that is founded on prayer. Resources and support will be provided to assist towards the development of a plan to empower the members of congregations in rural churches to assess their bountiful gifts and how they might be in ministry with their community to further God’s kingdom.
  2. Evaluation plans?
    Professional evaluator (Amy Germuth, EvalWorks) will aid in PB’s learning along the way and with follow-up to its fruitfulness…informing/guiding future initiatives in the rural church.
  3. Which churches have been a part of Project Bountiful in Years 1 and 2?

BEACON DISTRICT: Collington: Rev. Teresa Holloway; Newbegun: Rev. Roger Braun; Camden: Rev. David Moehring; Asbury: Rev. Jim Reed; Ware’s Chapel: Rev. Joan Fisher; First UMC Washington: Rev. Danny Allen

HERITAGE DISTRICT: Hornes: Rev. Jason Schweinberg ; Community/Stem: Rev. Brock Meyer

Swepsonville: Rev. Christi Dye; Pleasant Green: Rev. Jesse Brunson; Bethel/Center: Rev. Joseph Park; Friendship: Rev. HenrySwanzey

SOUND DISTRICT: Webb Chapel: Rev. Rod Dorn; Sharon: Rev. Chris Jenkins; Trenton: Rev. Bettie Francis; Unidos Por Cristo: Rev. Ernesto Barriguete

FAIRWAY DISTRICT: Chatham: Rev. Danny Berrier; Jonesboro: Rev. Andi Woodhouse; Kipling: Rev. Melinda Ivey; West End: Rev. Won NamKoong; Lemon Springs: Rev. Sara Beth Pannell; Smyrna: Rev. David Woodhouse; High Falls: Rev. Tony Baurichter; Ellerbe/Mt. Pleasant: Rev. Elizabeth Polk

CAPITAL DISTRICT: Buckhorn: Rev. David Amon; Divine Street: Rev. Beth Gaines

(Year 1) First UMC, Washington: Rev. Danny Allen;
(Year 2) Jonesboro, Sanford: Rev. Andi Woodhouse

Each congregation is asked to have a commissioning of their entire PB Team before the retreat.  PLEASE include PROJECT BOUNTIFUL, its teams, leaders, and undertakings, in your Prayer Ministries.


Bill Gattis: Elder under appt. 45 years, last 8 years as Burlington District Superintendent. Retired June 2012. Became Executive Director of Academy for Leadership Excellence Jan 2013. Certified Life Coach  and Congregational Coach with Spiritual Leadership, Inc. with focus on small membership/rural church.

Judith Stephens: One of first Deacons ordained in NC Conference. Appt. to NC Camp & Retreat Min. and to local churches. Certified in Camp & Retreat Ministry, Christian Education, and Spiritual Formation with training in conflict transformation with JustPeace and Lombard Institute; Leadership Training Network; Shalem Institute.