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Mesa’s Free Methodist Church to Celebrate Six Decades of Ministry with Thanksgiving Feast

This year, the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara has served the Mesa for 60 years. Having begun in other parts of the city, the congregation built on Cliff Drive and became one of only three churches in the area. 

Following the Wesleyan way of love, the congregation has grown from only 4 families of 20 people to a congregation of 850 with around 500 people attending a worship service in any given week. 

Having begun with one pastor, the Rev. Ted Lux, the congregation is now under the leadership of Dr. Denny Wayman and has seven pastors with additional directors of Cliff Drive Care Center programs. 

One of these directors is Waymon’s wife, Cheryl Wayman, MFT, who directs the Cliff Drive Christian Counseling Center. The couple has lived on the Mesa for forty years and raised their family there.

The Free Methodist Church is a multigenerational and multi-ethnic congregation with equal representation of singles, young families, the middle aged and seniors. 

Committed to Jesus Christ and his saving love, this love compels the congregation to provide social ministry and work for social justice. 

The congregation represents the blending of mind and heart as they address the individual and social realities of our day. The members of the congregation serve over 100 different schools and community organizations donating over 500 hours each week to our community.  

Focusing on discipleship as a part of the Methodist tradition, the congregation has small groups, intensive discipleship triads, 16-month spiritual discipline cohorts and educational classes and seminars. 

The church provides an engaging educational and developmental Sunday School and youth programs that have cared for thousands of children and teenagers over these 60 years, representing families from virtually every school in our community. 

The free of Free Methodist comes from the five freedoms, the emphasis of the Christ-Centered congregation's following God’s revealed Word.: freedom of all races to worship together, freedom of both genders to be in leadership, freedom of all socio-economic levels to be equal in God’s family, freedom of clergy and laity to work together in mission and freedom of the Holy Spirit in worship. 

The congregation reaches into the larger community with loving presence as they bring together those on the Westside into their family. 

In addition the international emphasis is a natural part of the congregation as they connect with over fifty Free Methodist churches in Southern California, worshipping God in nine different languages and supporting missionaries from sixty-five nations around the world. 

The Bishop’s Relief Fund allows the church to respond to international needs quickly and efficiently, as was done recently when the congregation joined Free Methodist churches in Hungary caring for Syrian refugees, or their Jordan Free Methodist churches caring for the Iraqi refugees.

The congregation is joining together in Thanksgiving to God for 60 years Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. Special remembrances will be in each of the three services 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. as well as a grand feast at 2 p.m. in the upper parking lot at 1435 Cliff Drive.

All who have attended Cliff Drive Preschool and Cliff Drive Senior Luncheon are invited, as well as all who have been a part of the congregation at any time during the past 60 years. 

The feast is a shared meal in true Methodist tradition and everyone is invited to bring the fixings that go along with a Thanksgiving meal. The Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara thanks their neighbors and businesses in Santa Barbara for their supportive partnership over all these six decades of ministry.

Anne Kyle represents the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara.

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