Who We Are
Since 1958, Edgemont United Methodist Church has been nestled in the heart of Florence, Alabama. Surrounded by 11 beautiful green acres, our campus provides a retreat found nowhere else in the city.
Pastor Henry and Kellie Prater
I grew up in Athens, Alabama. I was raised in the faith at Isom’s Chapel UMC. The first real tangible time I remember thinking about going into the ministry was after my Chrysalis flight (the teenager version of an Emmaus Walk*), after I spoke about my experience, someone said, you know, you are going to be a preacher one day.’ I brushed it off and went to college at the University of Alabama, where the plan was to major in chemical engineering. During my time there, I began to really wrestle with my call while also seeing that engineering was not in my future. After receiving my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice with minors in German and History, I would go on to Asbury Theological Seminary graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2010. I was provisionally ordained into the North Alabama Conference of the UMC in 2010 and then as an Elder in Full connection in 2013*. I have served previously at Bethel UMC and Hamby’s Chapel UMC for 3 years, Eva UMC for 1(concurrently with my first 2) and then at Union, the Church at Chelsea Park in Chelsea, AL for 5 years. My wife, Kellie, and I have been married for three years this past May.
My passion for ministry can be summed up in a short passage from the book of Matthew. Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” This passage motivates me to ask questions of myself each and every day. What does it look like to take these commandments seriously? What does it look like to love God with all I have and love my neighbor as myself? These questions shape the decisions I make and the interactions I have with the people I meet.
I hope these short paragraphs help you get to know me a little better. I look forward to sharing more and more as we go forward together here at Edgemont UMC
*For more information on Emmaus and Chrysalis, see our local chapter’s website, http://www.shoalscluster.com/index.php.
*Want to know what an elder is? Interested in ordination in the United Methodist church? See http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/glossary-elder, http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/glossary-ordained-minister.