We Are Inclusive + Affirming + Reconciling // In Word + Action

Black Lives Matter and God Loves All People - Glendale United Methodist Church Nashville

So what sets Glendale apart from the next church down the street? Good question.

Most church website belief pages say some version of the same thing – or are vague enough in what they actually believe to appear to be welcoming to all people. However, once you get connected, you may come to find out that their welcome + acceptance has a full stop – mainly for our LGBTQ+ siblings, and the noticeable lack of women and/or people of color in leadership. Here we share what we are about, but much of what is different about us will have to be experienced in person or online through our worship services, small groups for kids, youth + adults and mission + service opportunities. You will find a growing, inclusive + affirming community of faith that believes God’s love + grace are available for + shared with ALL people – with no exceptions and no exclusions. You will find a group of imperfect people who don’t just go to church because that is what we are supposed to do, but who want to be together – not only in the good times, but in those challenging life moments we all experience as well.

As United Methodists, we believe that the living core of the Christian faith is revealed in scripture, illuminated by tradition, enlivened through personal experience, and confirmed by reason. In other words, there is no need to “check your brain at the door” when you walk through the open doors of Glendale. Bring your questions + doubts with you. And really, it is safe to assume that there are others already within our community who have some of those same questions + doubts that you do. You’ll find a safe space to explore those alongside us.

Historically, Methodists did not simply avoid evil in their own lives, they organized and worked with others to fight it as it appeared in the larger society. Following the roots of the Methodist movement, Glendale is committed to putting faith + love into action.

We live out our faith through our witness against racism and work to abolish inequality and discrimination, to reject criminal justice systems based on racist policies and practices and work for restorative justice, to speak against irresponsible use of the earth’s resources and become good stewards of God’s creation, to oppose war and the death penalty and work for peace with justice.

At Glendale, we believe every person is of sacred worth and that discrimination in any form is incompatible with Christian teaching. We believe that Jesus has taught us how to receive and share love, grace, and mercy with all people.

We believe the the Spirit calls us to live according to the example of Christ. We therefore commit to cultivate inclusive love and intentional hospitality with all people, and welcome and affirm persons of every race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, faith story, education, physical or mental ability, or economic status.

We consider our diversity to be a gift from God that strengthens us to worship, learn and serve in Christ’s name.


Our Welcome Message // Read Aloud at Every Service + Event

 We at Glendale UMC want you to know that no matter:
Where you’ve come from or where you are going; what you believe or what you may doubt; what you are feeling or just not feeling; what you have or don’t have; and no matter the color of your skin, who you love or how you identify – all of who you are is welcomed into this community of faith by a God who knows you by name and loves all of who you are.

communion at glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc ella murdock

Communion Every Sunday // An Open Table for All

We believe that The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion or the Eucharist – whichever you want to call it – is open to ALL people. There are no barriers or conditions to receiving Christ’s invitation to the table. Not baptized? No problem. Not a member of The United Methodist Church or Glendale? Definitely no issue there! Communion is one of God’s many gifts that are given freely to us – it is a tangible act that we are each invited to celebrate with one another in community.

Communion at Glendale is always served with grape juice – not wine. We also have an option of gluten free bread. This provides a truly open table experience that all people can be apart of.


Baptism // God’s Gift Offered Freely

membership vows united methodist

Through our baptism as United Methodists, we are each called to “resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” In baptism, we reject the power of sin and begin our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Haven’t been baptised? We provide a safe community of faith to explore, start, restart (many of us have been there) and/or deepen your relationship with God. Want to talk about baptism or your spiritual journey thus far? Pastor Steph would love to grab coffee sometime! Reach out to her here.



About Glendale UMC – Nashville

Rev. Steph Dodge Black Lives Matter Glendale United Methodist Church Nashville TN UMCGlendale Methodist Church was founded in 1945 in the growing Glendale neighborhood of south Nashville. In 1968, with the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, this community of faith became Glendale United Methodist Church.

Rev. Steph Dodge became our Lead Pastor in July 2017. Since then, this community that we call Glendale has experienced a rebirth. Many people (who have either been hurt by the church in the past and those who are looking for a new church that puts their faith into actionable + meaningful change) have decided to call Glendale their church home.


By a unanimous congregational vote on August 11, 2019, we became an official Reconciling Congregation – an intentional step in continuing our church’s mission to share God’s love + grace to all people no matter the color of their skin, who they love, or how they identify.

We are intentional in opening our space up to the community in a variety of ways – workshops on racial justice and LGBTQ+ justice, virtual learning space for our Pencil Partners schools Glendale Elementary and J.T. Moore Middle and our ministry with those experiencing homelessness, Room In The Inn – just to name a few. We provide space to our community ministry partners who offer spiritual direction and counseling. Right beside the sanctuary, an outdoor labyrinth sits, where all are welcome to take some time to slow down and enter into a time of prayer and on the front lawn, “Nathan’s Playground” is open to the community that provides a safe and fun space for all the children in our neighborhood.

We invite you to come + check out any of our small groups, events and worship services in person or LIVE online here each Sunday morning @8amPT/9MT/10CT/11ET. All worship services are livestreamed for those at home or outside of the Greater Nashville Area. Come + check out Glendale – we’re all on this journey of life together. You will find a community that loves all of who you are.


Meet Our Team at Glendale UMC – Nashville


Pastor Steph

Lead Pastor | she/her

I am a 2012 Graduate of Memphis Theological Seminary.  I entered into ministry because I believe that everyone should be a part of the loving, supportive community that Christ offers each of us. In my free time I enjoy riding my bikes, working out, reading, and watching movies.

[Learn more about Pastor Steph here.]


austin shaw glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc


Music Director + Staff Pianist | he/him

I was born and raised in Washington, Illinois and graduated from Millikin University with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance. I then went on to Northern Arizona University where I earned a master’s degree in piano performance. During the day, I am a staff accompanist/professor of music theory at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. I’m so excited to contribute my music to this welcoming and inclusive community!


We’re looking for our next Youth Director!

Youth Director |

We’re looking for our next Youth Director to help us continue growing our youth program! Find more information at



ASL Interpreter | she/her

I have lived in Nashville for 12 years and feel blessed to be a part of the Glendale UMC community. I am grateful for the non-judgmental, affirming people of Glendale who truly love like Jesus. I received my bachelors degree in ASL Interpreting where I specialized in performance interpreting. When I am not interpreting, I teach line dancing with New Boots Line Dancing. I have cheered for the Tennessee Titans and have 4 rescue chihuahuas that are my world!

Glendale’s 2024 Leadership Team

Online Worship

david charlton glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc


Livestreaming | he/him
ben Bodenheimer


Online Engagement | he/him

United Methodist Clergy at Glendale

Derek White Glendale United Methodist Church Nashville TN UMC

Rev. Derek White


Ordained Elder
Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

Current Appointment: 
Gaming Chaplain, Glendale UMC, Nashville, TN

rev hung duk kim glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc

Rev. Hong Duk Kim


Ordained Elder
Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

Current Appointment:
United Methodist World Mission Office,
Seoul, Korea

jeff campbell glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc

Rev. Jeff Campbell


Ordained Elder
New England Conference

Current Appointment:
General Secretary, Discipleship Ministries, Nashville, TN

rev larry hollon glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc (Custom)

Rev. Larry Hollon


Ordained Elder
Great Plains Conference

Most Recent Appointment:
General Secretary, United Methodist Communications, Nashville, TN

rev matthew charlton glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc

Dr. Matthew Charlton


Ordained Elder
Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

Current Appointment:
Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies Foundation


Rev. Nick Baird-Chrisohon


Ordained Elder
Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

Current Appointment:
The Rev. Charlie Curb Center for Faith Leadership at Belmont University


Rev. Steph Dodge


Ordained Deacon
Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

Current Appointment:
Lead Pastor, Glendale UMC, Nashville, TN

susan woodard glendale united methodist church nashville

Rev. Susan Woodard


Ordained Elder
Mississippi Conference

Current Appointment:
Susan Woodard Psychotherapy

Some of the People You’ll See…

baptism of charlie mae bell at glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc

Ryan + Courtney

she/her + he/him

“We weren’t necessarily looking for a church, but immediately felt at home at Glendale. Through some of the hardest times of our lives, the Glendale community always found a way to support us right when we needed it most. After having complicated relationships with church in the past, we have found a community of faith that we weren’t sure was ever going to be a part of our lives.”
– Ryan + Courtney

aziza rose glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc



“Before finding Glendale, I stopped going to church and started doubting my faith, leaving Christianity altogether. I found Glendale at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and started worshiping online and then in person. This is the first church that I truly feel welcome and at home.” – Aziza

ben lee and don scholes glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc

Ben + Don


We have found a home in Glendale UMC, a place where every person is loved just for who they are. We are valued for who we are and where we are in our walks of faith – without judgment. We love the people we are meeting and look forward to continuing our journey of life here.”
– Ben + Don

Steve Jill and Family - Glendale United Methodist Church Nashville TN UMC

Jill + Steve

she/her + he/him

Everyone at Glendale works to make sure that each person feels included and welcome, regardless of their background or even how they might differ from others in the church, and we strongly believe that anyone who comes will feel that same sense of being both included and loved.” – Jill + Steve

megan emily glendale united methodist church nashville (Custom)



“I swore that I would never step foot in a church again. I grew up in the church and witnessed so much hypocrisy and not seeing the true love of Jesus loving everyone. However, when we found Glendale, I came back to the church because it is inclusive, affirming, and progressive. When I say this church LOVES everyone, Glendale truly loves and accepts everyone.” – Megan


Kelli and Rick

she/her + he/him

“We saw the Glendale billboard that read, ‘We’re sorry if the church has hurt and failed you.’ and decided we would give the church one last chance. After hearing Glendale’s welcome message during worship the first time we came, we knew we were home.” – Kelli + Rick

john lee - glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc



I have found a spiritual home that I was missing and wasn’t sure I would ever find; a caring, nurturing environment; and a reestablishment of my Christian faith. Glendale is a vibrant environment that works hard to live up to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and it is a joy to have found it.
– John

murdock family glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc (Custom)

Chris + Jen

she/her + he/him

“Within the first few minutes of our first worship service at Glendale UMC, we knew we’d found, not just a church, but a community full of love.  From the welcome message of inclusion, we knew we’d found a home and a place for our daughter to learn about and love Christ.”
– Chris + Jen

lezleigh and kevin kleibrink glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc

Lezleigh + Kevin

she/her + he/him

“When we moved to Nashville in May 2021, we wanted to find a church that was INCLUSIVE of all of God’s children, not EXCLUSIVE. After visiting a few other United Methodist churches, we visited Glendale. We are excited to be a part of an inclusive church and to serve God through Glendale.”
– Lezleigh + Kevin





“After stepping away from church for several years, I was hoping to find an inclusive and affirming church that teaches God’s love for ALL people – regardless of who we are. I immediately felt connected & have made some amazing friends. I found Glendale when I needed it most and feel so lucky and proud to be a part of this church.” – Rob

claire patton glendale united methodist church nashville tn umc



“It was important to me to find a church that was affirming and doing the work of being anti-racist. I wanted to be apart of a church where injustice in our world was spoken about and acted upon. After attending my first service, I know I had found my new church family. I am incredibly grateful for this safe space where I know that any and all are welcome.” – Claire

jennifer derek glendale united methodist church

Jennifer + Derek

he/him, she/her + they/them

“When we first arrived at Glendale, we knew this place was a wonderful fit for us. Glendale welcomes and affirms all of our LGBTQ+ siblings but doesn’t stop there! They also make sure that neurodiverse folks are welcomed and loved and try to make sure the church is accessible as it can be. We have also found Glendale to be a community of faith that is quite diverse.” – Jennifer + Derek

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