We Are Inclusive + Affirming + Reconciling // In Word + Action
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 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 siblings who are LGBTQ+. Here we share what we are all about, but much of what is different about us will have to be experienced in person or online through our worship services, small groups + mission 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 people who don’t just go to church to be seen, but who genuinely care about and for one another – not only in the good times, but in those challenging life moments we all experience.
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 online and/or physical front doors of Glendale. Bring your questions + doubts with you – we will explore them together. 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 created in God’s image. We believe that Jesus is our Savior and that he has taught us how to receive and share love, grace, and mercy.
We believe 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, economic status, or political perspective.
We consider our diversity to be a gift from God that strengthens us to worship, learn and serve in Christ’s name.
Our Welcome Statement // 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 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 baptised? No problem. Not a member of The UMC 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. This provides a truly open table experience that all people can be apart of.
Baptism // God’s Gift Offered Freely
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
Glendale 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 congregation became Glendale United Methodist Church.
Rev. Steph Dodge became our Lead Pastor in July 2017. Throughout the last few years, 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 home church.
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 with no exceptions and no exclusions.
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. Our church campus also includes a Retreat & Hospitality House where church groups, travelers, or people simply seeking a quiet retreat can come to deepen their relationship with God. 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, our new “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 join any of our virtual or safely distanced/masked in person small groups and worship alongside us in person or LIVE online here each Sunday morning @8amPT/9MT/10CT/11ET. All services will continue to be livestreamed for those at home or outside of the Nashville area. Come check out Glendale – we’re all on this journey of life together. Find a community that loves all of who you are here.
Meet Our Lead Pastor + Music Director
Rev. Stephanie DodgeLead 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.
Aleksey PorcelliMusic Director | he/him
I was adopted from Moscow, Russia and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I moved to Nashville in 2018 and currently live in East Nashville with my pup, Thunder! I’m a member of Crossfit E Nashville, love songwriting and am into anything fast (motorcycling, roller coasters, running, etc).
Glendale’s 2021 Leadership Team
Alan WhitleyLay Leader | he/him
Caddie WoodroofChildren's Education | she/her
Steven AdairCommunications + Worship | he/him
Bud HamblenFinance | he/him
Ashley PyneMission + Service | she/her
Carol PitmanPrayer + Nurture | she/her
John AdairProperty + Maintenance | he/him
Paul GómezStaff + Pastor Relations | he/him
Worship + Technology
David CharltonWorship + Technology | he/him
Iz OrtizWorship + Technology | she/they
United Methodist Clergy at Glendale
Rev. Stephanie Dodgeshe/her
Lead Pastor, Glendale UMC, Nashville, TN
Rev. Matthew Charltonhe/him
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary,
Rev. Hong Duk Kimhe/him
United Methodist World Mission Office,
Rev. Larry Hollonhe/him
Ordained Elder // Retired
Great Plains Conference
Most Recent Appointment:
General Secretary, United Methodist Communications, Nashville, TN
Rev. Cherie Parkershe/her
Ordained Elder // Retired
Most Recent Appointment:
Senior Pastor, Hillcrest UMC, Nashville, TN
Rev. K.C. Van Atta-Casebiershe/her
Associate Pastor, Director of Family Ministries, Foundry UMC, Washington, D.C.
Rev. Peter van Eyshe/him
Ordained Elder // Retired
Most Recent Appointment:
Senior Pastor, Crievewood + Glendale UMCs, Nashville, TN
Some of the People You’ll See…
Mary Kate Allenshe/her
“After 14 years out of church, I never knew I’d find the most perfect fit at Glendale. Our church is open, affirming, and we love everyone no matter where they’re from and who they love. God works within the walls our church, but also outside in the community as well.” – Mary Kate
Ryan + Courtney Bellhe/him + she/her
“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
The Caccese Familyhe/him + she/her
“Our family came across Glendale while searching for a church that is welcoming to everyone. We planned on attending our first service with every intention of visiting another church the following weekend. But, from the moment we walked through Glendale’s front doors, we knew we were home.”
– The Caccese Family
“I was born in Mississippi to a lineage of Southern Baptist Ministers but eventually left the church due to the cruel and vengeful image of God portrayed. Through friendships formed with Glendale members, while playing sports in Nashville, I decided to give the church a try. From my warm welcome at the front door, the mid worship sincere greetings, to the foundational gestures of friendship as I departed…I knew I’d found my new home.” – Sophie
Krassi Mira Garbett
“I am a native of Bulgaria. Left all of my blood relatives there, but found a new spiritual family at Glendale. Glendale UMC is a place where even the black sheep feel welcomed and valuable.” – Krassi
“I was seeking a place where I could feel authentically welcomed just as I am, a place where I could feel God’s peace and comfort, a place to refuel each week without pressure or intimidation. What I found was so much more! I have never attended a church where God’s love is more palpable. What a blessing.” – Kellie
Larry + Sharon Hollonhe/him + she/her
“Hospitality, welcoming, authentic community, liturgical integrity, thick relationships, calls to serve are all part of the blessing of this inclusive and loving community. We gave considerable thought to why we would join the Glendale community. We both agree that the church offers an invitation to community that feels genuine and authentic.”
– Larry + Sharon
“Both Glendale’s inclusive and affirming environment and attitude felt like I was being called home into a space where I was loved wholeheartedly. I don’t think I found Glendale. I think Glendale found me.” – Alejah
The Murdock Familyhe/him + she/her
“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.”
– The Murdock Family
“I started coming to Glendale after my friend brought me there one Sunday. I felt the immediate presence of love and acceptance and ever since then Glendale has become like home. The people of Glendale UMC are a daily reminder to me that there is good in the world. I have never been excited to go to church before but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.” – Blake
“I was invited to visit Glendale UMC many times before I finally accepted, and it was love at first sight. The combination of the warm, welcoming members and their commitment to serving the community demonstrated God’s love for us all. I have been coming back ever since.” – James
The Woodroof Familyhe/him, she/her + they/them
“As parents, to hear our children say that Glendale is the first church where they truly feel a part of a family – the first place where they have experienced God’s love – it’s both humbling and joyful. We are so blessed to have found our church home.”
– The Woodroof Family