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At Grace Kids UMC, it’s all about the kids


At Grace Kids United Methodist Church, it's all about the kids

(South Louisville, Kentucky)

Rev. Corey Nelson, senior pastor, Grace Kids United Methodist Church: “We’re attempting to do church entirely for youth and children. We have over 200 kids on our roster. Of those children, I cannot think of one that comes from a good -- what we would consider – a good situation. They are coming from homes that are broken, homes that have experienced deep loss by violent means and they really have the deck stacked against them.

When I came here, the neighborhood was incredibly dangerous. I’m 6’1”, 240, a former Marine, a former boxer. I think most people look at me and say ‘It’s easy for him.’ I was scared to death when I got here. And I quickly learned there wasn’t much to be afraid of. People want someone to listen. People want to talk.

When I got here, we immediately noticed, one, the need for the kids. As I walked the neighborhood, that’s what I was told over and over. ‘The kids have nowhere to go.’ As we began to work with the kids, a lot of the “bad characters” in the neighborhood began to take notice that we were taking care of their kids and we began to build relationships with them.”

Jocelyn Church, assistant pastor, Grace Kids United Methodist Church: “Every week the kids come in. They are here Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Fridays are our time just for the kids to come in and they have the opportunity to just be kids. They get to play dodgeball, watch movies, they play board games, they get a hot meal. That feeds into our Wednesday discipleship, which is like our leadership academy. These kids aren’t told a lot that they have the potential to do a lot, so we really want to empower them. And then Sundays are our worship. We listen to some music, they hear a message and they do worship.”

Nelson: “We drew concentric circles on the dry erase board in my office. And I told Jocelyn ‘This is our center. We are going to love them, we are going to be present, we’re going to teach them about Jesus.’ If you can commit to that – because you always want to go out into another row of the circle – ‘Oh, we need to do more, we need to do more.’ We’ve been really good about staying in our circle. And by doing that, that forgives a lot of mistakes.”

Despite the way they are bouncing off the walls, these kids can tell you about Jesus.”

Church: “We preach every Sunday, regardless of the topic, it’s always ‘you are loved, you are valuable, you are a child of God and you are a person of worth.’”


The Grace Kids pastors may be reached via email at or by calling 502-794-5285.

The video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee.

Media contact is Crystal Caviness, 615-742-5138
This video was first posted on May 16, 2018.