Vibrant life is rooted in caring love at Prospect Church, a parish that has celebrated the United Methodist faith in Covington since 1830. After almost 200 years and multiple moves to different sites in the area, Prospect has maintained its growth by adapting to the needs of its parish. The church added its Family Life Center in 2004.
Pastor Ronny Brannen was originally hired more than 30 years ago as a minister of music and youth. He now leads the congregation as senior pastor.
“We really want to share the good news of Jesus with the world by being involved with the community,” Brannen said of Prospect’s mission. That means giving church members the opportunities they feel led to, both in the local community and abroad.
Brannen himself is a global service board member. He has been on several mission trips to countries all over the world. At the end of December each year, Brannen takes a group of church members to House of Grace, a home that houses about 100 girls ages 4-23.
This year a dentist will provide dental care for the girls. Though Christmas will be over back home, the group will celebrate Christmas with them while there. They will help girls with their schoolwork, play with them and — most importantly — build lasting relationships.
The upcoming trip in December will mark Brannen’s eleventh trip to House of Grace. He’s known many of the girls for more than a decade.
“They had gone to college and came back to see me,” Brannen said of one of his recent trips. “I literally got to watch these girls grow up.”
Prospect currently has three global missions: House of Grace in Chiang Rai, Thailand; Prospect Church in Ghana, West Africa; and Prospect Disciple Methodist Church in Togo, Africa.
Even for those who can’t make it abroad or prefer to work on missions at home, Prospect hosts a 10K at Denny Dobbs Park each year to raise funds for global missions. Participants gains sponsors and can walk, run or bike as much as they want. The first hundred raised by each participant goes to a specific global mission, and any overflow that person raises goes to a ministry of their choosing.
Whether it’s abroad or local, Prospect’s congregation very much wants to be involved in the lives of people around them.
The popular Upward Sports ministry offers children’s basketball, cheerleading and soccer. These programs allow kids from all around the community to learn leadership and teamwork, as well as the chance to just get out and play. Brannen said about 70 percent or more of those involved in the booming ministry are members of the community who don’t attend church at Prospect.
With a diverse congregation comprised of many ages, Prospect is always looking for what Brannen said are the next steps in helping the community.