Discover God's Call

* 15 Years of Mississippi Chapter Discover God’s Call Retreats *
Date National # Location Speaker
Spring 1996
69 Arlean Hall
Rev. Peter Pereira
Spring 1997
84 Arlean Hall
Rev. David Brazelton
103 Arlean Hall
Rev. Doug Pepper
Spring 2000
142 Wesley Pines
Rev. Walter Albritton
Spring 2001
162 Arlean Hall
Rev. Scott Carter
Spring 2002
180 Wesley Pines
Rev. James & Patsy Twiner
Fall 2002
202 Wesley Pines
Rev. Cecil Williamson
Spring 2003
203 Arlean Hall
Rev. Martin Case
215 Wesley Pines
Rev. Cecil Williamson
Spring 2004
219 Arlean Hall
Rev. John M. Barrett
Fal 2004
231 Wesley Pines
Rev. Scott Carter
Spring 2005
236 Arlean Hall
Rev. John M. Barrett
Fall 2005
250 Wesley Pines
Rev. Taylor Gallman
Spring 2006
261 Wesley Pines
Rev. Cecil Williamson
Fall 2006
264 Wesley Pines
Rev. Dale Hathorn
Fall 2007
275 Wesley Pines
Rev. Taylor Gallman
Fall 2008
289 Wesley Pines
Rev. Dale Hathorn
Spring 2009
306 Batesville 1st UMC
Rev. Julian Davis
Fall 2009
298 Wesley Pines
Rev. John M. Barrett
Spring 2010
312 Johnston Chapel UMC
Rev. John Garrott
Fall 2010
313 Wesley Pines
Rev. Julian Davis
Spring 2011
316 Hernando UMC
Rev. John Garrott
Fall 2011
321 Wesley Pines
Rev. Taylor Gallman

The National Organization - History and Background
August 9, 1982, Dr. Charles Kinder, then President of The Foundation For Evangelism, and Gus Gustafson, author and layman from Griffin , GA , met with a committee of The General Board of Discipleship about organizing a program which later became known as Discover God's Call.  Dr. L. Ray Sells, Chairperson of the committee, concluded the meeting saying: 

            A. Discover God's Call would have to do its own funding;

            B. The program, before being launched nationally, should be tested in Georgia , the Midwest and
                then either the Northeast or the far West and,

            C. The program should direct people back into local church ministry rather than into para-church

A plan for launching the program was worked out with Dr. Charles Kinder, Dr. G. Ross Freeman, then Executive Secretary of the South Eastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church , Gus Gustafson and Vance Archer representing the General Board of Discipleship.

December 18, 1982, twelve people met at the United Methodist Center in Atlanta , GA , and officially organized the Discover God's Call program with a positive decision to adopt the program and take action to implement it.

Founders in Georgia contributed the funds needed to start Discover.... The first retreat was held at the Toccoa Baptist Assembly June 10-12, 1983, with 78 attending.

December 1, 1984, a group in Illinois met at the United Methodist Center in Bloomington , IL .  They decided to organize a chapter in Illinois and pledged the funds necessary to get started.  The first retreat was held November 4-6, 1985, at King's House, Henry , IL with 56 attending.

About one year later, November 28-30, 1986, the first retreat was held at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina .  June 2, 1990, a group met at Belmont United Methodist Church , Belmont , NC , to agree to forming of a Discover God's Call chapter for the Carolinas-East Tennessee Area.

At the July, 1997, National Council meeting, it was decided to take a new direction in the administration of Discover God’s Call.  Chapters will begin to take over the complete administration of their own retreats.  They’ll secure their own speakers and contract with the retreat centers.  Retreat Managers, representing the National Council and The Foundation, will be at each retreat to be sure all goes according to the planned program.  This change will allow almost unlimited growth for Discover... .

It has been obvious that Discover God's Call is a powerful means of helping lay people identify possible ministries and their gifts for serving God through their local church and beyond.  Through God's continued guidance and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Discover... will be an ever increasing force in bringing renewal to the United Methodist Church and bringing new souls into Christ's Kingdom.


1. The idea came to Gus Gustafson, retired businessman
    and author, of Griffin, Georgia, as he recovered from
    pneumonia in 1980. The program was fully developed
    under the guidance of The Foundation For
    Evangelism in consultation with the General Board
    of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church.

2. Two guiding principles followed were:
    (1) Discover God's Call would have to do all
        it's own funding and
    (2) The program should direct people back into
        local church ministry rather than into
        para-church organizations.
3. Gus Gustafson was the first National President. He served
    until 1990 when Charles G. (Chuck) Davis was elected
    President and Gus became President Emeritus. Tom
    Clarke, was elected in 1999 to replace Chuck Davis.
4. In 1998 the Foundation for Evangelism Home
    Page on the World Wide Web added a link
    to Discover God’s Call. In 1999 a list of
    scheduled retreats and an online registration
    form for future retreats was added.

States Covered
Date of First Retreat
Date Formed

N. Georgia
North GA
June, 1983
June, 1983
November, 1985
November, 1985
Carolinas/E. TN
East TN
November, 1986
June, 1990
October, 1991
November, 1992
Central Texas
Central TX
February, 1993
April, 1994
NW Texas
Fall, 1994
May, 1996
March, 1996
May, 1997
April 1996
April 1997
Rocky Mountain
September, 1996
September 1997
November, 1996
November, 1998
May, 1999
May, 2000
West Virginia
October, 1999
October, 2000
New Mexico/Odessa
West TX,
East NM
May, 2000
October, 2001
S. Georgia
South GA
April, 2001
Nov. 2001

Notes: The Rocky Mountain Chapter voted to disband in the Spring of 2002.The Florida Chapter voted to disband in the Summer of 2002, but has begun to re-organize in January 2010 with a retreat in Bokelia, Florida sponsored by the Ohio Chapter. The North Georgia Chapter was disbanded in the Spring of 2003.The NW Texas chapter merged with the New Mexico/Odessa chapter and the new Chapter was named the West Texas Chapter in the Summer of 2004. The Carolinas/East Tennessee Chapter was renamed the Carolinas Chapter in 2004.

Move to Top of the Page