Herb Flanders

Providence UMC welcomed Rev. Herb Flanders as new Senior Pastor on June
16th. Herb lived his entire childhood and youth on the same farm in Fayette County

He graduated from Fayette County High School in 1981, and from the University of Georgia in 1985 with a degree in Psychology. He earned his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1989, was ordained an Elder in The United Methodist Church in 1991 and has a Master of Science in Christian Psychological Studies.

 Flanders and wife, Regina, have two sons, Miles and Cole, who are UGA graduates like their parents. Miles is a third year student at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. Cole lives in Athens with his wife and fellow UGA grad, Alecia, where he supervises the Harrison Poultry hatchery and Alecia is the Marketing Director for a Chick-fil-A.

In his spare time Flanders enjoys reading, outdoor activities, and spending time with his family. Writing has been a primary focus of his ministry; in 2015 he and Regina self-published a collection of Christmas thoughts entitled The Perfect Gift. “We are excited about coming home, and have been bowled over by the warmth of the reception from Providence UMC and everyone we’ve met in the process of moving here and look forward to being part of this community.”

July 10: A year ago I didn’t know Tatum. A year ago Tatum didn’t know Jesus Christ. But the good news is that Tatum knew Ansley Rawls. Ansley invited Tatum to go to Six Flags with the Thomaston FUMC youth group, after which Tatum started regularly attending youth activities and pretty soon, she was sitting in worship.

This spring, she attended a confirmation retreat and listened as I shared what it meant to accept Christ as Savior. The young people spent a little time alone in reflection and then were invited to speak with our Youth Minister or me if they had questions or just wanted to talk.

Tatum came bouncing across a courtyard, arms up and waving in celebration, her white smile gleaming. “I did it! I asked Him into my heart! I asked Him to forgive me!” According to the Bible, there was a party in heaven that evening! Not too long ago, I asked Tatum if she was glad she’d made that commitment. Through the same big smile she gushed, “Oh yes; I’m so happy Mr. Herb!” It all began when a 7th grade girl invited a friend on a fun outing. Just wondering – do you know anybody who needs an invitation . . .


July 3: I think our Founding Fathers must have believed churches would enjoy some of their best attendance when July 3, the day before Independence Day, fell on a Sunday. They understood that the blessings of liberty are ultimately a gift from God Almighty; thus, what better way to celebrate our freedom than by gathering for corporate worship, prayer and praise?

That’s exactly what we do this day. We enter with thanksgiving to God for stirring a vision within those patriots of old. And for granting them success in their endeavor. And for His continuing favor upon this nation. And for the heroes who answered the call of duty, and especially for those who paid that ultimate sacrifice.

Eat a hot dog and hit the beach – it’s a holiday!  But never forget that freedom comes from God, and it comes at a high price paid by those who serve our great country.

God bless,
Herb Flanders 

June 26: A lot has sure changed in Fayette County since I married and moved away in 1986. Soybean fields now sprout homes and streets cut through what then was either farm or forest. My boyhood home near Lees Lake Road has been leveled and the beginning of a neighborhood entrance now winds just past where our barn sat. Cars are everywhere, and I’m amazed at the number of traffic lights, many out in what once was open country.

So my home stomping grounds are different in quite a few ways. But I’ve realized after just a week that at least one thing has remained the same – this place is still home to some of the nicest, most welcoming people in the world. And Providence has managed to collect a bunch of them.

We’ve been bowled over by the warmth of your reception and by the friendly, outgoing nature of this congregation. God has been doing and continues a good work among you – what an awesome place to be at this moment in our lives! Thank you!  We’re excited to join the journey here at Providence. I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use this church in the coming days and years . . .

God bless,
Herb Flanders