Rev. Jeanine Alexander, who has served Minnetonka UMC for the past five years, was recognized at the 2017 Minnesota Annual Conference for the ways she has impacted her community and reached new people for Christ. Here’s a brief look at her contributions:
Denman Award for Reaching New People, Clergy: Rev. Jeanine Alexander, Minnetonka UMC
During Rev. Jeanine Alexander’s five years at Minnetonka United Methodist Church, she has welcomed more than 200 new members, not counting children and youth, which would almost double that number. More than 40 have been baptized. Worship attendance has increased from 220 to almost 350. Financial giving has significantly increased, with 40 percent of pledges for 2017 being new or representing increases. In 2014, Alexander began a church-wide Lenten study to kick off small group ministry. Now, Minnetonka UMC has thriving small groups, with new ones starting regularly. At least 320 people have taken the class Making Sense of the Bible based on the book by Adam Hamilton. Alexander is constantly asking the questions: Where have you seen God at work? Who are you inviting into ministry? Who are you inviting to church? How will this event reach new people? What can we invite new people to next? “While many people have steered away from using the word ‘evangelism’ or ‘evangelical,’ Pastor Jeanine claims it,” said Rev. Tiffany McDonald, Minnetonka UMC’s associate pastor. “She truly believes that we have the good news the world needs to hear, and she wants everyone to know about the love of Christ. ‘Evangelism’ could have no better modern face than Pastor Jeanine Alexander.”
Also recognized were Denise Hoek, Christian education director at Balaton UMC; and Aitkin UMC, which made a permanent heart and mind shift after a death in its community.