Moving Forward, Together, in Transition

God’s people have navigated periods of transition going back many centuries. Transitions can be a time of uncertainty where anxious feelings can be real. Moses’ words to Joshua remind us that God goes before us and that He will never leave us, even during changing times:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

In May, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee met with Rev. David Walters, our next senior minister. This meeting was both exciting and a confirmation that God is going before us through this time of transition. At this meeting, David suggested some reading for our committee that he found helpful in the senior pastor transition at his current church. In this reading, pastoral leadership is described as a relay race where the success of relay racers depends on a smooth, seamless hand off which takes careful preparation. The writers go on to say “belief that ministry is a journey into God’s future compels us to pass the baton in a way that makes possible even more success under the leadership of the successor.”

We thank God for Dr. Don’s visionary leadership at Alpharetta Methodist, and we want to build upon that success so that even more people can come to know the life-changing love of God.

The SPR Committee would like to share important dates and plans to help guide us through our senior pastor’s transition.

  • June 29: Dr. Don’s Retirement Celebration (See RSVP details at right.)
  • June 30: Oreo Sunday and Dr. Don’s last Sunday with us

The SPR Committee and Rev. Walters believe it is best for Rev. Walters to first immerse himself in our church life during July, without also having the responsibility of preaching multiple times.  Therefore, Rev. Walters’ first Sunday preaching will be August 4. You can expect our outstanding associate pastors to preach during July, with a biblical focus on transition.

It’s an amazing responsibility to be appointed as the senior pastor of a church like Alpharetta Methodist. Part of its uniqueness is its ability to offer multiple worship opportunities each Sunday. Rev. Walters is really excited about the opportunity to lead us in worship.

Saying Farewell to Dr. Don

Retirement Party

Saturday, June 29, 5-8 p.m.

The Staff-Parish Relations Committee invites you to a celebration of 14 years in ministry at Alpharetta Methodist with Dr. Don and Lisa. Enjoy an evening of laughter, music and food! RSVP here.


Top Golf “Send-Off”

Sunday, June 23, 5-7 p.m.

Alpharetta Methodist Men’s Ministry is hosting this event. Learn more here.


Dr. Don’s Last Wednesday Night Supper

Wednesday, June 19, 5:30-6:45 p.m.

Join Dr. Don for his final Wednesday Night Supper (Chick-fil-A!). Make reservations here.


Love Offering

We’re collecting a love offering to express our appreciation to Dr. Don. The deadline for gifts is June 23. To contribute, write your check to AFUMC and note “Love Offering–Martin” on the memo line. Place your gift in the offering plate or mail it to Alpharetta Methodist (Attn.: Finance Office), 69 N. Main St., Alpharetta, GA 30009

To give online, click here. (Log in with your Ministry Platform ID or as a guest.)


Letters for Don and Lisa

The United Methodist Women and the Prayer Committee invite you to write letters of love and appreciation to Dr. Don and Lisa.
Drop your letter in one of the prayer request boxes located:

  • At the side entrance to the Sanctuary (by the Resource Center)
  • In the Vinebranch Chapel narthex
  • Inside the Prayer Chapel (room 302).

The letters will be presented to Don and Lisa at their going away celebration on June 29.

On July 14, 21 and 28, David and his family will experience Alpharetta Methodist’s church life in a variety of ways, and you’ll have opportunities to meet him and his family. He’ll be visiting Sunday School classes, and he will be taking in the experiences of our various worship services. The UMW will host a welcome reception after the 11:00 worship services on July 14. Additionally, on July 17, you can further engage him in conversation over a Wednesday Night Supper meal. (Make reservations here.)

  • July 1-7: Due to prior commitments, Rev. Walters will be on a family vacation.
  • July 8: Rev. Walters 1st day on our campus
  • July 14: Rev. Walters 1st  Sunday with us
  • July 21: Rev. Walters 2nd  Sunday with us
  • July 28: Rev. Walters 3rd Sunday with us
  • August 4: Rev. Walters 1st Sunday preaching in all worship services. At 11:00, he’ll be preaching in the traditional service, which will also be broadcast to the Vinebranch worship service.

Successfully moving through this transition takes preparation for all involved, but is all for naught unless it’s fully supported in prayer. Our Prayer Committee has already prepared Breath Prayers to guide us all in a spirit of unity and love. Please look for these prayers in mid-June as we say so long to Dr. Don and Lisa and welcome David and Liz. But please don’t wait until then to pray! Please continue praying now, asking for God’s Holy Spirit to guide us and for us to be sensitive to His leading during this pivotal time.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Together, with God going before us, the future is bright!

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to SPR Committee Chair Beth Simpson at

Meet Rev. David Walters and Family

Rev. David Walters is a native of metro Atlanta, having grown up in Lawrenceville. Raised in the church, David became a follower of Jesus Christ at an early age and was called into ministry at the age of 18. He worked as a student pastor for 7 years while pursuing his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology.

After graduating from seminary in 2002, David married Elizabeth McNally, was commissioned as a Provisional Elder and began working at Snellville United Methodist Church as associate pastor. While at Snellville UMC, he was the lead pastor of the contemporary service and oversaw evangelism and discipleship. During his four years there, David and Liz had their first two children, Laney (14) and Brayden (13).

In 2006, David was appointed to start a new church in Braselton called The Vine Church, which is now a multi-site church with another campus in Flowery Branch. David and Liz added two more children to their family, Carley (11) and Cade (10).


When David is not working, he enjoys watching his children in their activities, coaching baseball and basketball, working out through CrossFit, going on dates with Liz, attending UGA games, drinking nitro cold brew, and leading two small groups (high school guys and young couples). David’s greatest passion is leading people to a life-saving, life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ and leading leaders to advance the Kingdom of God in their homes, their workplaces and their churches.
Rev. David Walters and family.
Rev. David Walters and family.