About Urban Ministries

The Office of Urban & Metro Ministries is strengthening its capacity to re-invigorate urban ministry and to be a relevant source of information and support to urban congregations. The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference includes some of the most historic population centers in the country, including Philadelphia, Chester and Reading... Read More

Wholeness Centers

Wholeness Centers are church-based ministries located within BIPOC (black and indigenous, people of color) communities and under-served populations that work with local residents and community partners to develop new ministries or significantly strengthen existing ministries. As part of our commitment to addressing systemic racism and economic inequity, the EPA Conference will award grants to UMC churches that are committed to intentionally connect, engage, and partner with BIPOC communities they serve.

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Herbert E. Palmer Award for Urban Ministry

Herbert E. Palmer Award for Urban Ministry, presented annually by the Eastern PA Conference’s Urban Commission, is named for the venerable former pastor, district superintendent and executive director of Metro Ministries who was revered by many as an elder statesman among clergy in the conference. He passed away in 2021.

The Rev. Herbert E. Palmer, 94, became a pastor in 1963, was ordained in 1965 and retired in 1994. But he unretired numerous times to respond to the need for his leadership of urban churches and ministries.

Bishop Peggy Johnson and the Rev. Anita Powell, Director of Connectional Ministries, together honored Palmer for his “tireless service, impact and influence” on the conference, especially among African American clergy and laity.

“I have enjoyed being a pastor, preacher and worker in the church for God,” said the humble clergyman, who was greeted by a standing ovation. “I have been blessed to fellowship and work with a lot of people; and whatever I have accomplished has been because of so many people who held me up, taught me, guided me and made me keep on going when I felt like stopping.”

The first urban ministry awards in Palmer’s name were presented, on behalf of the Urban Commission, by the Rev. William Brawner, then conference Urban Ministries Coordinator, to three urban church partnerships, called Urban Alliances, and to one individual Urban Initiative church.

2022 Urban Ministry Awards
Featured Resources
Urban Commission
Urban Alliance / Urban Church Initiative 2023 Grant Application
  • Spring Grants Deadline: May 31
  • Fall Grants Deadline: November 15

The Urban Commission of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference will award grants to assist in funding Urban Alliances or Urban Church Initiatives. Alliances and Initiatives who receive funding are eligible to apply for additional funding once every 12 months.

Download the Urban Alliance / Urban Church Initiative Grant Application (.docx download)

For information on 2024 Grants visit our Grants for Ministry page.

UM Metro Ministries, Inc.
Building Repair Grant

UM Metro Ministries will receive applications two times per year with submissions due on March 15 and September 15.  UMMM has limited funds and seeks to fund the most compelling projects that demonstrate high impact on the life of the congregation and/or the community it serves.  Learn More

Download the Building Repair Grant Application

For more information about funding resources visit our Funding For Ministry webpage.

Contact Us

The Rev. David Eckert
Urban Commission Co-Chair


The Rev. Myra Maxwell
Urban Commission Co-Chair

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