Originally launched in Dallas in 1998, Project Transformation is a national organization with eight chapters operating programs in more than 12 cities across the country including Fort Worth, Dallas, Nashville, San Antonio, and Washington DC.
In October of 1997 Sarah Wilke and Dr. Leighton Farrell were discussing challenges facing the United Methodist Church. They saw a lack of young leadership, both clergy and lay, as well as many urban churches with large buildings, declining membership, and little connection to their surrounding neighborhood.
PT has developed into an evidence-based program model that breaks out of the notion of a one-way “helping relationship” with children and focuses on reciprocity. College interns, volunteers, churches, and children are simultaneously providers and recipients of help. While the program fundamentally has been designed to “serve children,” all parties are transformed through their relationships with one another.
Project Transformation Central Texas began organizing in 2015 after many years of prayer, conversations, visits to the Dallas-based program, and dreaming of bringing the program to the Central Texas Conference. Following a visioning meeting in October 2015 which brought over 50 clergy and lay leaders together, a Core Leadership Team was created to guide start-up efforts and lay the groundwork for replicating the ministry of Project Transformation in Central Texas. With support from Project Transformation National, the Central Texas Chapter launched in the greater Fort Worth area in 2017 with 20 college interns, dozens of sponsoring churches and impacted the lives of 168 underserved children. Programs were held in three host churches: Meadowbrook UMC, University UMC, and FUMC Bedford. Looking forward to future summers, our vision is to expand the program within Tarrant County and to other parts of the Central Texas Conference.