Hello from Pastor Luis and Melanie Ortiz

From Reverend Luis A. Ortiz and Melanie Geoghagan Ortiz: 


Hello to the Young Harris family.  Melanie and I are so excited about our new appointment at Young Harris Memorial UMC.  We look forward to getting to know every one of you.  As we prepare to leave Morrow First UMC, after four years of ministry as their Senior Pastor, we look forward to joining all of you on our first Sunday, June 30, 2019.   Melanie being born and raised in Georgia (and a big dawg fan) is excited to be part of the Bulldog Nation community as well as the Young Harris Memorial UMC family. 

I was born and raised in Ohio. One of my most memorable employments there was being the private chef for Don King the Boxing Promoter. I excepted Christ in 1984 and shortly before moving to Georgia. In 1985, I started my construction company and was the CEO for ten years. 

In 1990, I accepted the call to ministry followed by my first appointment in 1994, where I served as senior pastor at the Tri-Circuit UMC in Commerce, Georgia, and in the summer of 1995, I sold my construction company. While serving in Commerce, I attended Piedmont College and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, then received my Master of Divinity with a Concentration in Biblical Studies at Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. 

For the past 25 years, I have served as senior pastor at all my appointments including St. James UMC, Hoschton UMC, Lawrenceville Road UMC, and presently at Morrow First UMC.  I currently serve as Chaplain at Morrow Police Department, Religious Coordinator for UMCOS (United Methodist Committee On Scouting for the North Georgia Conference), and the Board of Trustees for the Griffin District. I was ordained as Full Connectional Elder in the North Georgia Conference in 2015.  I am currently set to complete my doctoral degree with a concentration in Christian Leadership and Renewal within the next three months.

My beautiful wife Melanie graduated from North Georgia Technical College in 1991 with a nursing degree.  She was awarded the “The Best Nurse Award” by her instructors and graduated at the top of her class.  She was nominated as a Georgia Outstanding Leader.  Melanie has worked for ten years as a medical transcription for Transpeed, LLC. 

Melanie and I are blessed to have two sons and a daughter who are married and have blessed us with a total of five grandchildren.

As we come to a close in our ministry at Morrow First, we look forward to our transition to Young Harris Memorial UMC.  Join Melanie and I in prayer to our Lord and Savior for guidance as we all seek the future at Young Harris Memorial UMC that will be as bright as a lighthouse for the Athens community.   


With the Love of the Lord,

Reverend Luis and Melanie Ortiz


Vacation Bible School

Young Harris UMC presents Yee Haw!

Family Life Center

973 Prince Ave, Athens, GA

June 28 and June 29

serving dinner at 5:00 p.m.

program starts at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Come join the fun!  This is a free event!

sign up click here

Sunday Worship Service

Traditional Service 11:00 a.m.

Hispanic Service 11:00 a.m.

  • New to Young Harris UMC

    Welcome! It is a real joy for us to meet newcomers and tell you all the things God is doing in our church family.  No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, we want to inspire, equip, and encourage you to live out a life that will bring glory to God and be a blessing to the world. 

  • Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.

    We have multiple Sunday school classes that meet at 10:00 a.m. If you are interested in any of these classes, please drop by at any time or contact the church office for more information. 

    * The Friendly Crusaders class have served faithfully in the life of Young Harris Memorial UMC for the longest period of time and are led weekly by various leaders from the group.  The Friendly Crusaders Class meets in the Family Life Center room 303. 

    * The Seekers Class meets weekly for Sunday school. They are led in lively discussions by Mr. Steve Middlebrooks or Dr. Jack Jones as they discuss the many issues presented to our lives and how the Scripture is revealed through study and prayer.  The Seekers Class meets in the parlor, which can be found in the Whittemore Building.

    * The Branches class meets in room 311 in the FLC.  This class is a group studying Scripture together.   

    * Bulldog Discipleship meets at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Two of our students from UGA are leading a bible study group in room 311 of the FLC. Some weeks they meet off site; contact the church office for more details!

    * Latino Bible Study is each Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in room 308 in the FLC, led by Reverend Angela Baza.  This class is taught in Spanish.  All are welcomed to attend.

  • Ebenezer Ministerio

    Sunday Morning Hispanic Worship is in the Ebenezer Worship Room in the Whittemore Building, Room 111.  The service begins at 11:00 a.m.  Reverend Angela Baza leads the congregation to understand God's word for today.  

  • Weddings at Young Harris Memorial UMC

    Have a look at our Wedding Policy.  Any questions you have about our church’s wedding policy can be answered by Patti Simpson, our wedding coordinator.  She is happy to provide suggestions for local musicians, florists, caterers and photographers as well.

    Patti will also assist in the wedding rehearsal and wedding ceremony, and can meet with the bride/groom prior to the rehearsal to discuss possible “staging possibilities” for the bridal party in our beautiful sanctuary.   If a wedding planner has been obtained, Patti is happy to work with the planner.

    Please contact the church’s main office telephone, 706-543-2612 or email at psimpson@yhmumc.com

  • Rental of Young Harris Memorial UMC

    Young Harris Memorial United Methodist Church is here to serve our church and the Athens community.  We have many spaces that are available to rent.  From basketball to volleyball, square dance or a production on the stage in the Family Life Center, or just a great place to have a birthday party; check out our rental policy for information and fees to use the Family Life Center gym, dining room or  Whittemore/Bell Building classrooms.   Please contact the office at 706-543-2612 or email psimpson@yhmumc.com


Young Harris Memorial United Methodist Church

973 Prince Ave

Athens, GA 30606


~ View Map ~