In the 19th century, US-missionaries led the cornerstone for Protestant work in the territory of what is now North Macedonia. Of enormous significance for the further growth and development of the work and its large social effects was the committed service of the «Biblewomen», who, in the face of great difficulties, visited remote villages and sharedthe Gospel in word and deed. However, the United Methodist work in North Macedonia also went through times of war, repression, and isolation. Today, outreach ministries among people facing difficult situations (e.g. elderly people, people with special needs, or people belonging to the Roma minority) are important parts of the church’s work. The Miss Stone Center with the «Meals on Wheels» program, the Home Care Ministry, and education programs is a far-reaching ministry operated by people from the UMC. A project of particular significance for the peaceful future of North Macedonia is the endeavor to promote interfaith contacts and understanding. Other priorities include the production of Christian literature, programs for children and youth, activities for women, and the education of new lay and clergy leaders in order to help with the challenge of building a church for future generations with an impact on society. Despite political separation of their countries, the local churches in North Macedonia and Serbia still belong to the same Annual Conference.
Population: 2.08 millions
Area: 25,333 km2
Religion: Orthodox (65%), Muslim (33%)
UMC Churches: 11
Active Clergy: 4
When Bishop Heinrich Bolleter, then in charge of the United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe, conducted an opening ceremony of the "Miss Stone Center" in 2001, it marked the official beginning of a trail of blessings that has since run through the lives of many hundreds of men and women.
An abbreviated Annual Conference for Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania was held on September 10-11, 2021. Due to increasing Covid infection numbers, it could not be held for all together in Strumica (North Macedonia). Therefore, the three countries were connected in an online meeting, and the bishop presided over itfrom Zurich.
The year 2020 proved to be a considerable challenge for the leaders of the Miss Stone Center in Strumica (North Macedonia). Despite high caseloads, however, the UMC's diaconal facility was able to care for more than 200 people without interruption – and continues to do so.
Who would have thought at the beginning of this year that 2020 would be such a difficult year? The Covid 19 pandemic changed a lot for many people around the world. Even the "Miss Stone Center" in Strumica (North Macedonia) had and still has to struggle with the consequences.