Rev. John Purrington
John was born and raised in Florida, the grandson of a Presbyterian pastor. John has lived in Jacksonville,
Panama City, and Hollywood until entering undergraduate study for accounting at Florida State. John
saw the light in more ways than one while at FSU, most significantly receiving the gift of Christ’s love for
himself at the age of 19. John’s spiritual journey highlights how close one can be to the promise of
Christ's love and still be far from it personally. Quickly following the gift of Christ was a change of major.
(Yes, God saved John from being an accountant and he is forever grateful!). He served as Student
Program Minister at the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry in 1989-90 and Student Program Director
in 1990-92, then the call to ministry as an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. John
continued his education at the Candler School of Theology at Emory graduating with his Masters of
Divinity in December of 1996.
John’s service started in the church in 1989-1992 at The FSU Wesley Foundation, Associate Pastor/Youth
Pastor at Crystal River UMC in the summers of 1991 and 1992, Associate Pastor/Youth Pastor at
Stockbridge UMC 1993-1996. John has served under appointment in the North Georgia Annual
Conference since January 1997 at Epworth/McCaysville circuit 1997-1999, The Good Shepherd UMC
1999-2001, at a new church start at Wesley Way UMC in McDonough GA 2001-2007, and Ringgold UMC
2007-2014. Wesley Way UMC grew to a church of more than 350 in 2 worship services in 6 years while
Ringgold UMC grew to include a worship attendance of nearly 500.
A significant part of the ministry at Ringgold UMC has included the work of recovery after the April 27,
2011, F-4 tornado (a direct hit on downtown Ringgold). The creation of new worship services to meet
the needs of the community and Recovery at Ringgold was a collaborative ministry of seven local
churches that aims to provide recovery for addiction, loss and life change.