Local Church News

The Florida Conference is home to hundreds of local churches, ministries, clergy and lay members dedicated to making a difference in the world. Check out the stories below to see how they are sharing ideas and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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June 23, 2017

Estero UMC undergoing $4.5 million expansion

The Naples News reports that Estero United Methodist Church recently began work on a $4.5 million expansion. The church first opened its doors in 1915.

June 16, 2017

Hopes spring high at Studio 150

Leaving the spotlights of Broadway behind, Jenny Logus, artistic director of a dance program at FUMC Winter Park, joined a program called Studio 150 in 2015. It's a career move that has children in ...

June 02, 2017

Hospital, church and college unite for homeless

In an article reported by the South Florida Times, Christ Church in Ft. Lauderdale recently joined with FAU's Christine Lynn College of Nursing and Holy Cross Hospital to provide free foot care to the...

May 26, 2017

Exceptional Entrepreneurs profits in many ways

It began in 2012 as a worm farm producing garden compost and fishing bait. Today, the program called Exceptional Entrepreneurs offers 17 developmentally disabled adults productive opportunities.

May 19, 2017

Children's Home dedicates aquatic center, breaks ground

The Florida United Methodist Children's Home recently dedicated a new aquatics center and held a groundbreaking ceremony for two new buildings, a chapel and Counseling and Support Services Center.

May 12, 2017

Jacksonville brewery offers taste of Christianity

Mandarin UMC in Jacksonville recently marked its first anniversary for the Fresh Expression Beer and Hymns. Blending conversation, craft beers and singing at a popular brewery, the program offers ...

May 05, 2017

Occupy Trilogy for the spiritually curious

Ben Collins, director of the Fresh Expressions experiment called The Collective, gathers material for his Sunday sermons from what he calls "the spiritually curious." It all begins on Tuesday ...

April 28, 2017

The Portico offers 'big reveal' in April

The Portico, a downtown campus of Hyde Park UMC focused on "conversation, connection and community change," offered its "big reveal" April 2. On display was a fully renovated sanctuary and new coffee ...

April 21, 2017

5K becomes race against world hunger

A charity run in Jacksonville has provided nearly 150,000 meals over three years for Rise Against Hunger recipients in developing nations. This year's 5K race by CrossRoad Church UMC included ...

April 07, 2017

Tuesday Morning ministry wraps arms around homeless

Referred to simply as Tuesday Morning, a homeless ministry at Ocala First UMC has evolved into a changing-lives mission. The ministry currently offers everything from bike repairs and free haircuts to...

March 31, 2017

Married People Night Out scores points at Community of Hope

A date night at Community of Hope UMC in Loxahatchee offered fine dining cooked by a professional chef, games and strategies for success in marriage. An event held in February included 80 couples and ...

March 24, 2017

Serving the poor in Appalachian hills

The families living in the Appalachian hill country of Beverly, Kentucky, many of whom have no running water or electricity, welcome members of Belleview UMC and others with prayerful thankfulness. ...

March 17, 2017

Samuel's story

A Guatemalan man, mentally ill and left chained to a pole for six years, was given new life with the aid of a non-profit ministry and volunteers from Trinity UMC in Tallahassee.

March 10, 2017

Pastor and former educator brings iPads to classroom

Matt Horan, pastor at Seminole Heights UMC and once a middle school English teacher, is reaching out to local schools. His church recently donated much needed iPads to a Tampa classroom.

March 03, 2017

Ministry for runners making God’s love real

Racing on Gasparilla Day has become a family and friends tradition at Hyde Park United Methodist. What began with inspiration during a morning jog soon became a ministry that 13 years later is still ...

February 24, 2017

Kenyan's dream to build health clinic becomes reality

Having to push his sickly mother in a wheelbarrow across dirt roads to the nearest health clinic gave Kenyan Benjamin Ikirima a dream. An architect and teams of volunteers from First UMC of St. ...

February 17, 2017

Celebrating hardworking United Methodist Women for Valentine's Day

As many take Valentine's Day as a traditional opportunity to celebrate important relationships in their lives, a new tradition is popping up where women are celebrating their relationships with each ...

February 10, 2017

Coronado Community brings love and hope to Salud y Paz

In a mission of love, a dedicated team of local church members visit a place called Salud y Paz year after year. For a retired nurse, a gift donation became a dying wish.

February 03, 2017

'Night to Shine' prom event lays out the red carpet

For the second consecutive year, the UMC of the Palm Beaches is hosting their "Night to Shine" prom event on Friday, Feb. 10 for people with special needs. Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, the ...

January 27, 2017

'Shark Tank' styled youth program inspires young minds

Inspired by the ABC television show, "Shark Tank," Southside UMC in Jacksonville turns passion into action, as youth present their visions for missions to their own panel of sharks.

January 20, 2017

National Guard major returns home to mentor young adults

Following a year-long deployment in Africa, Maj. Lance Sellon, director of Go ministries at CrossRoad Church UMC in Jacksonville, returns home to minister to young adult professionals.

January 13, 2017

Raising the grade at Melrose Elementary

Last year, many children at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg were unable to properly read or perform basic math skills at their grade level. Volunteers at a local church intervened by offering ...

January 06, 2017

Reindeer Run benefits human trafficking victims

For the second consecutive year, Palm Harbor UMC held their annual Reindeer Run on Dec. 3. Designed to bring awareness to the plight of human trafficking victims, this year's race attracted nearly 500...

December 30, 2016

An annual rite of giving at Sager Brown

Two churches, FUMC Orlando and FUMC Winter Park, make visiting and working at Sager Brown an annual pilgrimage. This story offers a glimpse into what it is like to attend a typical mission trip at the...

December 23, 2016

A gift to those surviving the holidays

For those who have lost someone special in their lives, the holiday season can be a trying time. Trinity UMC recently offered a class titled "Surviving the Holidays." Church member and widower Lynn ...

December 16, 2016

Long-time newspaper writer tells a different story

Presenting theatrical drama at Christmas can be a challenging but worthwhile endeavor for many churches. A long-time Tampa Tribune writer started writing original plays nine years ago for his church. ...

December 09, 2016

Multiplying 'God's Dollar' with talent and creativity

Replacing their annual rummage and craft sale, Bear Lake UMC in Apopka found a creative and innovative way to raise money for local charities.

December 02, 2016

Helping 'unhooked seniors' graduate

Coronado Community UMC has joined the efforts of Cudas Unhooked, a non-profit making a huge difference in the lives of young at-risk high school students. The goal is to help them graduate.

November 25, 2016

Transforming 1940's building into a beachside cafe

Transforming a former square dance hall used in the 1940's, Good Shepherd UMC in Palm Beach County is renovating the building into an upscale beach house café serving gourmet coffee and live ...

November 18, 2016

A night at the opera

With a crowd of more than 200 attending, Trinity UMC in Tallahassee continued its long tradition in music by presenting "A Night at the Opera" on Oct. 21.

November 11, 2016

New Horizon helps create unity in Haines City

In what was termed a "proactive sign of solidarity," one city found a way to counter recent news events nationwide that only focus on tensions existing between black communities and local law ...

November 04, 2016

Laity Sunday sermon at First, Spring Hill, calls for focus

The Laity Sunday sermon's theme was "Celebrating You," and lay leader explained how the acronym FOCUS can guide members in fulfilling the will of God.

October 28, 2016

The Portico launches at new downtown Tampa campus

The new Tampa campus of Hyde Park UMC is designed to reach across denominations and provide assistance to those in need.

October 21, 2016

Brevard disaster relief an ecumenical effort

Larry Porter, down to his white beard and twinkling eyes, looks like a cross between Santa Claus and Paul Bunyan as he revs up his chainsaw. That chainsaw technically runs on gas, but it appears to be...

October 14, 2016

The 'church ladies' reach out in maximum security facility

A group of volunteers from First Stuart UMC, referred to by inmates as the "church ladies," have been offering Bible studies, grief share sessions and mentoring for the past four years in an all-girl ...

October 07, 2016

Mission to Haiti includes hand sewn dresses

First Inverness UMC recently sent 76 hand sewn dresses and dolls to school children in Haiti.

September 30, 2016

The secret is in the sauce

First UMC of Pahokee helps form an eight-week cooking course for high school students.

September 23, 2016

Churches race to support Family Promise

Grace at Fort Clarke UMC and Trinity UMC recently competed in a themed bed race at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, helping raise more than $25,000 for the local Family Promise organization.

September 16, 2016

Mentors help reunite families

In a unique volunteer ministry, members of a Ft. Myers church are working to mentor families disrupted by emotional issues, drugs and crime.

September 09, 2016

'Connecting Through Compassion' at area laundromats

Members of Christ United Methodist church in St. Petersburg are moving beyond the walls of a traditional church by visiting area laundromats in a downtown neighborhood.

September 02, 2016

Boys and girls start the school year right

Coronado Community UMC Pastor, Peter Cottrell, has a favorite saying when looking at projects, ideas and missions of the congregation. Is it "Kingdom Building?" Well, this month, building began with ...

August 26, 2016

It takes a village: Private school opens high school

Naples school opens at North Naples UMC as part of 10 million dollar Growing Together campaign.

August 19, 2016

'A joyful overwhelming'

Quinn began his new role as program coordinator at Warren Willis on June 16, with a baby on the way.

August 12, 2016

St. Andrew's youth take testimonies to Costa Rica

The 11 high school students from Brandon who spent the first part of a sweltering July in Costa Rica weren’t at a fancy resort along the coast, snorkeling, sunbathing and playing beach volleyball in ...

August 05, 2016

Children's Home has new play therapy room

Play therapy is a recognized way for children to help their therapists unlock hidden trauma. Sometimes it is the only way.

July 29, 2016

Youth change lives during a domestic mission trip

Palm Harbor United Methodist Church sent more than 60 people (middle school, high school, college students and adults) to Immokalee, Florida for a domestic mission trip. During the week the team ...

July 22, 2016

A laying on of hands

Hillsborough UMC's youth group discussed law enforcement this week with Hillsborough County Sheriff's Officer Corporal Preston Hollis. This commentary is based on the author's Facebook post.

July 22, 2016

Stuffed animal ministry calms child victims

A criminal court and state attorney’s office can be a scary place for children who must be there because they are crime victims, and stuffed animals can help lessen their anxiety.

July 18, 2016

Churches team up on Walk for Racial Peace

The churches in the Wildwood community include four United Methodist congregations.

July 15, 2016

Downtown Tampa mural graces The Portico

You wouldn’t expect to see a rooster and an alligator together, let alone sharing space in a giant mural in downtown Tampa. But the images are there. Depicting the two creatures “living together in ...

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