February 3, 2016
This Week’s Storyteller is…
Rodney Body, Dover UMC
From early 2015…
I was appointed as a retired supply pastor to the Dover United Methodist Church in East Hillsborough County, FL (South Central District). Dover United Methodist Church is actually the oldest Methodist Church in Hillsborough County charted in 1845 when this part of Florida was primarily frontier.
The membership is only 31 and is in an area that is predominantly Mexican Hispanic with the huge strawberry farms that produce more winter strawberries than any place in the United States. As part of its outreach, each first Saturday of the month the church has a family dinner for the community in which they sell meals of roast beef or ham along with coleslaw, green beans and desserts. The church uses their proceeds to help pay their church's apportionments and insurance.
Just recently we have started a Bible study on the Book of Romans, and for the past few Sundays there has been an uptick in worship attendance. Last year the average attendance stood at 24, and for the first three Sundays in January the church has beaten that average and has actually set records each Sunday in January for attendance. On January 4 there were 26 in attendance, on January 11 there were 28 in attendance and on January 18 there were 33 in attendance. Things are truly moving in the right direction at this small rural church in East Hillsborough County.
Up Next Week…
Daniel and Carrie Simone, Killearn UMC, Tallahassee
“I used to think it odd to see a family praying in a restaurant.” The couple tells the story of how their discipleship grew from simply listening to sermons to building relationships in the church, becoming a part of other people’s stories and the community, to being baptized and joining the church.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011