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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March 16, 2018

La Gonave Island pastor visits N. Naples, Carlson Memorial

Pastor Jean-Jacques Agones of La Gonave Island, Haiti, recently visited North Naples UMC and Carlson Memorial in LaBelle to describe how mission groups in his country have changed lives that were once...

March 14, 2018

Rev. Sean Peters – Embracing God’s Surprises

Rev. Sean Peters shares about his surprising journey from the world of theater to the world of church planting, what it means to embrace the people that God sends to you, and his story of healing from...

March 09, 2018

Job turnover is zero among homeless employees at Tampa's Portico Cafe

Hyde Park UMC's Portico Café does more than serve coffee and baked goods. Hiring several individuals who were either homeless or were re-entering the workforce after serving prison sentences, there ...

March 02, 2018

Palma Ceia's iMatter program offers unconditional love

Palma Ceia UMC's iMatter program, which includes a unique sensory room with soft music, lights and calming images, was initially formed to meet the needs of those with special needs. Today, it's ...

February 23, 2018

New Farmers Market Hosted by Montverde United Methodist Church

A new outdoor Farmer’s Market has enthusiasts checking out the fresh produce, seafood, baked goods, homemade foods and handmade crafts and other goodies every Wednesday in the Town of Montverde’s Kirk...

February 22, 2018

Response to Parkland: Trinity UMC marches on the Florida State Capitol

Inspired by Bishop Ken Carter's recent call-to-action, members of Trinity UMC, Tallahassee, marched on the Florida State Capitol to support the voices of student protesters.

February 16, 2018

American glass artistry on display since 1926

Including visits from a Hollywood director and inspiration from a famous author, FUMC St. Petersburg attracts hundreds of tourists each year. But this is not a story about films and books. Ten stained...

February 09, 2018

Church contributes to elementary school through reading buddy program

Just in time for Florida's Celebrate Literacy Week, News 6 (Orlando) featured an outreach effort that's getting results in our schools.

February 02, 2018

Gift shares offer 'priceless' shopping experiences

For Shari Fling of Peace UMC in Orlando having too much "stuff" can be a good thing. Through events called gift shares, Fling helps provide "priceless" shopping experiences to church and community ...

January 26, 2018

50,000 breakfasts and still serving

For Joining Hands Mission UMC in Holiday, serving breakfast for those in need is a way of life. The church parking lot is filled with griddles, gas stoves and waffle irons every Sunday morning.

January 19, 2018

MLK week revival helps bring unity to Wildwood

A recent two-day revival in Wildwood was held to help break down racial divisions. For Rev. Michael Beck, senior pastor at Wildwood UMC, the "Unity Movement" event was part of an ongoing mission that ...

January 12, 2018

She plays the world's largest flute

For Paige Long, co-director of music ministries at Palm Coast UMC, playing the flute is no ordinary task. Included in her repertoire is an instrument called the double contrabass. It weighs 30 pounds,...

January 05, 2018

St. James food pantry offers help in tough times

At St. James UMC in St. Petersburg, a monthly food pantry is held in its fellowship hall. Serving an area covering eight zip codes, the pantry offers a way through tough times for those with limited ...

December 29, 2017

Harry 'Skip' Wilson honored on NHL ice as Community Hero

For Harry "Skip Wilson, the retired vice president of Tampa Electric Company and member of New Hope UMC in Brandon, being awarded Community Hero by the Tampa Bay Lightning was a complete surprise. On ...

December 22, 2017

Inspired by Jane Austen, LifeGroup paints Christmas

Thirteen members of the Advent LifeGroup at Killearn UMC in Tallahassee found inspiration with a 16 by 20-inch canvas, some paints and the book "A Jane Austen Devotional" by Thomas Nelson. Together, ...

December 15, 2017

UMCOR meets challenges of 2017 relief

Challenged by hurricanes, floods, wildfires and earthquakes, UMCOR faced a difficult year in 2017. Organizational changes are offering greater efficiency in delivering supplies.

December 08, 2017

Dinner, size-13 cleats, make a difference in Seminole Heights

Seminole Heights UMC has always been a hub for community gatherings. With recent events that involved a serial killer in the eclectic Tampa neighborhood, the church has found new ways to make a ...

December 01, 2017

Sager Brown dedication remembers longtime friend

Central Florida's Sager Brown Mission Team recently dedicated a newly constructed gazebo to the memory of Ed Cepull, who founded the team and served at FUMC in Orlando for more than 40 years.

November 24, 2017

Cardboard City brings awareness to homeless families

Sleeping on cardboard boxes and in cars and tents, members of CrossRoad UMC in Jacksonville recently hosted an event called Cardboard City. The chilly and sleepless night helped raise awareness for ...

November 17, 2017

'A taste of home' served hot at Filipino potluck

They've been cooking up a taste of home for 17 years! Every Sunday at First Church Melbourne an authentic Filipino potluck meal is enjoyed by friends and family. The savory delights of their home ...

November 10, 2017

Evacuating Hurricane Irma with 18 horses

When Rev. Roy Terry of Cornerstone UMC heard a Category 5 hurricane could be headed toward Naples, he and his family really had no choice. They evacuated all 18 of their horses to Georgia.

November 03, 2017

A pastor reflects on All Saints Day

For Jan Richardson, an artist, writer and ordained minister in The United Methodist Church, images and words often come together to form reflections about life. Through a poem titled, "Enduring ...

October 27, 2017

'Bible, Bikes and Breakfast' riders enjoy God's countryside

He's been described as a "casual dressing, Harley riding, high sacramentalist." For Rev. Greg Freeze of FUMC in Spring Hill, combining a passion for motorcycles with his church seemed like a great ...

October 20, 2017

'Childs Park, We Got You'

When the power went out during Hurricane Irma, the Childs Park neighborhood in south St. Petersburg came together and found a way to feed 600 residents. Many were without power for nine days.

October 13, 2017

Prison ministry offers fresh start, faith

Crossing a bridge from the island to the mainland makes all the difference for members of St. George Island UMC. Working outside their comfort zone, volunteers are helping county jail prisoners change...

October 06, 2017

UMC connection is powerful in times of Irma disaster

The power, value and blessings of the connection are seen in this photo essay featuring many of our Florida churches who reached out to those in need.

September 29, 2017

FUMC Wauchula serves 600 meals to first responders

Joining a nonprofit called SendMeMissions, FUMC Wauchula opened their kitchen and food lines for nearly 600 linemen, first responders and volunteers working recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma.

September 22, 2017

Suntree UMC trucking supplies to Keys

For Suntree UMC in Melbourne, devastation in the Florida Keys became personal. The pastors at Big Pine Key and Key West UMC, the Revs. John and Terri Hill, are former pastors at Suntree.

September 20, 2017

Orange County bridge dedicated to Rev. Ken Crossman

Described as an ardent crusader of human rights and civil liberties, recent legislation designated a Winter Park railroad bridge as the "Reverend Kenneth C. Crossman Bridge" in his honor.

September 15, 2017

Sun City disaster team offers response, prayers

The disaster response team at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center has been responding to hurricanes for many years. Always on the ready, volunteers bring tents, sleeping bags, love and ...

September 08, 2017

Pastor brings rap beat to Scripture

Rev. Matt Kern, associate pastor at Saint Paul's UMC, brings his own brand of rap music to sermons, baptisms and even funerals.

September 01, 2017

Epic turnout for end-of-summer bash

The annual Epic End-of-Summer Bash was held recently at FUMC in Chiefland. The gathering, which was attended by nearly 1,000 parents and children, helped fill 650 backpacks with much needed school ...

August 25, 2017

Planting seeds in historic Seminole Heights

In a close-knit community of small businesses and 1920's bungalows, a neighborhood association offers a landscaping makeover to Seminole Heights UMC.

August 18, 2017

ArtWorks colors worlds with brushstrokes of pain, hope

For artist Renee Schneider, who started ArtWorks in 2003 as a ministry of St. Luke's UMC in Orlando, painting has taken on a new dimension. It has formed windows of hope to nearly 1,000 children ...

August 18, 2017

Bethune-Cookman, high school football teams kickoff at Palm Coast

Palm Coast UMC is hosting its sixth annual Football Sunday services August 20. Those kicking off their seasons with church and faith include Bethune-Cookman University, Palm Coast and Matanzas high ...

August 11, 2017

Piecing together puzzle of historic Gainesville church

In the midst of historical preservation, a Gainesville architect had to begin by piecing together a puzzle to learn how the First United Methodist Church in Gainesville looked more than a century ago.

August 04, 2017

Teamwork, ingenuity helping hearing impaired

Gathering parts purchased at a local audio store, Dave Klaiber and his son Dan invented a system that is helping one church's hearing impaired Sunday School listeners. One in three Americans age 65 ...

July 28, 2017

YAMM receives $100,000 Young Clergy Initiative grant

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry recently announced its 2017 Young Clergy Initiative Grant awards. The Florida Conference's Young Adult Missional Movement (YAMM) received $100,000.

July 21, 2017

Titusville car care ministry 'serves and gets dirty'

Fifteen years ago a retired NASA engineer and his wife started a car care ministry in Titusville. From brake jobs to water pumps and spark plugs, customers are still lining up Saturday mornings for a ...

July 14, 2017

Students dispel 'Kids These Days' myth on mission trips

In the five years we have done this trip, 96 different people have come with us to work, 46 have come twice, 26 have come three times, 13 have come four times, and there are nine that have come on all...

July 07, 2017

Little Red House embraced by community

When Rev. Merrill Frailey was first appointed to serve at College Park UMC in the Orlando area, she felt like the church was "closing in on itself...trying to survive." Then came new life with a place...

June 30, 2017

Children learn compassion at Maker Fun Factory

First United Methodist Church in Ormond Beach held a Maker Fun Factory Kids Adventure week June 26 to 30. This story posted by the Ormond Beach Observer offers a photo gallery of the event.

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 ...

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