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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May 31, 2019

St. Mark, Lakeland, celebration includes first 'Collard Greens Cookoff'

It was one of an ongoing number of activities in which St. Mark has partnered with the community to unite various segments of the population and to honor The United Methodist Church’s commitment to ...

May 24, 2019

Trinity receives 'Beacon of Hope' Preservation Award

The church was recognized for its involvement in preserving the unique architectural resources in the restoration of Trinity’s bell tower. The church, built in 1891, is located in the heart of the ...

May 10, 2019

FUMC Oviedo: homelessness is opportunity for ministry

Homelessness is a chronic problem throughout Central Florida, and it offers an opportunity for United Methodists to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

May 03, 2019

Music is at heart of ‘Imagine Worship’ at Slyvan Abbey

Attendance has grown steadily, especially during the month-long April concert series held on Thursdays at the Main Street Gazebo near the water in Clearwater.

April 26, 2019

Silver Palm honored as ‘Church of the Year’

A small church in Homestead with a big heart for children was recognized in March for its commitment to going above and beyond the generosity of most Florida UMCs in supporting Florida United ...

April 12, 2019

First Orlando supports ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’ campaign

The Needle Arts Group helps raise awareness about congenital heart disease.

April 05, 2019

Cuddle Cove: space for infants in sanctuary

Every Sunday morning new moms, and some dads, gather behind a privacy screen and listen to the sermon and sing with the congregation from rocking chairs.

March 29, 2019

First Eustis tackles childhood homelessness

There are a lot of kids aging out of foster care with no place to go. Housing, like everywhere else in Florida, is either lacking or expensive

March 22, 2019

North Naples’ summer program teaches children service

VBS has been transformed into a “Serve Your World Camp,” with the idea that no one is ever too young to serve.

March 15, 2019

First Bartow students learn about Israelites’ journey

Students learned about manna from heaven and the exodus of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and their flight through the parted Red Sea.

March 01, 2019

A mailing address makes all the difference

The “mail call” idea is that the homeless, who are referred to as guests, can receive mail addressed to them in care of the church. It has turned into a lifeline for many.

February 22, 2019

Closed church reborn with heart for mission

Over the past decade, Joining Hands Mission has grown its ministry from a simple Sunday breakfast into a community-wide network of loving and caring people who provide essential services for the ...

February 15, 2019

Church enjoys Native American worship elements

The congregation learned of the love Native Americans have for Jesus and how they incorporate their Christianity with their tribal customs.

January 18, 2019

Praying in park leads to community collaboration

The idea was to pray for the community, its doctors, teachers, children and firefighters.

January 11, 2019

Church seeks to expand healing ministry

Miami Lakes is expanding its Celebrate Recovery program to include not just alcohol and drug addicts, but also those who suffer from anxiety and depression or other types of addictions.

January 04, 2019

Allendale ministry helps less fortunate

The ministry is organized and headed by a coalition between the United Methodist Women and United Methodist Cooperative Ministries Suncoast.

December 21, 2018

Church teaches youth to value selves, others, then lead

A new ministry at Harvest United Methodist Church helps teens identify their gifts and strengths, value the gifts and strengths of others and lead by example.

December 14, 2018

Old camper turns into housing relief

As Rachel read stories of homes destroyed in Panama City, Mexico Beach and elsewhere from Hurricane Michael, God whispered in her ear: Why not spruce up the trailer and donate it to the relief effort ...

December 07, 2018

Pub group takes the Word outside church walls

The group is populated primarily by church members who don't enjoy traditional Bible study and former members who are willing to re-engage and give the church a second, less-traditional look.

November 30, 2018

First Dunedin shows ecumenical teamwork power

The ecumenical Thanksgiving service is just one of the church’s commitments to its community.

November 16, 2018

Love is at the heart of Keystone's anniversary

Keystone UMC celebrated its 150th anniversary on Nov. 18.

November 02, 2018

Inaugural 'Fall for Naples' event fun for all

North Naples Church held its first Fall for Naples event on Oct. 20 on the grounds of the church and The Village School.

October 19, 2018

Through the Roof Ministries

Through the Roof is a special-needs ministry of The United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, and it works with people from many churches throughout the area. Phyllis Parthemer heads the ministry, ...

October 11, 2018

Broadway UMC donates pet fire rescue equipment

Broadway UMC in Orlando provides all area fire engines with the latest equipment to save an animal's life.

October 05, 2018

First, Seffner, starts a band for school

The church has also partnered with Instruments of Change, which successfully started four other school bands in Hillsborough County. The program is designed to teach students more than just how to ...

September 28, 2018

Cedar Key prayer angels bless 4,600 worldwide

The angels are cut and sewn from the uniforms of military personnel who have been deployed and returned safely.

September 21, 2018

A little church makes big miracles

A tiny old church tucked in the heart of downtown St. Cloud is accomplishing huge things for the area’s downtrodden. Pastor Wilma Reyes of First United Methodist Church calls their ministries nothing ...

September 14, 2018

Collaborative masterpieces: Families paint together at church

A special evening of fellowship and painting dubbed by First Lakeland as Paint Night is bringing families together for some wholesome, church fun.

September 07, 2018

School supplies bring joy to teachers and church members

The need at Sandy Lane Elementary was greater than normal, and that’s when church member Faye Williams sprang into action to make sure that urgent need was met.

August 31, 2018

Mission in Guyana from Essequibo to Lake Capoey

In July, a team of five representatives from First UMC of Fort Lauderdale spent a week in Guyana doing what Senior Pastor Jill Auman called “renewing our commitment” to the Ruimveldt Children’s Home ...

August 24, 2018

North Naples camp instills spirit of service, volunteerism

Since 2015, the aim of the camp has been to instill a spirit of service and volunteerism in children, beyond what a regular Vacation Bible School experience could do.

August 17, 2018

Pompano Beach ministry brings God’s love to those in need

Love in Action Pompano Beach volunteers serve a hot meal each Sunday to more than 200 people from the surrounding community.

August 10, 2018

Summer Salad gatherings offer women fellowship

It all started when church member Suzanne Tedder realized the women attending the weekly Bible study were having a bit of summer cabin fever, eager to escape the chaos of running the kids here, there ...

August 08, 2018

'Shopping for a Mission' fills Jacksonville pantry

Many generous participants of all ages from Beach Church in Jacksonville went on a special shopping trip to help restock BEAM's (Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry) food pantry.

August 03, 2018

Port Orange Girl Scouts fight hunger

A year after the girls organized and built an outdoor food pantry at First United Methodist Church of Port Orange, the service project continues to meet the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.

July 27, 2018

Kids worship in 'prayground' at First UMC Lakeland

A special section in the back of the fellowship center is reserved for babies, toddlers and children up to 8 years old so they can play quietly and still participate in the service.

July 25, 2018

Churches assist families devastated by fire

On June 24, a planned brush fire burned out of control, destroying the homes of 36 families and 1,000 acres in Eastpoint, a community of about 2,300.

July 23, 2018

Sustaining community support in summer a challenge

About six months after the holidays, food pantries tend to be a little bare. And with school about to start, institutions with mostly students from low-income homes are in dire need of supplies.

July 20, 2018

New Horizon pastor honored for fighting child hunger

HandsOn Broward presented New Horizon UMC’s Rev. Peytyn Tobin with its 2018 Changemaker Award at the nonprofit’s annual Youth Impact Awards in early May.

July 16, 2018

Honoring Rev. Tom Derrough

Venice-based writer Ed Scott remembers a life-changing mission trip to Uganda over 10 years ago led by Rev. Derrough, who passed away on June 30.

July 13, 2018

First Melbourne moving into the future

First United Methodist Church of Melbourne is embarking on a major construction project that will radically transform the historic church.

July 12, 2018

Slimed for a cause

Getting slimed has become a tradition at Palm Harbor UMC.

July 11, 2018

University Carillon named business partner of the year

The church was named Business Partner of the Year by the Florida Department of Education Commissioners Business Recognition Awards.

July 06, 2018

North Naples hosts music camp for Collier students

The camp, which ran from June 4-14, has been ongoing for the past 15 years. It concluded its fourth year at the North Naples Church campus.

July 04, 2018

Missionary couple moves where God needs them

Bill and Laura Roy of St. John UMC, Sebring, will go wherever they are called to serve the church.

June 29, 2018

Team Grace Cycling rides for those impacted by MS

Team Grace is a group of friends, neighbors and families from all over the central Florida area. This year, the team raised more than $45,000.

June 27, 2018

A Life Well-Marked: Counselor finds blessings through obedience

Burt Bennett of Alva (Florida) United Methodist Church encourages others to be fully present with people and show genuine care and interest.

June 22, 2018

Tomoka UMW helps out Daytona Beach pregnancy center

In May, the United Methodist Women donated a Pack and Play crib filled to the brim with baby supplies — diapers, onesies, knitted things and supplies.

June 15, 2018

Beach Church seeking leaders for the future

“We have a huge desire to invest in the next generation, and we want to develop a pipeline of ministerial staff that can be part of our church, a campus we start in the future or in another church.” ...

June 01, 2018

Five months after donating a kidney, Rev. Williamson ran the Boston Marathon

Steady headwind with gusts of 30 mph, 40-degree temps, unceasing rain and even a kidney donation couldn't stop him from hitting the pavement.

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