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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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 ...

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.

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