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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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 ...

July 08, 2016

First Palmetto's missions serve Manatee County

The church takes up the call of Matthew 25:34-40.

July 01, 2016

Dan Campbell—friend to the homeless, innovator in mission

Dan was a leader, a mentor and a guide and has prepared others for taking over the reins. He has helped others prepare to be bold.

June 24, 2016

It's a bird ... It's a plane ... It's VBS in Nicaragua!

“Dios me dia el poder!” screamed the children. God gives me the power! The power to be brave! The power to be obedient! The power to be faithful! This was the theme of our Vacation Bible School ...

June 17, 2016

Sanford’s Lakeside UMC finds a miracle

What do you do when the state takes possession of your church through eminent domain? You pray for guidance, strength and new direction.

June 13, 2016

After hate, St. Luke's in Orlando offers hope

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, whose congregation has many LGBTQ members, already had a blood drive planned June 12. In the wake of a mass shooting that targeted gay people, the drive drew ...

June 10, 2016

Families lose homes but keep community

The Life Enrichment Center at First Church Melbourne has a new purpose: classrooms have been turned into bedrooms and Brevard County families in transition now have a safe place to live for a week at ...

June 07, 2016

A special needs prom like no other

On Saturday, April 23, they got ready like anyone else would for their prom. Tuxedos were buttoned, hair was styled and nails were painted.

June 03, 2016

Small church distributes over three tons of food

How does a small church collect and distribute 7,000 pounds of food in one week?

May 27, 2016

Praise Dance Team at Ebenezer UMC

The fourth Sunday of each month is youth Sunday at Ebenezer UMC in Jacksonville. It’s also Praise Dance Sunday, thanks to a dedicated team of 10 young women led by a talented church member.

May 20, 2016

Garden blessings on Creation Care Sunday

The garden became common ground that brought us together across generations and connected us with a new purpose, which was a blessing in itself.

May 19, 2016

Florida missionary commissioned at GC

Mike Zdorow of the Florida Conference was commissioned as a United Methodist Church missionary in the Service of Commissioning during General Conference on Thursday, May 19.

May 13, 2016

St. Luke’s UMC helps families opt out of poverty

Families who live at or near the poverty line are empowered to achieve individual goals relating to economic stability as well as to help solve community problems.

May 06, 2016

Men in service

KUMC's iServe mission helps our neighbors and church members who need assistance with projects in and around their homes on several Saturdays each month.

April 29, 2016

Outreach helps thousands of low income taxpayers

VITA is designed to help residents receive all the tax credits they qualify for.

April 22, 2016

Creation caretaker leads the way

For most of her life, Laurilee Thompson has attended First United Methodist Church of Titusville, where she has served as an authority on Creation Care. Thompson's passion to preserve God's creation ...

April 15, 2016

Israel-Palestine missionaries share stories

Brenda and Alex Awad found an appreciative audience for their experiences living and ministering in the Middle East.

April 08, 2016

SOS! at FUMC Spring Hill

SOS! means "Serving Others Selflessly!" at First UMC Spring Hill.

April 01, 2016

'The Little White House' in Brandon

New shelter in Brandon provides for area homeless women with opportunities for community involvement and contributions.

March 25, 2016

First Eustis provides random acts of kindness

So far, they have completed three significant home improvement and clean-up projects for people in the community.

March 23, 2016

First Sebring in mission for the long haul

"We knew in an instant this was the beginning of a friendship and partnership that was going to be very long-term."

March 18, 2016

Asbury UMC in Maitland Updates Lakeside Chapel

Pastor Scott Harris of Asbury UMC in Maitland is the first to admit that a recent photo of him in command of a jackhammer is something of a joke, but in reality the hard work of rebuilding the ...

March 11, 2016

Not a homeless shelter – a village

Approaching the one-year anniversary of Open Arms Village in Ocala, we checked in with them to find out what happened once warm bodies started filling their beds.

March 04, 2016

Chili cook-off connects to community

What better way to connect a church with its neighboring community than by serving steaming hot cups of chili? That’s exactly what happened when the North Naples UMC reached out to its neighbors ...

February 26, 2016

Bluegrass packs 'em in, grace keeps 'em coming

A small church on the Caloosahatchee River mixes bluegrass and the Bible to create a popular Saturday night worship experience.

February 19, 2016

Shores after-school program recognized

The 3-year-old Shores UMC after-school program receives a Lockmiller excellence in education award from the Florida United Methodist Foundation.

February 12, 2016

Feed those in need, physically and spiritually

An outreach effort to help people struggling with physical needs blossoms into requests for spiritual nourishment as well.

February 05, 2016

Little boy with a big heart

A preschooler models Christian compassion and generosity when his teacher battles cancer.

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