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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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Serving the poor in Appalachian hills

March 24, 2017

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. Repairing a roof or adding a ramp for a wheelchair can make all the difference.

Samuel's story

March 17, 2017

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.

Ministry for runners making God’s love real

March 03, 2017

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 running strong.

Kenyan's dream to build health clinic becomes reality

February 24, 2017

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. Petersburg worked for five years to make it happen.

'Night to Shine' prom event lays out the red carpet

February 03, 2017

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 event is one of 380 celebrations being held worldwide.

Raising the grade at Melrose Elementary

January 13, 2017

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 their time, patience and love.

Reindeer Run benefits human trafficking victims

January 06, 2017

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 runners and raised more than $8,600.

An annual rite of giving at Sager Brown

December 30, 2016

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 center.

A gift to those surviving the holidays

December 23, 2016

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 Cunningham offers thoughtful tips.

Long-time newspaper writer tells a different story

December 16, 2016

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. It's now an annual event.

Helping 'unhooked seniors' graduate

December 02, 2016

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.

Transforming 1940's building into a beachside cafe

November 25, 2016

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 entertainment.

A night at the opera

November 18, 2016

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.

New Horizon helps create unity in Haines City

November 11, 2016

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 enforcement.

Brevard disaster relief an ecumenical effort

October 21, 2016

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 powered by faith. And it's getting a workout as Porter and hundreds of volunteers, members of faith-based groups from across Brevard and beyond, assist with post-Hurricane Matthew cleanup.

The 'church ladies' reach out in maximum security facility

October 14, 2016

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 maximum security facility.

The secret is in the sauce

September 30, 2016

First UMC of Pahokee helps form an eight-week cooking course for high school students.

Churches race to support Family Promise

September 23, 2016

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.

Mentors help reunite families

September 16, 2016

In a unique volunteer ministry, members of a Ft. Myers church are working to mentor families disrupted by emotional issues, drugs and crime.

Boys and girls start the school year right

September 02, 2016

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 khaki shorts and polo shirts.

'A joyful overwhelming'

August 19, 2016

Quinn began his new role as program coordinator at Warren Willis on June 16, with a baby on the way.

St. Andrew's youth take testimonies to Costa Rica

August 12, 2016

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 the tropical breeze.

Youth change lives during a domestic mission trip

July 29, 2016

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 ...

A laying on of hands

July 22, 2016

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.

Stuffed animal ministry calms child victims

July 22, 2016

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.

Downtown Tampa mural graces The Portico

July 15, 2016

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 harmony,” the mural helps represent The Portico’s mission of fostering conversation and connection.

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

June 13, 2016

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 tremendous community support.

Families lose homes but keep community

June 10, 2016

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 a time.

A special needs prom like no other

June 07, 2016

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

Praise Dance Team at Ebenezer UMC

May 27, 2016

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.

Garden blessings on Creation Care Sunday

May 20, 2016

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

Florida missionary commissioned at GC

May 19, 2016

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.

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