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Lockmiller donates $700,000 to Florida Conference

Lockmiller donates $700,000 to Florida Conference

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Lockmiller donates $700,000 to Florida Conference

March 16, 2007  News media contact: Tita Parham*
800-282-8011  Orlando {0638}

NOTE: A headshot of Lockmiller is available at

An e-Review Feature
By Suzanne McGovern**

Alice W. Lockmiller. Photo courtesy of the Florida United Methodist Foundation. Photo #07-0544. Web photo only.

FORT MYERS — Retired Fort Myers businesswoman and philanthropist Alice W. Lockmiller has donated $700,000 to the Florida Conference for construction of a worship-program center at the conference’s Riverside Retreat Center in LaBelle.
The donation is a leadership gift to the Bishop’s Capital Campaign Commission, which plans to kick off a capital campaign for the Florida Conference in 2007.

The 150-acre Riverside Retreat Center provides camping experiences to United Methodist youth and families, as well as school and community groups from throughout the South Florida region.

The conference also operates the Lake Asbury Retreat Center in Green Cove Springs and Life Enrichment Center and Warren W. Willis Camp in Fruitland Park, near Leesburg.
The new worship and program center will provide an auditorium with space for up to 280 people, plus five smaller classrooms equipped with audio/visual services for meeting groups, according to Martha Pierce, the retreat center’s director.

“Our facilities are used year-round and meeting and activity space is constantly in demand,” Pierce said. “Mrs. Lockmiller’s gift enables us to provide improved and much needed services for our camping and meeting groups.”
In accepting the gift, Florida Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker praised Lockmiller’s commitment to supporting United Methodist causes.

“Alice Lockmiller is exemplary in her service to The United Methodist Church, not just in Florida but around the world,” he said. “She has served on the World Methodist Council, the Foundation for Evangelism and countless church-related boards. Through her philanthropy, she supports more than a dozen United Methodist institutions, including the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, Florida Southern College and Africa University. Her advance gift to the capital campaign will benefit Florida United Methodists for generations to come.”

Lockmiller is also a member of First United Methodist Church of Fort Myers.
According to Whitaker, the capital campaign seeks to raise money for new construction, capital improvements and endowment programs for a variety of conference ministries, including camps and retreat ministries, the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, new church development, congregational transformation, higher education and campus ministries, ministerial scholarships and new ministry initiatives.
During her career, Lockmiller was a commercial citrus grower, real estate broker and certified tree farmer. She was a founding member and past officer of Florida Citrus Mutual. She is a past secretary of the Florida Association of Realtors and southeastern regional vice president of the National Farm and Land Brokers Association. She is a lifelong member of The United Methodist Church and one of the largest single benefactors of its global ministries.
The new building at Riverside Retreat Center will be named the Alice W. Lockmiller Worship and Program Center.


This article relates to Bishop’s Capital Campaign.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**McGovern is associate vice president of planned giving /communications for the Florida United Methodist Foundation.