First United Methodist Church
72 Lake Morton Drive
Lakeland, FL. www.firstumc.org
First United Methodist Church of Lakeland
Update 4/17/20
From Pastor David McEntire
Dear Friends,

By now you are aware that the Covid-19 virus has yet to peak in the United States, though wise observation of those measures which limit and help stop the spread of the virus are helping to slow it down. Your church leaders will be carefully and wisely doing all we can to join with you in ending this pandemic. Thank you for your part in this long journey. Like you, I am deeply grateful for the comforting and strengthening presence of God. 
 
Today I am extending the stoppage of onsite activities at the church until May 15 . We will continue to evaluate as we move forward, but this date mirrors the decisions and strong recommendations of Federal, State and Local health officials and the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. This challenge is beyond compare and yet people continue to find ways to navigate and stay strong through this very difficult time. Your faith is a vital and a life giving source of strength during this time. For this to work, we must also stay connected.
 
It is been about a month since we stopped all onsite activities at the church. During that same period we have added a significant and robust online presence, using Livestream, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to bring the ministry of our church into thousands of homes. The numbers tell us that many more people are tuning in to the wide variety of offerings we continue to make available to our church, community, nation and the world. There are families and individuals who are finding strength, encouragement and connection through this online presence. I pray that you are connected as well. Make sure that you are connected by visiting, sharing and liking these online resources:
 
www.firstumc.org   (Church Web Site, Home Page)
Worship Now  (Links to Worship –Livestream, Radio, & Podcasts)
Faith Formation   (Links to online resources for small groups, Bible study, Sunday school, family and age level resources)
Online Giving (Links and help with Online Giving)
Facebook   Church Facebook page. You do not have to be on Facebook to visit the church page. Search for “First United Methodist Church of Lakeland (Florida).”
 
Many have asked about events which were postponed due to the stopping of onsite activities at the church. It is our intent to offer many of these celebrations, recognition's and events once we are able to gather again. Below is an update on some of those events.
 
As well, you can help as in the next few weeks we will be including pictures of our congregation at the beginning of each worship service. Take a moment to view the “Picture Sharing” schedule and submit appropriate pictures as requested.
 
Thank you for your continued financial support of the church. We have helped many people with rent, funeral expenses, food and much more. We will continue to support our ministry and mission partners as well. The staff is very grateful for ongoing support and they continue to offer an amazing array of ministries, in spite of the pandemic. Please join me in continuing prayer for the ministry, people and staff of our church. I have found that stopping to pray each day, several times a day is very helpful to me and reminds me that God is with each of us. Set a timer, put a note on your mirror, or set reminder on your phone, but set time aside each day to pray.
 
Peace and Grace,
David McEntire, Senior Pastor
First United Methodist Church, Lakeland, FL
 
Please take a moment to ready through the following update about the ministry of your church.
 
Picture Sharing Schedule (Pictures will be shared at the beginning of each online worship service).
 
  •  April 19: Staff Pictures
  •  April 26: Our Congregation. Please submit a picture of you or your family to share. Deadline for submitting pictures 4/22, send to David McEntire
  • May 3: Acolytes and Crucifers. Deadline for submissions 4/28, send to
  • May 10 (Mother’s Day): Send us pictures of your mother or grandmothers. Deadline for submissions May 6, send to David McEntire
  • May 17: Graduating Seniors Recognition. Send a picture of your graduating High School Senior along with graduates name, High School and College attending to Stephanie Keen. Deadline is May 11.
 
We will be celebrating and resuming as we are able, events such as:
  •  Lay Leadership Academy classes
  • Recognition of Graduating Seniors
  • Recognition of Acolytes and Crucifers
  •  And more…
 
If Someone is Sick: If you know of a need or if someone is sick we ask that you call us and let us know. This is very important.
 
Contacting Pastors and Staff:
Staff can receive your voice mails through their email accounts. If you need to speak to one of the pastors or staff, call 863-686-3163. You will hear a recording with updates and how to contact staff voice mails. Once the recording starts you can reach the voice mailboxes of the following by pressing * and the extension number.
 
  • Rev. David McEntire - *215    
  • Rev. Melissa Stump - *220      
  • Rev. Andy Whitaker-Smith - *214
  • Rev. Lee Lallance, Minister of Fine Arts and Music - *239
  • Harriet Mayes, Church Administrator - *217 
  • Fred Murphy, Director of Facilities - *261
  • Nicole Wood, Assistant to the Pastors - *219 
  • Cherry McClellan, Preschool Director - *355
  • Cristi Moore, Children’s Director - *226 
  • Dave Jans, Youth Director - *253
  • Warren Pattison, Director of Adult Ministries - *227
  • Forrest White, Director of Missions - *224
  • Diana Russell, Director of Newcomer Ministries - *223
  • Sean Hults, Director of Neighborhood Ministries - *242
 
Once you leave a message on voice mail it will be sent as an email to that person. We will check emails several times a day. You can also press *653 and then leave a voice mail for the pastor on call, who will return your call once they are able.