MIssion and Outreach

Our mission is to connect our church with our community and our community with Christ! We seek to serve boldly on our campus, in our community, and around the world with our core ministries focusing on social justice and caring for the marginalized in our community. We believe the light of Jesus shines most brightly when God-given time and talents are shared in service to others.
Community Outreach Ministry
Our Community Outreach Ministry was started to address the needs  of individuals and families in crisis in the local community. This ministry is staffed and managed by volunteers from our First UMC faith family to assess and help  provide assistance with things such as gas cards, bus passes, eviction relief, utilities disconnection, and a variety of other individual or family needs. COM is on-site every Monday but appointments are required. For more information or to make an appointment, please stop by or call our church office at 352-372-8523.
Monday Worship and Meal
This ministry meets the spiritual and physical hunger that many people face in our community by providing a short worship service with communion at 3:30 p.m. followed by a nourishing meal in the Bethany Room of our Bell Hall. Our volunteers gather early each Monday to prepare and serve the meal for those who are homeless and/or hungry. For more information or to volunteer, contact our Congregational Care Coordinator.
FUMPers (First United Methodist Preschool)
FUMPers is our state-licensed preschool and child care facility that provides our community with a loving, enriching, high quality, and affordable learning environment for children up to 5 years old. Our Christian values and attitudes are practiced, but in order to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all children and families in our community, specific religious doctrine is not a major emphasis of the curriculum.  For more information, visit our FUMPers web page.

Our Mission Partners

Helping Hands Clinic
Helping Hands Clinic is a non-profit medical clinic providing free healthcare to the homeless and those living in poverty in our community since 1989. The clinic is located next door to First UMC and is staffed by registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physicians, and other community service volunteers. Helping Hands also provides food, clothing, personal hygiene and survival items, education classes, psychosocial support discussion groups, and more for both men and women in need. 
School/Church Partnership with Metcalfe Elementary
Our partnership with Metcalfe Elementary has been going strong since 2017. Metcalfe serves a high percentage of children who fall well below the poverty line and is a Title 1 school located less than two miles from First UMC. Prior to the pandemic, our volunteers helped in an ongoing capacity doing a variety of things based on their interests such as reading to students, helping in PE class, testing multiplication facts, assisting with administrative and other necessary tasks. During these times of COVID, we have focused on providing materials and resources for safe in-person learning, and moral support for the staff and students.
UMC Special Sundays
The United Methodist Church designates a number of Sundays throughout the year as opportunities for recognizing and supporting particular national and global ministry initiatives. These are referred to as Special Sundays and most include an offering used to fund the work of these programs. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is one of these ministries which provides critical resources to those in need, sometimes within hours of a natural disaster or other crisis situation.  
Family Promise of Gainesville
Family Promise of Gainesville provides homeless children & their families with care that includes education, case management, meals, housing, and transportation until they can transition to a home of their own. First UMC shelters up to four families for a week, four times a year in our Bell Hall where we provide, in addition to their family "bedrooms", meals and other things that help all who are staying with us feel at home. For more information, please contact our Family Promise Coordinator.
Residing Hope
Residing Hope, formerly the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home started in 1908 as the Florida Methodist Orphanage in Enterprise, Florida and has since grown into a holistic organization serving abused, abandoned, and neglected children from across the state of Florida along with providing foster care and outpatient counseling in multiple counties. As the services offered have expanded, the FLUMCH has  outgrown the Children’s Home name and was renamed Residing Hope in 2024 to better represent the purpose they serve and the care provided. Our First UMC faith family provides support through our "5th Sunday offerings", sending gift cards for the children at Christmas, and responding to other needs as they arise.   
Gator Wesley Campus Ministry
At Gator Wesley, students at the University of Florida and at Santa Fe College are invited into an authentic community that encourages a life with Jesus as they discover who they are becoming, and how they are connecting to their community and to the world. Although Gator Wesley is not an official mission partner of First UMC, we support their ministry and both of our congregations work together hand-in-hand on various mission projects and joint worship services.

Let's work together.

Interested in our Community Care Ministries or Mission Partners? We'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form below to get started.