First United Methodist Church welcomes you to join us as we serve our neighbors in our Community, County, State, and throughout the World. You don’t have to be a member of our church to get involved! We just want to help you find a place to use your God-given talents, abilities, training, and skills.
We have just one question for you to help you get started: What do you do well enough that you could teach someone else to do it? Maybe you love to cook. Or perhaps you’re mechanically inclined, or you love to meet new people … you don’t have to know much about the Bible or Christian theology, you just have to have a willingness to serve God by serving your neighbors.
Below is a list of specific ministry opportunities associated with our congregation. If you have questions about any of them, please send us a message and we will help you find your way!
VISTO (Volunteers in Service to Others)
VISTO was created in the 1980’s with the mission: “to help people in crises get through times of crises and enable them to get back on their feet.” The primary way that VISTO responds to that mandate is through food. VISTO operates and maintains Cooke County’s emergency food bank. As VISTO encourages clients to move towards self-sufficiency, they too strive to become a Sustainable Food Bank. VISTO does this by working with local, farmers, ranchers, and gardeners to provide locally produced meat, produce and other products to clients. As funds allow, emergency financial relief is provided in terms of rent, utilities, transportation, prescription medicine, and dental.
Backpack Buddies is a program through VISTO that FUMC participates in. Backpack Buddies provides school aged children who qualify for free or reduced lunches at school a backpack filled with food each weekend at no cost.
- FUMC Contact: Marilyn Melton
Home Hospice serving Grayson, Cooke and Fannin Counties is dedicated to providing education, programs, services and quality care to ease physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms at end-of-life for patients, families, and caregivers regardless of ability to pay, as well as all in our communities who grieve.
- FUMC Contact: Jane Dudley
DASH (Delivering and Servicing the Homebound)
DASH is a locally funded non-profit Meals–on-Wheels type program that delivers a hot lunch on Weekends and Holidays in the Gainesville Community. DASH began in June 1993.
- FUMC Contact: Katie Brinkley
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
CASA of North Texas recruits, trains and gives support to everyday people who act as volunteer advocates for children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect and found themselves in foster care. These volunteers look out for the well-being and best interests of these most vulnerable children, acting as independent and objective fact finders who speak with the child’s parents, teachers, extended family members, neighbors and most importantly – the child. They work with the attorneys, social workers and child protective services workers.
- FUMC Contact: Karen Ritter
Agape Quilters meet the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 9am-12pm. Most quilting work is done at home but the group meets regularly as well. Recipients of these lovingly made quilts are usually undergoing long term care, loss, rehab, surgery, repetitive challenges, and the birth of a new child, adoption or baptism. The Agape Quilters currently serve the FUMC family but hope to expand their reach as more quilters join the group.
- FUMC Contact: Towana Stafford
STAR (Second Time Around Resale)
Second Time Around Resale is a ministry of FUMC Gainesville. This outreach is completely volunteer-run and provides a much-needed source of affordable and high-quality goods to our community. STAR has everything from clothes to furniture to books to dishes, and more. STAR is open Monday through Thursday from 10AM-4PM. Volunteers are always needed, whether on a weekly basis or even once a month. Find out more about STAR here.
- FUMC Contact: Rev. John Fleming
Noah’s Ark S.P.C.A. is dedicated to providing humane treatment for unwanted and abandoned pets in the Cooke County area. Their shelter facility operates in cooperation with the City of Gainesville to accommodate impounded animals and will accept animals relinquished by local citizens in return for a small donation. Noah’s Ark mission is to find proper homes for the many healthy and loving animals that find their way to their shelter.
- FUMC Contact: Linda Boyer
Texas Ramp Project
The Texas Ramp Project builds wheelchair ramps for disabled or elderly people who can’t afford to buy one. Volunteers give these folks the freedom to leave their home again through their service in building a wheelchair ramp. Support is provided by being a volunteer builder or support with funding to purchase lumber and tools for ramp construction.
- FUMC Contact: Jason Brinkley
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR agents are often the first to arrive and the last to leave when there is a global humanitarian crisis. UMCOR’s work includes programs and projects in disaster response, health, sustainable agriculture, food security, relief supplies, and more. FUMC supports the work of UMCOR through fundraising–unlike with most relief agencies, 100% of your donation goes directly toward relief–and by organizing and making relief packages, such as Health Kits, which provide basic necessities to people who have been forced to leave their homes because of human conflict or natural disaster. Health kits are also used as learning tools in personal hygiene, literacy, nutrition, and cooking classes.
- FUMC Contact: Shirley DeDoes
Gainesville State School Mentoring Program
Mentors offer troubled young adults a chance to succeed in life by giving them a positive role model. Typically, mentors provide 4 to 8 hours with the child per month. A mentor focuses on the following: be a friend, have realistic expectations, have fun together, be positive, and listen. Mentors show the youth that someone is there to listen and support them.
- FUMC Contact: Kevin Sebade
FUMC offers the Ministry of Homebound Communion for those who cannot attend worship for health-related reasons. Volunteers bring the Sacrament of Holy Communion to the homes of those receiving.
- FUMC Contact: Don & Towana Stafford