Who does what in the Florida Conference?
Florida United Methodist Building
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33815
800-282-8011 (toll free) or 863-688-5563
Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church: Core Ideology
Together we are disciples of Jesus Christ in the Wesleyan tradition called to participate in God’s saving work in the world.
- We love God and search the Scriptures to hear and obey God's Word.
- We welcome and serve all people, particularly the poor and marginalized, as an expression of God’s love for us.
- We desire everyone to experience a life of worship and joy in God's presence by faith in Jesus Christ.
- We are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit as we learn to follow Jesus.
- We believe that changed people are called to change their communities by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We believe all disciples are called to discover their gifts and to live out their unique mission.
- We share our faith in the context of authentic relationships.
- Because we follow Jesus together, we have a responsibility to hold one another accountable for our discipleship.
Being changed in Christ—Making a change in the world.
The mission of the Florida Conference is to connect and equip congregations in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Therefore, we:
- Start and nurture missional communities of faith
- Develop effective servant leaders for the church and the world
- Provide services that support congregations and extension ministries
- Connect congregations and resources for ministries that we do better together
Office of Connectional Ministries
These “shared ministries” include the departments of Connectional Ministry, Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, Connectional Relations and Camps and Retreat Ministries, each included below.
Rick Bennett, Interim Director of Justice and Outreach Ministries
Ext. 504 – RBennett@flumc.org
Tammy Fisher, Events Coordinator Justice and Outreach Ministries
Ext 182 - email@example.com
The Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry considers its ministry a mission. Why? Because campus ministries are placed on college campuses that are a different culture, one set apart from the rest of the world around it. Colleges are mini-cities, with about 40,000 residents who have their own language, rules and values. Each director, just like an out-of-country missionary, must learn this culture in order to minister to the society in which the college student is immersed. Also, just like an out-of-country missionary, campus ministries must raise money to support themselves. The conference supports only a portion of their budgets and everything else, from volunteer hours, building needs and ministerial funds, comes from generous donors who understand the importance of campus ministry to college students. The vision and mission of the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry is to be The United Methodist Church at work on Florida’s college and university campuses, raising up a new generation of Christian leaders by:
- Calling students into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,
- Training them to become servant leaders,
- Sending them out to serve God through the local church,
- Encouraging the development of Christian community, and
- Affirming and supporting the relationship between the Florida Conference and Florida’s two United Methodist-related institutions of higher education: Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach and Florida Southern College in Lakeland.
There are nine campus ministries at universities across Florida:
- Florida A&M in Tallahassee
- Florida State University in Tallahassee
- University of North Florida in Jacksonville
- University of Central Florida in Orlando
- Stetson University in DeLand
- University of Florida in Gainesville
- University of South Florida in Tampa
- University of Miami
- Florida International University and Miami Dade College, also in Miami.
866-UMCAMPS, #1, or 352-435-4102
- Life Enrichment Center (LEC)
4991 Picciola Road, Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Rev. Jess Schload, Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
866-UMCAMPS, #2, or 352-787-0313
- Riverside Retreat
7305 CR 78, LaBelle, FL 33935
Martha Pierce, Director – email@example.com
866-UMCAMPS, #4, or 863-675-0334
- Warren W. Willis Camp (across the street from the LEC)
4990 Picciola Road, Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Mike Standifer, Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
866-UMCAMPS, #3, or 352-787-4345
- Centenary Camp
371 Centenary Camp Rd, Quincy, Fl. 32352
Dave or Donna Bruns, Manager - Centenarycamp@tds.net
866-UMCAMPS #5 or 850-856-9779
Florida United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries seek to provide:
- Welcoming natural places set apart for sacred retreat and community;
- Nurturing experiences in Christian faith, discipleship and leadership; and
- A witness to the servant life of hospitality, earth care, justice and love.
The Florida Conference Connectional Relations team is the source of information about what’s going on throughout The United Methodist Church in Florida. Through the online Florida Conference Connection News Service, the conference Web site (www.flumc.org),
What Are Umc Doing www.youtube.com/whatareumcdoing
is the local church video community created by the Florida Conference for churches to learn how other local churches are impacting their communities and to share what you are doing in yours. www.facebook.com/FloridaUMC
Our Conference-wide Facebook community is a place for the local churches to share and engage in conversation about faith, missions, outreach, community and worship. E-mail communications and more, the team helps keep local churches informed of the latest developments in the mission and ministry of the church in Florida and around the world. The department also serves as a resource to help churches be effective in their communications ministries by connecting church communicators with experienced consultants and offering communications workshops.
Connectional Relations also offers:
- Training and consulting
- Multimedia/video production
- Electronic communications
- Media relations
- Crisis communications
Knowledge & Information Services
(Part of Florida United Methodist Connectional Relations)
Knowledge and Information Services provides analysis, research, and reporting support along with the traditional data management functions of data collection, storage, and maintenance. This team also provides analysis support for process improvement and problem resolution. The team’s mission is to partner and to work cooperatively with the GCFA, the Conference and District staff to support the local churches.
Rev. Harold Lewis, Director of Black New Church Development
Ext. 346 - email@example.com
The office of New Church Development is a leader in the entire United Methodist denomination in starting new churches in the United States. One of the primary ways the Florida Conference is seeking to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world is through the planning, developing, planting, starting and nurturing of new faith communities.
The vision statement for New Church Development is: To plant new communities of faith where God’s transforming grace in Jesus Christ offers a new life of Christian discipleship to the world.
The mission statement is to:
- To facilitate the establishment of new communities of faith in the Florida Conference to meet the needs of its growing and changing population
- To identify and train potential pastors for new communities of faith
- To coordinate conference resources for the establishment of new communities of faith
Before a new congregation, mission or community of faith is launched in the Florida Conference, an application must be submitted to the Conference Committee on New Church Development. The form is available through the New Church Development office or at www.flumc.org by clicking on “New Church Development” under the “Ministries” tab at the top of the page.
Anyone who feels called to start a new church must complete the conference’s discernment process for a potential new church start pastor. The purpose of this process is for the conference and the candidate to discern if he/she has the 13 traits of successful new start pastors. The process includes both objective and subjective components. At the conclusion of the process, the candidate is told whether or not she/he will be placed in the pool of potential new church start pastors.
Rev. Harold Lewis, Director of Black Congregational Development
Ext. 346 – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Congregational Excellence exists to assist congregations in being more faithful and fruitful in carrying out the Great Commission and Great Commandment. Our staff is ready to come alongside leaders from congregations of all sizes who want to be more effective in fulfilling the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
The Congregational Excellence staff has a variety of tools in its toolbox — even while developing others:
- Congregational consultations: What to do to get unstuck, what’s working in other similar congregations.
- Material to help communicate the mission of all congregations (“Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”) and the five practices of effective congregations: The Methodist Way.
- Coaching for congregational leaders: clergy and/or lay.
- Support for visioning and strategic planning:
o ReFocus Networks – a two- to three-year transformational process to help church leaders discern God’s desires and refocus their congregation’s ministries.
o Natural Church Development – a proven process for helping healthier congregations that are clear about their mission become even more effective.
o New Realities Partners – an innovative one-year process designed for small and medium sized churches to help them build upon their strengths.
- Congregational staff/leadership team development.
- Biblical conflict management.
More information is available at: www.congregationalexcellence.com Individual may also sign up online to receive the weekly CE Blog by email. Individuals who would like to know how Congregational Excellence can help strengthen their ministry or would like to speak informally with someone may contact the staff directly or at 800-282-8011, extension 340.
The Center for Congregational Excellence looks forward to partnering with individuals in helping their congregations become even more missionally effective.
Center for Clergy Excellence
Calling, training and supporting … leaders for the church
Rev. Emily Oliver, Associate Director of Clergy Excellence
Ext. 104 - email@example.com
- Calling: The center offers and promotes opportunities for the exploration of a call to licensed or ordained ministry.
- Training: At all phases of ministry, the center offers training for people preparing to enter the ministry, those just starting in ministry and those who are continuing in ministry.
- Supporting: The center works with the chairs of the Order of Elders, the Order of Deacons and the Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members to develop systems for clergy to live in a community that calls for mutual accountability. The Center also works with the leaders of the conference health insurance program and Shade and Fresh Water to develop models of healthy living — physical, mental and spiritual. And working with the Florida Conference Cabinet and the Committee on Clergy Effectiveness, the center seeks to develop systems that will enable clergy members to recapture the zeal of their call to ministry and refine their tools for effectiveness.
Office of Financial Services and Treasurer’s Office
The treasurer is responsible for overseeing the administrative services provided by the conference office. These services include: Financial Services, Ministry Protection, Disaster Recovery, Human Resources and Information Technology.
Kathi Ewing, Staff Accountant
The financial services office handles the financial and accounting responsibilities relating to the conference and extended ministries. These responsibilities include: accounts payable/receivable, personnel and payroll, health insurance billing, and benefits and pensions billing. The office also has an auditor on staff who is available, on request, to assist churches in their annual audit requirement.
The Department for Ministry Protection, formerly known as risk management, is responsible for securing comprehensive property and casualty insurance coverage for all churches in the conference, facilitating the payment of claims, as well as providing risk management and loss control consulting.
Disaster Recovery Ministry
The Disaster Recovery Ministry is part of the services that the Ministry Protection Department offers the Florida Conference. The mission of the Florida Conference Disaster Recovery Ministry is to resource and equip local churches and districts as they assist their communities and individuals in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster.
Through generous contributions to Conference Advance Special #605 from donors throughout Florida and through the partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Disaster Recovery Ministry continues to offer hope to those whose lives have been interrupted by disaster.
The conference Disaster Recovery Ministry deploys volunteer work teams as needed in communities affected by disasters, sometimes many years after the event occurred. It currently offers training in early response, case management and basic Community Arise disaster curriculum preparing churches and districts to respond and recover from disaster. Many of these trainings are scheduled at the request of local churches wishing to sponsor and serve as host of a training event.
Human Resources, Pension and Health Benefits
Ida Cale/Star Rouse, Receptionist
Ext. 100 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Technology provided by Computer Data Networks (CDN)
Assistance available by contacting the IT help desk at: ITHelpdesk@flumc.org
Florida Conference Archives
The Ruth K. and Charles T. Thrift, Jr., Florida United Methodist Heritage Center is the official repository for archival materials owned by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Its mission is to collect, preserve, and make available materials that document the historical development of the United Methodist Church and its predecessor denominations in Florida from 1822 to the present.
The archives are open to all, especially conference agencies, local churches, and individuals interested in historical or genealogical research. Materials do not circulate but are available for use in the building. Research requests may also be made by email, telephone, or letter.
The Center is located in the McKay Archives Center on the campus of Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33801.