As a church body, First United has not only been called to missions globally but also locally. Jesus and his followers declared the good news of the kingdom by both words and deeds. Because of this, we are committed to creating an alternative culture that declares this kingdom in both words and deed – especially to the marginalized, vulnerable, and oppressed in our city.
We embrace the call to give of ourselves and go where others are not going, and reach out and love the isolated, unreached, and those deemed untouchable by society. We currently help coordinate and facilitate multiple outreach opportunities that are focused on serving and impacting our community. Join us by getting involved!
Local Serving Opportunities
Unless otherwise noted, the contact for serving opportunities is Forrest White, Director of Missions
The Children’s Clothes Closet began in 1978 as an outreach of the First United Methodist Church United Methodist Women. Annually this ministry supplies nearly 2,000 homeless and at-risk infants, children, and teens in our community with everyday clothing, school uniforms, personal care kits, and more. Please note: the Children’s Clothes Closet does not work directly with clients. For assistance, please contact your child(ren)’s school social worker to request they make a referral for services.
Wednesday: 9:30am-Noon and 1p-4pm
Address: 748 Walnut Street, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Programs include food pantries, hot meals programs, and gleaning to fight food insecurity in South Florida.
We collect requested food on the first Monday of each month for our migrant ministry partners (Mulberry UMC and Called to Serve Farmworkers) as well as VISTE. Help bag and sort food in our Missions Depot.
Provide a caring Christian presence to storm survivors while doing such tasks as debris removal, roof tarping, and mucking out flooded homes. Requires training.
Help build a house for a family to make their home. Carpentry skills are not required. Willing helpers are always welcome!
Health care center providing free, high-quality medical care to the working uninsured. Twice monthly food distributions. Serving roles for all, not just medically trained.
Opportunities to visit and play cards with residents. Noah’s Ark seeks to empower “people with developmental disabilities to live, laugh and love.”
Big Red Bus comes to First on six Sundays during the year.
Annual event to serve homeowners around the city.
More than 30 programs in 27 locations, with services including group homes, domestic violence shelters, victim advocacy, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, and much more. First United has an annual collection of items for holiday gift bags for residents.
First United’s partner school. Assist in the classroom, library, or main office. Serve as a math or reading tutor. Help with special events at school.
“Doing the Most Good” through a variety of services to those in need. Serve as a bell ringer and work in the Angel Tree warehouse during the Christmas season; various opportunities throughout the year.
“Dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
The Tuesday Tigers were formed after the 2004 hurricane season left many in our community in need of home repairs. The group, primarily composed of retirees, still serves the Lakeland area. A specialty of the Tuesday Tigers is building and repairing wheelchair ramps for those who are unable to have it done otherwise. Their services are free; however, the Tigers will accept donations to the church to help offset the cost of their materials.
Please remember that the Tigers are volunteers and receive many requests. It may take up to six weeks for a work team to be assigned to a specific project.
Click here to inquire about assistance from the Tuesday Tigers.
VISTE seeks “to enable frail, elderly persons to continue living independently and safely in their own home, through a variety of services” including food delivery.
Local Ministry Partners
Local ministries that are financially supported by our church.
“Empowering children and families to experience the transforming love of Christ through holistic care.”
Mission: “to serve pregnant, at-risk women by empowering them to make healthy, life-affirming choices regarding pregnancy and sexual health, thereby transforming their fear into confidence.”
“Committed to Gospel-centered community development beginning in Lakeland’s Parker Street neighborhood.
Serving rural through ministry in five areas: Education, Health and Wellness, Community Outreach, Economic Opportunity, and Community Housing Improvement.
Helping local seniors with no family support and monthly incomes less than $600.
Substance abuse, mental health, and co-occurring treatment to residents of Polk, Hardee, and Highlands Counties.
Contact Our Leader
Director of Missions Ministries