Methodist Learning Center

To visit the learning center website, visit www.methodistlearningcenter.com.

The Methodist Learning Center was established by a unanimous vote of the Church Council of the First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe in December of 2014. For the past few years, leaders of the church had discussed a need in our community for early childhood development and after-school enrichment. It was decided that the church would offer a “faith-based program emphasizing art, music, science, and scripture.” The goal of our program is to offer the highest quality program in the area. In the Fall of 2015, we began with one preschool class, one after-school enrichment class, and a team of highly qualified teachers. We believe that over the next few years our newly planted program will blossom and flourish, providing a high quality education for generations to come.

The MLC has an experienced and professional staff, who creatively implement the school’s curriculum. Our curriculum is planned with monthly themes and includes music, chapel, movement, art, language, and monthly special events that are age appropriate. Social, physical, cognitive, and emotional areas of growth are fostered through interesting experiences in the program’s unique Christian setting.

The Methodist Learning Center (MLC) offers full-day, half-day and after school care in our new location at 218 Long Ave.  The MLC has an experienced and professional staff, who creatively implement the school’s curriculum. Our curriculum is planned with monthly themes and includes music, chapel, movement, art, language, and monthly special events that are age appropriate. Social, physical, cognitive, and emotional areas of growth are fostered through interesting experiences in the program’s unique Christian setting.

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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

Care Closet

Care Closet ministry and outreach program was started by a small group from the Pridgeon-Rish Sunday school class in 1997 to help the people who were out of work when the paper mill was closed down. Our mission is to provide good, clean, used clothing at very reasonable prices or at no cost at all to the needy people of our community. After expenses, all profits are to be donated back to our church or community, for many worthwhile, community or mission projects and the individual needs of the people of our community. Supported now by the whole church and individuals from other churches, the Care Closet has succeeded far beyond any of our expectations when we started it.  Today it has grown into the largest and most productive mission outreach programs our church has ever done.

We have accomplished all the objectives of our mission statement. Currently, all clothing is sold for 50 cents or less. In addition, over 50,000 items of clothing have been given at no cost at all to the needy people of our community. Since we started we have given over $150,000 or 95% of our profit back to our church or community.  It never ceases to amaze me what an outstanding success our Care Closet ministry and outreach program has become, with the guidance and direction of our Lord these many years. It has grown far beyond any of our expectations when we started it 14 years ago. Just think of all we have accomplished so far. First, there is our beautiful new $125,000 facility. This new facility has been fully funded and is currently debt-free. Second, since we opened our new facility in July 2003 we have had a tremendous increase in sales. We are averaging over $400 a weekend in sales and are currently selling or giving away over 1,300 pieces of clothing each weekend.   It takes a lot of donations of clothing to keep up with our sales. We can’t thank the people of our community enough for the unbelievable support we receive from them in donating clothing each and every week.  The main reason the Care Closet has been such an outstanding success is because of a small group of people from our church and community who have given so unselfishly of their time and effort in supporting the Care Closet. They are the driving force that makes the Care Closet mission and outreach program such an outstanding success.  This amazing ministry to the community is always looking for clothing donations and for volunteers.

The Care Closet is located at 310 East 4th street in Port St. Joe and is open Fridays 9AM – 4PM and Saturdays 9AM – 12PM .

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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

United Methodist Men

This friendly group of men of all ages meets on the first Sunday of each month for a hearty southern-style breakfast at 8 AM in the Fellowship Hall.  While best known for their tasty BBQ Chicken fundraisers, UMM supports many important community projects.

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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

Youth

Wednesday Night Youth will begin again August 24 at 5:30 at the STAC House. Dinner, Games and bible study for student 6th through 12 grades. Register by clicking the link below.

https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/6fHpA1aVvd337ha62foLa8f7K

If you would like to be contacted or your youth would like to participate, please e-mail [email protected] or call 850-340-0278.  We look forward to worshipping together soon.



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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

Children

Kids Life and Little Lambs will begin again August 24 at 5:30 at the Methodist Learning Center. Dinner, Games and bible lessons that will love. Register by clicking the link below.

https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/6fHpA1aVvd337ha62foLa8f7K


Above is a photo from our Winter Art Party!

Blue Lake Winter Retreat
We had so much fun at Blue Lake Winter Retreat!


We have a yearly tradition of going to Blue Lake Summer Camp!


We go on “Wacky Wednesday” day trips in the summer.


Vacation Bible School is a favorite for both kids and volunteers!

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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

Our History

First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe was founded in 1912 as a Sunday School Class formed and began to meet in the two-room schoolhouse.  Asbury Morgan Jones, the first Sunday School Superintendent, organized it with a membership of 75.  Later that year due to the leadership of some lay women, Sally Costin and Annie Stone, the Sunday School Class became a church with the Rev.  Charles Middlebrooks serving as the first pastor.  The new church met in the historic Port Inn until they erected a wooden church on the corner of 7th Street and Long Ave.  Most of the congregations of other denominations shared the space until they constructed their own churches.

The current sanctuary situated between the palms and the pines on St. Joseph Bay was completed in 1950.   It is still is one of the most prominent landmarks in Gulf County with its American Colonial design and grand Greek-revival columns and cornices.

Our Roots in Old St. Joseph

But the just like the history of the city of Port St. Joe founded in 1913 begins with the city of Old St. Joseph founded in 1829, our congregation’s history dates back to that period.  St. Joseph was famous for being a rowdy frontier town, visitors even called it a “sin city,” yet Methodist missionaries were able to plant a church.  The date it was founded is uncertain because most of the documents disappeared with the historic city.   The city was once the largest city in Florida with somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 residents.

The most important moment in Old St. Joseph was when the city was chosen in 1838 to hold the state’s first Constitution Convention.  The Methodist Church played its important role as one of its pastors, the Rev. Peter William Gautier, was chosen as chaplain for that important meeting that produced Florida’s first constitution.   In fact, many of the meetings of that congress were held at the Methodist Church.

In 1839, one of our early pastors, the Reverend Peter Haskew, went on horseback to Apalachicola to found the First United Methodist Church of Apalachicola in Dr. Gorrie’s Mansion House Hotel (where Air Conditioning was invented).    In 1841, the Yellow Plague decimated St. Joseph.  It is estimated that nearly 75% of the inhabitants died including many of its most prominent citizens.  Three mass graves were made to bury the victims.  The plague claimed the lives of two of our Methodist pastors.

In September of that year a devastating hurricane came ashore destroying virtually every building in town with a six-foot wall of water.

Our First 100 Years

Take a look at the Centennial Celebration Booklet covering 1912-2012.

Click here to download the PDF version: Centennial Celebration Booklet PDF

Our Church Today

One writer upon viewing the ruins of the old city stated, St. Joseph in ruins is more dear to my heart than any spot of more worldly grandeur so peaceful, so healthful, it seemed as if its very repose led me nearer to my God, so free from conventionalities and restraints, so gloriously stamped by “The Finger of God.” This region is one that has been gloriously stamped by God.  The pristine beaches and clear waters of Gulf County draw people from all over the country to call this coastal paradise home.  Today this church with such a rich history has an even brighter future.  With an active role in the community, in-depth Bible Study, rich engagement of the worship arts, and many activities for children and youth, this historic church is exploding with new life and still making history.  Port St. Joe is a place and First United Methodist Church is a people “stamped by the Finger of God.”

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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

Connect

Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

United Methodist Women

Are you looking for a way to become more involved in our church both locally and globally, to meet other women and develop meaningful friendships, to contribute your time and talents to missions that focus on women, youth, and children?  If so, United Methodist Women would love to have you join us. We have only one meeting a month but we have many activities that are going on all the time.

Mission Group 1:  3rd Tuesday of the month, 9:30 am in the conference room.  Contact Mitzi Bulgur, 850-229-4969.

Mission Group 4:  3rd Tuesday of the month, 6PM in the Parlor.  Contact Cathy Cox, 850-227-6028.

Service Projects:

• Book Buddies: (working one on one with struggling readers at PSJ Elementary) Thursday mornings. Contact Ann Tison, 850-227-6450

• Libro Buddies:  (working with English as a second language students at PSJ Elementary. No foreign language required). Contact Ann Tison, 850-227-6450.

• Book Club:  Times to be announced- contact Ann Tison, 850-227-6450.

• Care Closet: Tuesday at 9AM. Meet at Care Closet to hang up clothes and then go to lunch together. Contact Jane Griffies, 850-899-0418.

• Services to the Bereaved: serve meals to families of the Bereaved after the funeral service.             Contact Janis Tankersley, 850-227-1200.

If you are unable to attend a regular meeting, you can still be involved by donating items to these local programs that we support.

Mission Projects

• Senior Citizens Center:  cans of Ensure and soup.

• Give a Book: in April donate books to PSJ Elementary

• Food Pantry: Nonperishable foods

• Nursing Home:  send cards to our church residents

• PSJ Elementary Nurses station: ginger ale, underpants, flip flops

• Military Appreciation:  cards, snacks, personal items for care packages

• Salvation Army Domestic Violence:  personal hygiene items, shampoo, toothpaste etc.

Our major fundraiser for the year will occur on January 6th in conjunction with the Methodist Men’s club Butts on the Bay.  We will provide the baked goods and serve the plates. If you would like to help contact Bernadette Hackett- 340-1301.

If you have a heart for Missions and are looking for a way to share God’s love with our community and world please give prayerful consideration to joining our United Methodist Women.

The UMW gathers together to enjoy fellowship, grow closer to God and participate in a variety of outreach programs from local community projects to worldwide missions.  Our UMW has three active mission groups, which include all age groups and convenient meeting times.

For the 3rd year in a row the United Methodist Women gave each Port St. Joe Elementary student a book to take home for the summer.

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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

Our Staff

Rev. Dave Barkalow

Senior Pastor

Meet Pastor Dave! Dave has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion with an emphasis in Christian Education from Huntingdon College and a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. He served as the Minister to Youth at Capital Height UMC, Chaplain of Huntingdon College, Associate Pastor at Marianna FUMC, Senior Pastor at Tallassee FUMC and 8 years at Ft. Walton Beach FUMC.


Laura Barkalow

Director, Children’s Ministries

Please welcome our new Children’s Director, Laura Barkalow! Laura is coming back to work after a fairly extended time of chasing babies and volunteering in schools and churches. She has a masters degree in education and has worked in children’s ministry and as a public school teacher, even though her own children like to remind her that that was during the 1900s. She loves to paint, look for seashells, and teach kids about the love of Jesus.


Lynn Marshall

Director, Youth Ministries

Lynn Costin Marshall joined our Church staff in 2019. She earned a business degree in Hospitality from Georgia State University and has been planning events for 25 years. She is passionate about serving in missions and working with teenagers! Her love for God and passion for building relationships with students is why she loves ministry.

In her free time, you’ll find her hanging out with her twin boys Costin and Jacob and husband, Brian along with many other youth from our community. She is happiest when her house is full of students from her youth group.

 


Paul Brown

Director, Music Ministries

Paul’s bio


Heather Jones

Pastor’s Administrative Assistant

Heather Jones serves as the church’s Pastor’s Administrative Assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Auburn University, with majors in both English and History. Upon graduation, she moved to Port St. Joe and taught History and Language Arts courses at Port St. Joe High School for many years. Heather is an active volunteer in the community, as well as a Master Gardener.


Diann Farnsley

Financial Manager

Diann Farnsley serves as our church Financial Manager.  She is a native of Pennsylvania and has been a Florida resident for over 25 years.  Diann is both a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant.  Prior to joining the church, Diann worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and a world-wide Financial Analyst for IBM’s Systems and Technology Group.  Diann sings in the church’s choir and enjoys creative writing.  In year 2017, she published a poetic spiritual memoir titled Be Still the Dawn to impart insightful and inspirational messages to others.


Dr. Karl E. Burgher, PE

FEMA Church Administrator & Project Manager

Dr. Karl E. Burgher, PE, CPT serves as the FEMA Church Administrator and as the Director of Fitness. He was a professor and administrator for 30 years and retired from Indian State University as the Chief Strategy Officer. Karl specializes in change management, contract acquisition and management, and strategic planning. He earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Engineering from Michigan Technological University, specializing in engineering operations and costing, and a B.S. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Engineering, specializing in rock mechanics, pricing, and market modeling, both from the University of Missouri-Rolla. He has published two books, Volunteering: Managing Yourself and Others in Service and The Ozarks Cinnamon Road. A third is in progress titled Managing Chaos: Eliminating Crisis.


Nancy Dimitrijevich

Care Closet Manager


David Odom

Facilities Manager


Carolyn Sims

Kitchen Manager/Housekeeper


Linda Reinhart

Housekeeper

 


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Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video

About Us

First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe is a a historic church that is overflowing with new life. From our casual Worship on the Water service overlooking the bay to our traditional Sanctuary Service with beautiful choir and organ there is place for you in our church family.  Our members come from all over the region including Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Apalachicola, Indian Pass, Cape San Blas, andTyndall Air Force Base.  We particularly enjoy getting to meet new friends from winter snowbirds to the summer tourists that enjoy our Forgotten Coast beaches. We’re located directly overlooking beautiful St. Joseph Bay at the corner of Highway 98 and Monument Ave in Port St. Joe. We offer programs for all ages from nursery to youth & more.

Whether you are new to the area, just here for a visit, or perhaps looking for a new church home, we hope you’ll come worship with us. Our doors are always open and we invite you to come as you are.

We hope that you will consider becoming a member of our church family.  You may join the church any Sunday by profession of faith or transfer of membership.  Come and be a part of what God is doing here.  For more information about membership, please talk to our pastor.We believe that we offer a lot for our members and community alike.  We hope you’ll find just what you’re looking for here, and if you don’t see it, just tell one of us, and we’ll see what we can do to make it happen!

Connect

Worship times

Worship With Us

10 AM: Sunday Worship Service


All times Eastern.

Posted 2 days ago

Sunday Worship- And So They Were Gathered May 19, 2024 Day of Pentecost/Senior Sunday Watch the video