Here in Crestview, the missions of First United Methodist are as diverse as our people. However, we particularly focus on serving on the front line in providing adequate shelter and food for those most in need.
We address needs for shelter in many ways. We maintain the Helping Hands House on our property that serves as initial headquarters for the Crestview Area Shelter for The Homeless (C.A.S.H.). C.A.S.H is a day-time shelter that offers a place for displaced persons to wash clothes, bathe, warm up a meal, apply for jobs and receive interview training. When the weather drops below freezing, this facility also serves as a certified Cold Night Shelter for the City of Crestview, maintained and supervised by our church's volunteers. We also offer up to 4 Benevolence grants every week for folks who have a home but need a little help keeping their water or power turned on.
We provide food for the hungry in emergency situations through our Food Pantry which is provided for benevolence grants. On Saturdays, we also run a Soup Kitchen that serves anywhere from 80-100 people every week.
We don't just go to our local community. We also routinely send mission teams to places of need around our country.
For the last three years, we have sent a team to Sager-Brown Mission in Louisiana. This United Methodist mission provides home repairs and wheelchair ramps for those in need and also serves as the central warehouse for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which prides itself on being "first to arrive, and last to leave" in responding to disaster across the globe.
Our youth have traveled all over the southeastern US serving in inner cities and rural missions.
We also support several seminary students; sending new ministers into the world is part of our mission!
We believe the good news of Jesus is good news for all the world. Through our connection with the United Methodist Church, we support a number of missionaries, relief agencies and programs such as the "Imagine No Malaria" campaign that has cut the number of malaria deaths in Africa by more than half.
We also provide direct support to overseas missionaries, and several of our members have served as extended-term missionaries in Peru and Poland. "The Lima Project" is our partner in ministering among the street children of Lima, Peru. "Pastor Kris" is a full-time pastor in Poland whose church is supported, in part by our monthly gifts. When we can, we send teams to supply hands-on aid for these missions, but we are always praying and giving to do our part in helping their work flourish.