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Embracing the Future

First United Methodist Church of Pensacola is a historic church. Since 1821, First Church has provided a place for Pensacola and the surrounding communities to worship and grow in Christ. Over the years First Church has grown from a one-room meeting house into a mission-focused congregation of over 3200 members.

Embracing the Future: A Historic Church for Generations to Follow is the theme of our 2013 Capital Campaign. This campaign will raise funds to allow our ministries to continue to expand and prepare for the future, while helping First Church create a lasting impact in our community for generations to follow.

Embracing the Future is designed to raise funds:

•    To renovate and remodel The Wright Place, kitchen, and the Henry Roberts Activities Center (Approximately $1.2 million)

•    To reduce the indebtedness incurred to purchase and renovate the Governor Perry Home and Wesley Abbey (By at least $1 million)

•    To renovate the unfinished 2nd floor worship space in Wesley Abbey and construct a two-story east side lobby. (Approximately $1.8 million)



Q. We just finished a capital campaign. Why are we having another one?

A. The previous capital campaign began in 2008. Because of your generosity, we raised over $2.6 million in the midst of a national economic recession. Your gifts enabled us to purchase and renovate the historic Governor Perry Home and Wesley Abbey. Additionally, your faithfulness allowed us to start the ICON service and expanded our potential for community outreach, Christian education, and small group fellowship. Our Embracing the Future: A Historic Church for Generations to Follow campaign moves us forward in our master plan and furthers the mission and ministry of our great church.

Q. How will the capital campaign affect my tithe or offering?

A. Your regular tithe and offering should not be impacted by a capital campaign.  Our tithe or offering should always be our first priority!  The Biblical standard of the tithe (10%) is our foundational giving.  The capital campaign is an opportunity to give sacrificially above and beyond our regular tithes or offerings.

Q. Why are we in debt?

A. The debt was incurred to purchase and renovate the Perry Home and Wesley Abbey.  We have been able to open up this historic space for worship, weddings, funerals, receptions, Bible studies, Sunday school, civic meetings, and concerts. Our remaining debt of $3.8 million was recently modified to the lowest possible interest rate. Plans are also being formulated to pay the interest on the loan from our annual church budget. As a result, all donations to the capital campaign will either pay for our future renovations or reduce the principal of our current loan.

Q. Why are funds necessary for the future?

A. We’re growing! We’ve already outgrown many of our existing facilities.  The campaign will pave the way for our future growth and the growth in our ministries and outreach to our community.

Q. What about our Outreach Building and the Methodist Children’s Academy Facilities?

A. We recently received a generous bequest and  are using a portion of these funds to improve and update both of these buildings.

Q. How can I find out more?

A. Plan to attend our Summit the night of September 23, 2013.  This will be an important time to begin to explain what we are planning and why we need to move forward.  Everyone is welcome and invited to participate in this important night.  The campaign begins October 27.  Our goal during the campaign is to fully inform everyone about the plans and answer any questions you might have.  As always, the church’s staff and leadership are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Q. I already give to support the mission and ministries of First Church.  How can I give more?

A. We thank you for your gifts to God through First Church.  Supporting the mission and ministry of First Church is essential. This campaign is an additional opportunity to give back to God.

Q. What is sacrificial giving?

A. Sacrificial giving means something different to each person, but at its heart, it calls us to prayerful discernment of what God is asking us to give.  Sacrificial giving is an opportunity to grow spiritually and requires us to reassess our spending and readjust our priorities to meet God’s call on our lives.

Q. When and where will my faith commitment be made?  

A. During worship on November 24, 2013 we will offer our estimate of giving cards for Embracing the Future: A Historic Church for Generations to Follow.

Q. How will the commitments be paid?

A. It is up to you.  Commitments may be paid from now through December 31, 2016.  Gifts may be given weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or in any way that is most convenient for you.

Q. What about assets other than money?

A. Assets that can be converted to cash such as real estate, stocks, bonds, life insurance, and other securities are excellent ways to give.  Gifts of appreciated assets may have additional tax benefits to the donor.

Q. How much will each person be expected to give?

A. The only expectation is that each person pray and ask the question, “Lord, what do you want to do through me to fulfill your will for First Church?” and go where God leads. While the amounts will obviously be different for everyone, our hope is that each person will be led by God to give generously and sacrificially.  A key phrase of the campaign is, “Not equal gifts but equal sacrifice.”

Q. What is the most important thing to do now?  

A. Make prayer your first priority.  Pray daily and regularly for God to guide you and then follow God’s will. Be in prayer about the role you and your family are being called to take.  Then listen and follow God’s direction.


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