signature missions

A Signature Mission is an empowering, externally focused, helping ministry selected for greater emphasis within the congregation and high priority for funding.  Other new and existing missions will continue to be encouraged and supported as members of our church family are called to serve.  We recognize that all of our mission programs are special, have great supporters, and are worthy of support. Over the year you will receive updated information about each of our missions.


Signature Missions are voted on by the Missions Council and endorsed by the church board. Zoe is the first of the Signature Missions chosen to be promoted through the church and will be publicized for the next two months to help us learn more about the mission and how to support it.

what is Zoe?

Since 2013, FUMC has been partnering with Zoe Empowers to facilitate orphans and vulnerable children moving out of extreme poverty to sustainably productive lives.  In just three years, heads of orphaned house holds - some as young as 14 - become entrepreneurs, farmers, butchers, hairstylist, welders and tailors. 

Click here to learn more about ZOE.

To learn about ELISE a member of our Upendo Kauma empowerment in Kenya, click here.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). 


fumc back pack program

The FUMC Backpack Ministry delivers non-perishable foods to food-insecure children that attend Bruce Drysdale School / Boys & Girls Club of Hendersonville each week.  We are currently supporting the weekend food needs for 215 local children.  Each week we provide nine individual-sized food items for these children.  "The Backpack Program provides a vital resource for those children and families struggling with food insecurity who need additional support through the weekends." Julie Hockenberry, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club.  

Donations specified for the Backpack Program support our purchases of these food items. The children thank you for your donation.

Jane Johnson / 952-607-7705 /

local missions grant program

The Mission Council at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church (FUMC) awards grants to local organizations that include FUMC member engagement. This year we anticipate awarding $1,000 to $5,000. Our church’s mission is “Changing Lives, Making Disciples.”  Please click here to download guidelines.

20th Annual juried art & craft festival

First United Methodist Church will host their 20th annual Juried Art and Craft Festival, November 6, 2020 from 8:30 am - 3 pm.  Thirty-six local artist will bring original, handcrafted art and fine crafts for sale, including baskets, oil and watercolor paintings, old world Santas, jewelry, holiday decor, pottery and wood-turned bowls.

The Juried Art and Craft Festival is one of many missional activities supported by First United Methodist Church.  Proceeds support a self-help fund for low-income residents of church-owned apartments.

Email Dick Weaver:

Artisan Information

local missions

Affordable Housing Initiatives

Habitat for Humanity

Restore / Cindy Young / 828-696-9524

Construction / Melissa Ailiff /

Serve others through the construction of homes and the operation of the Restore facilities.

Housing Assistance Corporation

Marcesa Harper / 828-629-4744 ext. 103 /

A private, non-profit organization committed to providing safe and affordable housing for persons of limited income living in Henderson County and surrounding areas.

Domestic Violence Initiatives


Sara Cole, Development Officer  / 828-693-3840 /

Lauren Wilkie,  Executive Director /

Volunteers are utilized in almost every aspect of the agency’s programs and are a vital part of Safelight’s team and delivery of services by volunteering at the front desk, sorting donations, assisting with direct services and the family violence class, and in many other ways.

Health-Related Initiatives

The Free Clinics

Sarah Friedell / 828-697-8422 /

Works to close the healthcare gap in Henderson County by providing free healthcare and services to low-income,

uninsured residents.

Pardee Hospital

Karla Reese / 828-696-4240 / karla.reese@pardeehospitalorg

Volunteers help with transport, at checkout, chaplaincy, gift cart, reading cart, newspaper distribution, and many other opportunities.

Relay for Life

Judy Nutwell / 828-388-1096 /

Volunteers help raise funds as a team to support the American Cancer Society. Members represent First United Methodist Church before, during and after the Relay.

Homelessness Initiatives

Homes for Youth

Dave Bass/ 828-243-6446 /

Provides homes, help and hope for Henderson County youth who have lost their homes.  We have a home that accommodates five foster girls with their foster parents and plan to acquire another.  We also support the training of additional foster parents by providing facilities and advanced remote teleconferencing equipment to the Department of Social Services

Only Hope WNC

Marti Eudeman /

Only Hope serves the homeless youth of WNC by providing a home and services where education, personal growth, and opportunity are supported. Whether bringing a group in to sort through our pantry, helping with paperwork, or serving on the Only Hope board, you can help make a difference

Hendersonville Rescue Mission

Yam Burke / 828-697-1354

A non-profit committed to providing overnight shelter, food, and clothing to homeless in our community. Volunteers assist with chapel services, meal serving.

Hunger Initiatives

Backpack Ministry

Jane Johnson / 952-607-7705 /

The FUMC Backpack Ministry delivers non-perishable foods each week to food-insecure children attending Bruce Drysdale School / Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County.  We are currently supporting the weekend food needs for 215 local children.  Each week we provide nine individual-sized food items for these children.  Donations specified for the Backpack Program support our purchases of these food items.  The children thank you for your donation.

Hunger Walk

Janet Hendricks / 828-692-8645 /

Volunteers coordinate and/or participate in the yearly September walk to raise money to provide food for the needy of Henderson County.

The Providence House

Robin Corbin/

Volunteers serve meals the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays providing food to those in need.  With COVID-19, bagged lunches vs. sit-down meals are provided.  Supplies are low and there is an on going need until they return to a regular meal.  Donations are being collected, for specific needs click here.

The Storehouse

Lynn Staggs / 828-692-8300 /

Distributes food and works with those in need.

Legal Initiatives

Pisgah Legal Services

Rhonda Brown, Local Volunteer Coordinator / 828-210-3455 /

Deborah Jones-Holt, Regional Development Officer / 828-210-3449 /

We are a nonprofit that provides free civil legal aid to the most vulnerable people in WNC: disadvantaged children, seniors, at risk families & domestic violence victims.

Literacy Initiatives

Blue Ridge Literacy

Cindy Jefferson / 696-3811

Volunteers tutor adults in English. Training materials are provided. Proficiency in a foreign language is not necessary.

Multi-Faceted Initiatives

Council on Aging

Wendy Lou Billings / 828-692-4203 /

Helps seniors remain independent at home through programs such as Meals-on-Wheels.

Four Seasons Hospice

Sheri Cagle / 828-692-6178 ext. 329 /

Sigrun Mapes / 828-697-2900 /

Volunteers serve at Elizabeth House delivering meals and providing support to patients and their families. They also provide supportive presence or socialization with patients in assisted living facilities.

Interfaith Assistance Ministries (IAM)

Debra Dunbar /

Christy Lowe /

IAM provides emergency relief to Henderson County residents who are experiencing financial crises.  Services provided include food, clothing, blankets, and financial assistance for electricity, water, fuel oil, propane gas, rent, transportation and prescriptions.


Volunteers assist in cooking, packaging, and distributing meals purchased by the congregation and public. Proceeds from this program help fund local and international missions supported by FUMC.

Salvation Army

Bill Bricker / 828-280-1163 /

Volunteer opportunities include working at the Thrift Store, the after school and summer youth programs, the pantry, and with the Angel Tree and bell ringing holiday programs.

Trauma Intervention Program of WNC

The Trauma Intervention Program of Western North Carolina (TIP) is looking  for caring people in Buncombe and Henderson Counties willing to be part of a team of volunteers who provide immediate emotional and practical support to survivors of traumatic events. TIP is holding a Spring Training beginning February 28th at Skyland Fire Department. Funding for this training was provided by a grant from the Meals4Missions Local Grant Program at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church.  Learn More

Youth Initiatives

Big Brothers / Big Sisters

Steve Kirkland / 828-693-8153 /

A United Way organization that matches children (ages 6-14) from single-parent families with caring, adult mentors.

Cub Scouts / Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts

Cub Scouts / Sandra Macklem / 828-277-7831 /

Boy Scouts / Larry Harmon /

Girl Scouts / Renee Casey / 828-698-2478 /

Our church offers weekly scout meetings for members and the greater community.

Boys and Girls Club

Ismael Martinez / (828) 693-9444 /

Volunteer opportunities exist to tutor, mentor, provide homework assistance, coach/referee, or assist with one of many activities at the center.

Children and Family Resource Center

Dawn Piscopo / 828-698-0674 ext. 100 /

An organization that works to improve children’s lives through parent education, quality child care resources, and leadership on children’s issues. Opportunities to volunteer range from clerical to board membership, from special events planning to child care volunteer, and from Once Upon a Time story reader to resource library assistant.

Children’s Gifting Party

Sandy Hastie / 828-696-0703 /

Donna Hastie / 828-696-0703 /

This is an annual outreach event in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County. Students come to the church in order to “shop” without money, for their primary caregivers. Volunteers collect donations, bake cookies, make goody bags, help with crafts, coordinate with the Boys and Girls club, set-up, decorate, clean-up, and serve as escorts.  Click here for the Blue Ridge Now article on our 2018 party. 

Helping Hand Development Center

Susan Deans / 828- 692-7068

Enrolls children from 2 to 5 years of age. Volunteers are needed to assist with music, art, story time, and other activities.

international missions

Belize Team - United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)

Dick Weaver / 828-545-9203 /

Volunteers are currently remodeling a guest house for the Corozal Methodist Church in Corozal, Belize.

Chadasha Orphan Retreat Center

Jim Kane / 828-243-8005 /

Overlooking the ocean, this retreat center provides a place for under-supported Haitian orphanages to get out of

their four walls, hear the gospel, and see hope beyond their world.

Cuba Team

Anne Smith / 828-697-9363 /

Jerry Smith / 828-697-9363 /

Volunteers explore mission opportunities in Cuba. They also travel to Cuba annually to build relationships and participate in “on the ground” missions.

Sew Much Love

Jeanne Jones / 904-705-9711 /

This group sews for several different projects, including little dresses for Africa, layettes for UMCOR (which includes knit sweaters) and tote bags for school children in Haiti and elsewhere. Basic sewing skills are all that’s required.

Sowing Seeds Ministry

Sally Jones / 828-808-2012 /

Collects, packs, and distributes Christian media materials to developing countries.

Water R Us

Tim Mendelsohn / 216-870-2745 /

Volunteers are passionate about providing clean water and sanitation for communities in need of this life-giving resource. Our church supports a project in the village of San Jose Nicaragua through El Porvenir. Volunteers visit the site(s) of El Porvenir each January as part of their commitment to this ministry.  Watch video.

Southern Congo Wings of the Morning

Leone Alexander / 828-697-1732 /

This ministry of Rukang Chikomb reaches remote areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with medical care and support.


Carol Watson / 803-530-7120 /

    ZOE, an orphan empowerment program begun in Africa by churches in the NC Conference, has been a mission of FUMC since 2013 when it partnered with its first group in Rwanda.  With a match from a church family, the congregation raised the $22,000 to fund the group for three years within a few months.  That first group, which was trained and empowered in 8 areas of sustainability including income generation, agriculture, education, health and hygiene, child rights, housing, social support and spiritual growth, graduated in 2016. 

    Since 2013, FUMC has partnered with an additional group each year and now has three active groups every year, one in each phase of the three-year program.  By the end of 2020, FUMC had partnered with 15 groups in Rwanda, Kenya, India and Guatemala to empower 1326 children to move from extreme poverty to sustainability and to contribute significantly to their communities and churches.  Our current groups are in Kenya and Rwanda.  To view reports of the eight groups click here. You can find out more about ZOE at