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.

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 /

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. 

We have received a letter from our Empowerment Group in Kenya that recently graduated. Formed in 2018 through our partnership with families in Mooresville FUMC, the Kijue “Destiny” Empowerment Group made incredible progress in becoming sustainably self-sufficient. To view their expression of gratitude to us, click here.

Click here to learn more about ZOE.

Read an article about our newest Zoe Empowers  Rwanda Group.

“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). 

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 up to $40,000 for those initiatives which promote self-sufficiency and empowerment in the areas of, Affordable HousingDomestic ViolenceHunger / Food InsecurityHomelessness, and Education (related to poverty). Our church’s mission is “Changing Lives, Making Disciples.”  

Please click here to download guidelines.

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

Ashlynn McCoy/ 828-629-4744 ext. 109 /

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.

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

Haywood Street Congregation

Laura, Executive Director / 828.575.2477

A mission church of downtown Asheville offering weekly worship, a clothing closet, community garden, a free community lunch known as the Downtown Welcome Table, and Haywood Street Respite, which offers a safe place for adults experiencing homelessness to stay on a short term basis after being discharged from a hospital.

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.

New Story

Scott Osterburg / 336-865-5356

A mission church serving impoverished neighborhoods within Winston-Salem. Newstory offers worship, meals, a free clinic, clothing, a homeless shelter, and an at-risk kids ministry. FUMC provides financial support and assistance with facility repairs.

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 

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.

Feed the Kids

Ann Pyles / 828-693-7149 /

This group works as a team with other churches and groups in the community to prepare, transport, then serve meals to underfed children on rotating Friday afternoons at the Boys and Girls Club.

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.

Rooted In Faith

Dee West / / 402-490-7012

Rooted in Faith Community Garden is a faith-based donation garden focused on building relationships, providing education, and growing fresh, organic produce for the food insecure of Henderson County.

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.

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.

Youth Initiatives

Children’s Gifting Party

Sandy Hastie / 828-696-0703 /

Donna Hastie / 828-696-0703 /

This is an outreach event in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County. Students can “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. 

international missions

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.

Brand New Day

Steve and Sharon Johnson

Brand New Day is an outreach and rehabilitation program started by Erin Johnson, a member of our congregation which serves street children in the Philippines, helping them to grow personally, academically, and spiritually through shelter, education, and relationships. 


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.


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

20th Annual juried art & craft festival

First United Methodist Church will host their 20th Juried Art and Craft Festival, November 4th & 5th, 2022.  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. 

Email Dick Weaver:

Artisan Information