It is with great joy that we welcome Smyrna First UMC as a Host Congregation for Family Promise of Rutherford County!!! I am in awe of the churches stepping forward to offer love and care for families with children who are suddenly faced with homelessness.

I hope this holiday season of thanksgiving and the celebration of Christ’s birth bring you joy and peace!

At the November Family Promise Monthly Meeting, it was decided to not hold a December Monthly Meeting due to busy Christmas schedules. In lieu of the December Monthly Meeting, I am enclosing in this letter:

Celebrations of the past year and before include:

Community Gathering; Teams leaders and teams formed – Host Recruitment – Debbie Church, Day Center Search – Beth Morris, Transportation – Dr. Wayne Murphy, Communication – Thom Christy, and Fund Development – Dr. Russ Galloway; Trainings took place for Host Recruitment Team and Fund Development Team; Obtained 501c3 and established bank account; Recruited Six Host Congregations – St Marks UMC, Hwy 231 South Church of Christ, First Baptist Church Main St, Cornerstone UMC, Wesley Foundation, Smyrna First UMC, (with Bethel UMC voting on Dec. 8 and presentation being made to Salem UMC on Dec. 6); Participated in radio interviews and PSA’s to share Family Promise; Participated in the Belk Campaign; Received $40,000 to be used upon being operational within 4 years; Conducted community awareness booths at Uncle Dave Macon Days and Hwy 231 South COC “Back to School Bash”; Member of H3ARC, and Membership and Advocacy Working Group attending monthly and quarterly meetings to stay informed of homeless needs and agencies; Conducted MONTHLY MEETINGS on the first Monday of each month with invited guest speakers. The year has been full and blessed as we move forward to be a Family Promise Affiliate in Rutherford County. Each of you is aware of the growing needs to embrace families with children who suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves homeless. My deepest thanks for your hearts and diligence to see this program come to fruition!

New Year Goals!

First, I give thanks to Jeanna Beck, Regional Director for Family Promise. She continues to compassionately guide us with her expertise and experience! I am most thankful! As the past year shows, we have made great strides forward. In doing so, we are ready to take exciting next steps! With the present list of recruited churches and others ready to come on board, we want to be prepared in other areas to allow us to move forward quickly. The areas of attention and action include:

Fund Development Team – Set up date for Fund Development Team to meet. Be developing components of Fund Raising to bring awareness of Family Promise to the public (visibility and relationships). Continue to acquire monies to fund our first year of operation. Continue researching and constructing grants. Please see attached Belk: Project Hometown Grant for $5,000. With the recruitment of 13 churches nearing, we want to be ready financially to move forward!

Begin to build the formal board – After the first of the year, calendar a date for Jeanna Beck to present “Building a Board Orientation.” At that time she will share roles of the board, skill sets of the board members, 10-11 key people to recruit as board members, both those who have been involved in Family Promise and new individuals who bring new energy and knowledge.

Day Center – Day Center Team meet to work on securing a Day Center as there may be renovations needed. It would also bring awareness to the community that we are present and ready to serve others. Again, with the movement of Host Churches coming on board we want to have the Day Center in place!

Host Recruitment Team – Continue the efforts to obtain remaining Host Congregations. We could actually begin with 11 congregations but would like to have 13 in place. At the present time there are 6 Host Congregations with two more voting in December. Others on the list to possibly recruit are: Advent Lutheran Church, Belle Aire Baptist, Allen Chapel AME, Kedron UMC, Fellowship UMC, First UMC, and others you may be working with to secure a presentation.

January 6 and February 3 Monthly Meetings – Please make every effort to be present at the January and February monthly meetings!! We will be inviting pastors/lay persons of existing Host Congregations, and seek ways to invite other pastors/lay persons to a welcome meeting to share Family Promise.

We are getting closer to the time when we will be the hands and feet of Christ offering care to families with children, giving them hope and new beginnings! For that we were created!

Much love and many blessings to each! Debra Church




The Missions Committee would like your help in providing not only food, but toiletries: soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, feminine products, deodorants, combs, shampoo, detergent, etc. for the food pantry to distribute to those in need in our community.

We want to create an attitude of buy one and give one, All we ask is when you make a purchase for yourself or your family, you purchase that same item for someone else. A cart is in the narthex for your purchases. Thank you for your help in the Buy One, Give One project and general support of all the Outreach/Missions on behalf of the church.

… 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'       Matthew 25:40


We are looking for devotional materials, i.e. Upper Room, to put into our food pantry handouts. If you have anything that is appropriate, would you please bring it to the Food Pantry or leave it in the church office. We would like each of our families to have spiritual nourishment as well as physical nourishment.

Items needed in the Food Pantry are beef stew, canned fruit and canned potatoes.

Family Promise is making a tremendous difference across the nation! We are so honored to be a part of this great program offering care to homeless families with children, right here in Rutherford County. 

Latest Missions News


Register your Kroger Plus card online at rewards and Kroger will give SFUMC a portion of their profits quarterly to use in our Missions program. SFUMC NPO #JA868.  Can’t register online? Call 1-800-331-5304 to register your Kroger Plus Card.  We have 48 households who have registered their Kroger Plus card. As a result, our 3rd quarter earnings are $175.37, which will go into our Missions fund!!!

All proceeds from this program go directly into Missions outreach.

Mission Fair


We are open on Wednesdays, 3:00-6:00 pm in fellowship hall. The Food Pantry is a great place to serve our community. The pantry could use donations of canned meat/tuna, canned veggies and spaghetti sauce. Please leave the donated items on the stage in fellowship hall.

Furniture Outlet

NOTICE: The Furniture Outlet at Wherry Housing will now be managed by John Key. His contact phone numbers are: (cell) 615-631-6138, (work) 615-223-1391. He will be the one to contact for furniture requests or donations.

Our deepest thanks to Joe Elliott, Tom Brown and all who have helped them in this ministry.