Arab First United Methodist strives to share the heart, mind, and hands of Christ in fellowship and worship that results in outreach to His world. People of all ages are involved in missions seeking to serve not only here in Arab but also in Alabama, in the United States and throughout the world.
We feed hungry children in the Arab area on the weekends. Reports from teachers and school nurses indicate that kids come to school on Monday mornings hungry, having not eaten properly during the weekend. Our church family purchases food approved by the school nutritionist and packages it weekly into individual sacks. We’d love your help (call the church office). Every Friday, the school receives the sacks of meals, snacks, and juices for each child who participates in the program. The food sacks are distributed to each participating child before he/she is dismissed home for the weekend. The food items are kid-friendly, meaning light-weight foods that require little-to-no preparation and are nutritious. This ministry is for the entire school year!
For more than 40 years, Arab First UMC has adopted 100+ needy children. For Christmas, children are provided with presents, a Bible, a fruit and candy bag, a food box for their family, a photo card for their parents, a “Santa shop,” breakfast, and a program during which the Christmas story is shared. It is a fun event for our whole church family to be involved in. The “Beyond” consists of connecting with these same children before the start of the school year and helping them with their school needs.
Whether extending a cool bottle of water at the Fall Community Festival or a warm cup of cocoa at the annual Christmas parade, we offer the love of Christ in tangible ways in our community. Members can be found at a variety of other community events, such as school faculty breakfast, mealtime for the kids during high school band camp, and whatever comes our way. We sharing with others the message that “God loves you and so do we.”
Arab First UMC has several active prayer ministries including a prayer chapel (with communion on Sundays), annual prayer retreats, prayer partners, prayer visits, and the like. Arab First UMC is active with Emmaus, a prayer weekend experience offered by the Methodist faith which also includes follow-up support Emmaus community meetings.
Our church supports the Eugemot Orphanage in the Volta Province of Ghana, Africa and the Peggy Good School of Hope. The orphanage was founded in 2004 and cares for approximately 55 children. Our church has lent support in various ways over the years, and we host annual mission trips to visit the orphanage and help with improvements during the Christmas holidays. We have constructed a barn to store crops for their sustainable farming project, improved the foundation and donated whiteboards for the school, purchased a school bus, and installed a water system at the orphanage. During our annual visit, we love to visit churches, do food relief and prayer ministry in the villages, and of course play with the children!
Arab First United Methodist Church has the privilege of being an active part of Room In The Inn. Room In the Inn, Marshall County is a program of Marshall County Homeless Ministries that organizes a cooperative of churches to provide emergency temporary shelter for people without homes. It currently runs a cold-weather shelter only (November-March), housing people on a rotating basis at local churches. Arab First UMC hosts our neighbors in the fellowship hall area once a month for dinner, a ministry program, a good night’s sleep, breakfast, and transportation in the morning. We are always looking for volunteers to share the blessing. If you’d like to know more, see this link: (www.roomintheinnalabama.com).
Arab First UMC is committed to a tithe of all our general budget income to the North Alabama Conference of the UMC for connectional mission giving through the United Methodist Church. To learn more about the life-changing ministries of the North Alabama Conference that we support, see the Conference website. To learn more about the incredible global ministries that we support, see the Global Ministries website.
Sunday School classes, United Methodist Women circles, United Methodist Men, children, youth and many other fellowship groups are all active in the mission field with each having adopted one or more ministries. Here is a sampling of some of the missions Arab First United Methodist Church supports through its small groups.
American Red Cross and Relay for Life
Arab City Schools and Brindlee Mountain County Schools
Arab Senior Citizen Center
Autism Society of America
Big Oak Ranch
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America
CAJA = Court Appointed Juvenile Advocacy Program
CASA = care for the aging and homebound
CWJC = Christian Women’s Job Corps
Disabled Veterans of America
FCA = Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Food Drives for Local Food Pantries
Hospice and Shepherd’s Cove
Huntsville Downtown Rescue Mission
Local Nursing Homes
Kairos Prison Ministry
Marshall County Christmas Coalition
Marshall County Department of Human Resources
North Alabama Cloth Diaper Bank
Operation Christmas Child
Ronald McDonald House
Room In The Inn
RSVP = Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
St. Jude Children Research Hospital
Society of St. Andrew
STARS Tutoring Program for Arab Junior High School Students
TESA = Temporary Emergency Services of Arab
Thanksgiving Baskets for Shut-ins
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and the Decatur Disaster Warehouse
United Methodist Children’s Home
Upper Sand Mountain Parish
Here is a sampling of some of the other missions Arab First United Methodist Church supports with seasonal church-wide efforts.
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) with funds as well as kits prepared for specific needs such as school kits, health kits, birthing kits, layette kits, cleaning kits, sewing kits. Disaster relief is also supported. We also make frequent visits to help at the Disaster Relief Warehouse in Decatur, AL.
Honduras’ linens mission consisting of bed linens collected and prepared for hospitals, nursing homes and public servant facilities.
Burmese Outreach (Malaysia) and Mexico mission needs via the work of Roy & Alyce Marshall of the Arab First UMC church family. (Nueva Vida is a shelter in Merida Mexico for 24-28 girls between 6-12 years of age from backgrounds of less than optimal conditions).
Christmas Shoebox ministry for overseas kids each holiday season through the Decatur UMCOR Warehouse.
Sponsorships via Watoto and World Vision organizations.
Word of Isa with missionary Chris Todd in Lebanon.
Other foreign missions and their needs as they arise.
A number of adults from Arab First UMC go on personally organized mission trips each year, and there are retired missionaries in our congregation. The youth group also goes on a mission trip each summer, and this is part of the fiber of youth ministry at Arab First UMC.
There is always a way for you to get involved in hands-on mission at Arab First UMC. It is our desire that everyone serve with their heads, hearts, and hands. Check out Connecting Points for up-to-date information about how, or contact our Director of Adult Discipleship to get plugged in.
Members of our congregation find multiple ways to help the homebound. We provide transportation to medical appointments, construction of handicap ramps, provision of Communion to shut-ins, and hospital visits as some of the helpful ways to assist those in need. “Blessings received” are the reward for time spent in this ministry.