Missions of the Church

Appalachia Service Project


June 20 - 28th

Since 2000, First United Methodist Church of Alachua has partnered with Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to take a trip every summer to the mountains of rural Appalachia. Oftentimes in the backcountry of Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, poverty levels fall much below the American average, meaning families cannot afford to keep their homes warm, safe and dry. 

ASP is an enriching experience for our high school-aged youth, the adults that accompany them, as well as the families receiving our help. A humbling week is spent at a local school, hospital or other accommodations while lunches, prayer and good conversation is spent with families in the midst of our teams working to make homes more livable for our families. Siding, flooring, handicap ramps and porches are some of the many tasks ASP staff has our teams perform. Both Camp Hands of Joy and ASP are funded by Alachua's Pumpkin Patch. If you would like more information about joining our church on ASP this year or would like to sponsor a trip for one of our youth, you can contact us at fumcalachuayouthgroup@gmail.com

Camp Hands of Joy


Dates TBA

Camp Hands of Joy is a summer camp experience for Deaf children in the Dominican Republic. These beautiful children are often treated as mentally deficient and set aside by society as unreachable and unteachable.


 Camp Hands of Joy was created 11 years ago to provide a unique summer camp opportunity for Deaf children to gather together for a week of recreation away from the dirt and bustle of city life or the isolation of the small villages.  Your purchases at the Pumpkin Patch will go to help put on Camp Hands of Joy 2022.  If you would like to sponsor a child for only $80, you can contact our sponsorship chairwoman, Jennifer Barkley, at 352-262-1194 or email Penny Haskins at pshaskins@gmail.com. Cost for this year's trip is $1,250. 

Manos de Dios


Alyssa Shelamer, one of our very own church members, runs a vocational training ministry for Deaf and hard-of-hearing adults in the Dominican Republic. The community has very little opportunity for economic growth, so the ministry's goal is to provide them with the skills they need to become independent and productive members of society while introducing them to Christ and developing Christian leaders. 

You can read more and donate by visiting Alyssa's blog, here:

Manos de Dios: The Hands of God