Milton First Celebrates 150 Years of Ministry
For 150 years, the people called Methodists have connected people to God and people to people through Jesus Christ in Milton, Florida! A celebration of this ministry and mission of First United Methodist Church was held on Heritage Sunday, May 21. The theme of the day was “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
In his sermon, “Through These Doors,” Bishop David W. Graves reminded the congregation that the saints who had gone before were stepping stones on which the future of the church was built and continues to this day. District Superintendent The Reverend Timothy R. Trent introduced Bishop Graves and assisted in the leading of prayers and the affirmation of faith. The members of the children’s, youth, and chancel choirs sang uplifting, majestic music accompanied by the church organist and those playing hand bells, flutes, a saxophone, and a trumpet. Special Guests included former pastors, other clergy, a historian of Santa Rosa County, and representatives of the Milton City and Santa Rosa County governments.
Each family attending the celebration received a booklet containing a history of the church with photographs of members throughout the years; a brick paperweight representing the “Pennies for Bricks” campaign to rebuild the church building after its second structure was destroyed by fire during the Great Depression; and a commemorative bookmark.
A lovely meal was served in fellowship hall, with old-fashioned table centerpieces made primarily of magnolias. The youth of the church provided extravagant hospitality by serving as the waitstaff for the tables. During the meal, a video of the history of the church in pictures played on a perpetual loop while everyone enjoyed table fellowship. Pastor Kathy Knight thanked the congregation for its discipleship by writing in the church's weekly e-mail message, “Words cannot express the exhilaration I felt yesterday as we celebrated our 150 years of ministry at First United Methodist Church. It was a day in which everyone gave his or her best for the glory of God – and it showed! Thank you for making it a day to remember in every way.”