Groundbreaking December 3, 2017

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Proposed new building renderings

Updated January 2017

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Dollar a Week Grants 2017

Paragould First United Methodist Church granted nearly $6,000 on Sunday to four organizations from their dollar a week offering funds. The offering is amassed from single dollar bills put into the offering plate from January-December; half of the proceeds go to the church's Witt House Food Pantry.
Benefitting from 2016 offerings include the In His Wings Ministry, Mission Outreach, Paragould Schools, and Greene County Tech Schools. The grant given to In His Wings Ministry will help supply new furniture and appliances for a facility that will house women who are trying to meet DHS requirements in order to be reunited with their children. The grant to Mission Outreach will partially fund a fence around the children's playground. Money given to both Paragould and Greene County Tech schools will benefit their backpack programs. This is the 7th year FUMC has given grants away through this program; to date $75,145 has been given in the form of grants.

Dollar a Week Offering Grants 2016

On February 26, $12,391 was given to 8 organizations: Senior BEES Meals on Wheels, Paragould Schools backpack program, GCT backpack program, Greene County Rescue Squad, Goodfellows, House of Virtue, Historical Society, and the Greene County Sheriff's Department. In all, $63,509 has been given in the last 6 years to 17 organizations through the grant.

Dollar a Week Offering Grants 2015

Our $1 a Week grant recipients! FUMC gave $12,200 to Focus, Inc., Greene County Goodfellows, Future and Hope Christian Women's Job Corps, Greene County Rescue Squad, CASA, B.E.E.S. Senior Citizens, Inc., Paragould School Backpack program and Greene County Tech Parent Center. In all FUMC has given more than $50,000 in grants since it started the program.


Dollar a Week Offering Grants 2014

$12,000 was given to 8 organizations for the dollar bills collected in 2014. The money was split evently; each organization received $1,500. Organizations benefitting include: Greene County Rescue Squad, Senior BEES, Paragould School District, Greene County Tech Parent Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Future and Hope Christian Women's Job Corps, Shepherd's Fold Ministry, and House of Virtue.

Dollar a Week Offering Grants 2013

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First United Methodist Church gave away $11,322 to 7 organizations in Greene County during their regular worship services in the last two weeks. The money was part of the $1 a Week Offering, where all of the single dollar bills are collected from the offering plate and then given away to the community. This is the third year for the church to give away money from this offering, which has totaled $27,056 since the late Bill Leslie began it. Rev. Leslie was the pastor at FUMC until his death in 2012. He wanted the church to be seen as giving and found the $1 a Week Offering as a way to do that. 
This year, money was given to Arkansas Early Learning, the Agape House, Acts 5:39, the Greene County Rescue Squad, Greene County Goodfellows, Inc., Paragould School District, B.E.E.S. Senior Citizens, Inc. Organizations are chosen from applications submitted earlier in the year. 

$1 a Week Offering of 2012

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In 2011, members of First United Methodist Church of Paragould simply dropped dollar bills into the offering plate in addition to their regular giving. The pastor at the time, the late Rev. Bill Leslie, impressed upon members at all three services the need to never go before God empty-handed. He encouraged each person to give $1 each Sunday. In 2012, $11,543 was given through the offering plate and then out to five organizations: the Meals on Wheels program, Greene County Library, Agape House, Focus Inc. and the Civitan Club. Bill said that the church needed to be seen as a place that gives; FUMC has decided to continue this legacy.
Greene County Public Library
The Greene County Library traces its roots back to January 1, 1936, when the Paragould Public Library opened under the sponsorship of the local Business & Professional Women's club.  In the midst of all challenges, the Greene County Library has survived and has even been able to expand services, especially children's programming, public access Internet computers and, since 1983, its local history/genealogy department, the S.S. Lipscomb Room. The award of $1,000 will go to provide handicapped accessible bathrooms for the library.
Senior B.E.E.S. – Meals on Wheels program
Founded in 1972, Senior B.E.E.S ("Busily Enjoying Everyday Seniors") exists to reduce the isolation, neglect, abuse, exploitation and premature institutionalization of the Senior Citizens of Greene County.  The Senior B.E.E.S.provides activities, transportation and meals for Seniors.  Their Meals on Wheels program delivers anywhere from 130 – 150 meals every day.  Their award of $295 will help with the cost of gas to deliver these meals.
Civitan & Paragould Plays Together
Civitan International is an organization of volunteer service clubs around the world, dedicated to helping people in their own communities. Civitans have been helping people since the organization’s founding in 1917, by a group of businessmen determined to making a difference in their community.  The Paragould Civitans have been working hard on their project, Paragould Plays Together.  This project will be providing a handicapped accessible playground for children of all ages.  Imagine a child who is wheelchair bound and unable to get in a swing or go down a slide experiencing that for the first time.  The award of $5748 will help the Civitans make this dream a reality.  (By the way, as one Civitan said on Sunday, they are only about $3000 away from having all the funding secured.)
Focus, Inc.
Focus Development Program in Paragould is a day activity program operated by Focus, Inc. The purpose of the program is to assist adults with disabilities to grow and learn. Program participant are: encouraged to try new activities, make new friends and broaden their horizons; are treated with the respect due to adults and adult behaviors are encouraged.  In addition, they have door-to-door transportation, free lunch, and field trips which include restaurant meals.  Their award of $2,500 will provide them with uniforms for Special Olympics and adaptive motor skills equipment.
Agape House
Agape House is a Christian transitional home where women find a new life through the life changing message of Jesus Christ.  It exists to help women in the Northeast Arkansas area find freedom from addiction and realize God's love for them and purpose for their lives, through structured living, spiritual teaching and practical life instruction.  Agape House provides housing, life skills training, Biblical study, GED and Continuing Education Assistance, Job Training/Placement programs and an environment of love.  They have just opened a second house.  Their award of $2,000 will provide them with Bible study materials, gravel for their drive/parking, and their copier needs. 

$1 A Week Offering 2011

Left to right, Rev. Bill Leslie, First United Methodist Church, Paragould; Judy Turnbull, President of Board of Directors, the Children's Shelter, Walnut Ridge; and Harry Truman Moore, member of FUMC and pro bono legal counsel for The Children's Shelter     
Presentation of Check for $4,191 to the Children's Shelter to purchase a commercial food freezer for the Shelter and repair damage to the parking lot at the Shelter
Last October, members of FUMC began collecting the dollar bills put in the offering plate when encouraged to do so by the pastor who said that people should not come before God empty handed. 
In just 22 weeks, the church collected $4,191 from one dollar bill donations.
A special church committee then asked members of the congregation to submit suggested recipients for the funds collected.  The criteria was simple.  The recipient must be an organization that provides special services to citizens of the community, and the recipient must have a special need.
Moore, who is a member of FUMC, is a native of Walnut Ridge, and has given free legal services to the Shelter for a number of years.  He is a high school classmate of Mrs. Turnbull, who led the efforts that lead to the establishment of the Shelter.  He knew of the Shelter's need for the freezer and parking lot improvements, and nominated the Shelter for the donation.
While the Shelter is located in Walnut Ridge, it provides emergency services to displaced children throughout Northeast Arkansas, giving shelter to over 400 children from 25 counties since June, 2009, including almost 60 children from Greene County.
The committee choosing the recipient was impressed with what the shelter had been able to accomplish in such a short period of time, and the funds available almost exactly matched the amount for the Childrens Shelter's immediate needs -- the freezer, and the parking lot repairs.
Rev. Leslie said the decision was an easy one.  "It was for the kids," Rev. Leslie said.  "And we wanted to show that our community is not limited to the walls of the church building, but spreads to wherever there is a need for assistance to residents of Greene County."
While the shelter does receive a state payment on a per diem basis for children who live there, the payment is not nearly enough to cover the operating expenses and the daily needs of the children being served.  The Shelter has held fundraisers, and has received assistance from over 40 churches in Northeast Arkansas.