ABOUT FOREST HILLS UMC

 
      OUR MISSION is to Meet God, Grow in God, and Serve God
          OUR VISION is to WELCOME all people, and to
  • LEAD people into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • EQUIP believers to become disciples.
  • SEND disciples to meet human needs.

Forest Hills United Methodist Church has been serving the area for over 50 years. You will find we are a family of faith sharing worship, spiritual growth and outreach to our community.  Our members work with various church ministries seeking to enrich and better the lives of our congregation, community, and world.

Our congregation includes those of different faith backgrounds, those new to church and a few life-long Methodists. Whatever our background, we are authentic in trying to live out our faith, but recognize our limitations. Forest Hills United Methodist Church is large enough to offer many different ways for you to use your talents and to develop some new ones. We are small enough to be a warm, welcoming, nurturing, friendly congregation where members feel like a family.

Forest Hills UMC is open to all and we seek to touch the needs of all. We are here to live in the same way and with the same love that Jesus Christ displayed years ago and we are here to share that love with one and all. If we can be of any help to you, please don’t hesitate to ask. We hope you will join us in worshipping, learning, and growing.

Forest Hills United Methodist Church

 For more information call 813-932-8081  or  Email: info@foresthillsumc.com

 

History


During the early 1950’s land developers began building the communities many of us still live in north of Tampa. Carrollwood sprouted out of an orange grove and affordable housing for young families lined the golf course and edged the lakes of the Forest Hills area.

About this same time God gave a vision to the Tampa District and the members of Seminole Heights Methodist Church; The Great Commission: take my word to those families in Forest Hills, “Go make of them disciples”. A group of people from Seminole Heights Methodist Church under the guidance of their associate pastor met for the first time on December 4, 1955 in the cafeteria of the Lake Magdalene Elementary school. We are privileged to have some of the 230 charter members still on our church roll.

In 1956 the property on the corner of Linebaugh Avenue and North Boulevard was purchased. Just two short years after being chartered, the first building (now Fellowship Hall) was dedicated. In 1958 we purchased a parsonage on North Oregon for $14,500. In 1959 we were in need of additional church parking and room for expansion. The Adult Sunday School classes raised money to buy the lot behind the church on the corner of Edison and Perdiz. By 1961 our Sunday school was overflowing with children and our congregation was eager for additional classroom space. Our membership at that time was 700. Another building fund drive was successful in obtaining the money needed to erect an educational wing in 1962. Today it serves as our office, library, choir room, pastor’s study and classrooms.

We celebrated our first worship service in our present sanctuary in February 1968. The dedication of the pipe organ followed four months later. Our membership had grown to 925 during this time. In April 1968 the Methodist church united with the Evangelical Brethren Church and our name was changed to Forest Hills United Methodist Church.

During the early 1980’s our ministry expanded to older adults through the Life Enrichment Senior Center, a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to older adults. The center was established through the efforts of our members along with four other churches in this community and was dedicated in June 1982. During this same era the memorial stained glass windows were added to the sanctuary and the educational wing was completed in 1982.

By the late 1990’s the need for a new vision for our church became clear. The community around the church had changed and we were less effective at reaching out to it. We became unable to attract new members in significant numbers to replace the natural attrition of an aging membership. In 1998 we began making significant changes through our re-visioning activities. The most successful was the creation of a new type of service, our SONlight service. Membership and attendance in worship grew with the more contemporary, informal style of worship.

Our latest area of ministry is the establishment of Forest Hills Learning Academy, our preschool and daycare facility at 9714 North Boulevard where our goal is to care for and nurture children in a Christian atmosphere. In 2004 we also purchased a house on North Boulevard giving us ownership of the entire block with the exception of the Life Enrichment Senior Center.

After over half a century of growth and change, Forest Hills United Methodist Church remains committed to Jesus Christ and The Great Commission, “go and make of all disciples”.

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