The Bargain Boutique



The Bargain Boutique is available for your shopping pleasure Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am until 2 pm. Masks and social distancing are required. 
Currently taking gently used adult clothing, small appliances, and household items, the staff of the Bargain Boutique enjoys serving 1st Church and the Charlotte County community.  Unfortunately, current space limits us to smaller household items, and we are unable to accept furniture, televisions, children’s clothing or toys.

For more information on donations or volunteering at the Boutique, please call (941) 505-0794.

Bargain Boutique Board
Chair: Geri Bodnar
Class of 2018
Susan Parker
Gert Hall
Alison Denight
Class of 2019
Sue Carlson
Don Smith
Class of 2020
Geri Bodnar
Shirley Fitzcharles
Sandy Anderson

CareMinistry:  Focuses on visiting in area hospitals, nursing and rehab facilities and nursing homes.  Includes reading to residents, praying with individuals and celebrating birthdays.  Also includes frequent phone calls to those members  unable to get to church and need to stay connected to be there when they need home visits. Visits and assistance to those confined to home after surgery,- any serious illness or any injury.  Members are given support, encouragement, assistance in locating help from other agencies. Christian sacraments are also taken to the home when requested.

Cancer Support Ministry: Hope for the Journey: Coping with Cancer Through Faith  – This Cancer Support Group’s goal is to discuss and discover the role and importance of our faith in meeting the challenges of cancer in our lives.The group is open to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers of those with cancer  Meetings focus on celebrating positive milestones, receiving and giving support to others and an educational or motivational topic..  Anyone interested knitting or crocheting chemo caps can get information by completing the form below.

GriefShare: Open to those who have lost a loved one through death receive comfort and understanding at a Surviving the Holidays seminar held each November. GriefShare support groups are run in 13 week sessions starting each January.  This faith based support group is available to assist you in your time of loss.

Prayer Shawl Ministry: This ministry outreach is open to anyone who likes to knit or crochet.  As shawls are being made, prayers are made for the person receiving the shawl even though no one knows to whom the shawl will go. The shawls are a symbol of God’s love extending from our church to members and friends of the church.  Patterns and yarn requirements can be obtained by sending a request on the form above.


Anyone needing care or information can be referred to the CareMinistry. If you are referring someone other than family member we request that you ask their permission first.  Referrals can be made using the form below and providing the name, address, phone number and brief information regarding the need of the person you are referring.

The 1st Church CareMinistry serves members with numerous needs and are actively seeking to train new Care Ministers.  Please fill out the form below, and one of our CareMinistry leaders will contact you regarding the application and training process.

Your Name (required):

Your Email:

Your Phone Number (required):

I would like more information on:









GriefShare Recovery Support
Have you recently lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend? You’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have questions about things you’ve never faced before. 1st Church understands, and would like to reach out to offer support through GriefShare.

What is GriefShare?

GriefShare is a thirteen week program, focused on helping people learn how to understand their grief and move forward again. GriefShare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. Each GriefShare session has three distinct elements:
  • Video Seminar with Experts

Each week your GriefShare group will watch a video seminar featuring top experts on grief and recovery subjects. These videos are produced in an interesting-to-watch television magazine format featuring expert interviews, real-life case studies, dramatic reenactments and on-location video.

  • Support Group Discussion with Focus

After viewing the video, you and the other group members will spend time as a support group, discussing what was presented in that week’s video seminar and what is going on in your lives.

  • Workbook-based Personal Study and Reflection
During the week you will have the opportunity to use your workbook for further personal study of the grieving process and to help sort out your emotions through journaling. Your group will spend time discussing questions and comments from the workbook study.
The program begins in January with two meeting times available, Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and Wednesdays at 10 am. Both classes meet in room 13 on the 1st Church campus. Participants are welcome to join the group at any time. If you miss a session, you will be able to “make it up” during the next 13 week cycle. For information please email Melodie Austin at 
Take a moment to listen to Christine’s GriefShare story:


Illuminate Children’s Ministry

Igniting a Passion for Christ in the next Generation

Illuminate Children’s Ministry is dedicated to igniting a passion for Christ, allowing children to experience God’s love first hand and be able to be a spark in their homes and communities for God. We offer services to children from infant to 5th grade, with community outreach and ministry programs.
  • Children’s Worship is a dedicated time during our 9:15 am service on Sunday mornings providing inspiring worship through music, Bible lessons and prayer.
  • Connect Kids continues the atmosphere of worship by providing instruction in music, art and dance every Sunday evening at 5 pm.
  • We offer a safe, healthy and loving environment in our professionally staffed Nursery, managed by a registered nurse and several CPR certified aides for the infants to two year olds allowing them to experience God’s love and grow in grace through Bible focused videos and stories. The nursery is available Sundays from 9 am until 12:15 pm.
  • On Sundays, we also offer the Illuminate Pre-K center for children ages 3 to 5 years providing a learning environment where His word comes alive with stories, pictures, art and fun activities stimulating your children to learn more about Jesus.
Illuminate Children’s Ministry is pleased to be a part of the Good News Club, serving the children of Sallie Jones Elementary School. Every Thursday our team shares the Gospel with this ever growing group, allowing them the opportunity to experience Christ through a message, song and crafts. If you would like to be a part of our Good News Club team, please contact Jordan at for information on how you can become involved!
Safety Statement: Your child’s safety is very important to us. Therefore, children must be dropped off and picked up by their parents to all events and classes. Please pick up your children within 15 minute of the end of each session.

Music Ministries

Welcome! Whether you are a musician looking to serve the church in an exciting and dynamic music ministry or just enjoy attending our Fine Arts At First Concert Series we hope that you feel right at home here at First United Methodist Church. If you would like to learn more about joining our music ministries, please reach out.

Soli Deo Gloria!
David Bellows, Director of Music Ministries
Phone: (941) 639-3842, ext. 229



The Chancel Choir sings at the 11:00AM service on Sunday mornings. This group rehearses in the Choir Room (Room # 8) on Thursdays at 6:30PM and before the service Sunday mornings at 10:30AM. Beyond offering beautiful choral music on Sunday mornings, the choir also performs two choral concerts each year. The Choir is open to everyone. Please contact, David Bellows, Director of Music Ministries, if you would like to join this group. David’s email:

The Handbell Choir plays September to May once a month at the 8:00AM and 11:00AM services. This group rehearses on Wednesdays at 6:30PM in the Choir Room (Room # 8). There are two requirements to join this group – the ability to read music and director’s discretion. Please contact David Bellows, Director of Music Ministries, if you would like to join this group. David’s email:

The Praise Team serves in worship during our 9:15 am Contemporary service. Our team enjoys leading our contemporary service in worship music from various artists, such as Bethel, Elevation Worship, Desperation Band, Lauren Daigle, Rend Collective, Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong and more. Our team of talented musicians help establish and lead us into an atmosphere of worship every Sunday. We are currently looking for musicians to help enhance our band. For more information about our audition process, please contact Daniel Candia, Contemporary Worship Leader. Daniel’s email:

Fine Arts at First Concert Series

Stay tuned for our next concert series announcement.


Music Staff

David Bellows, Director of Music Ministries, began his formal music education at Hope College, where he earned a Bachelors in Organ Performance, studying with Huw Lewis. David received a Masters in Organ Literature and Performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Hans Davidsson. He has also studied organ with Thomas Bara, Jonathan Biggers, and Todd Wilson. David is deeply interested in all aspects of the organ and choral music. In his spare time, David enjoys perusing iTunes in search of new music to suit his eclectic tastes, finding new trails to bike down, going to the beach and drinking strong coffee.
Daniel Candia, Contemporary Worship Director





Dolores Smith, Accompanist, has been choir accompanist for the past six years and enjoys playing the gathering music on the piano at the 8AM and 11AM services. Raised in Newburgh, N.Y., she attended Potsdam State College on the northern border of New York State. Piano has always been a part of her life, starting lessons at the age of five and playing for Sunday Schools, Churches and Choral Groups. She has taught piano, accompanied for both the North Port Chorale and Charlotte Chorale, played in the two piano group, and directed the South Port Square Chorus. She enjoys visiting her two sons and their beautiful wives, three grandsons and one granddaughter (including two darling granddogs) from one end of the country to the other. Dolores enjoys reading, spending time with her friends, attending live performing arts events, taking walks along the beach and enjoying nature in Port Charlotte.


Small Group Ministry
1st Church offers several opportunities for fellowship and spiritual growth through our small group ministry programs. We hope you will be able to find a group which meets your needs and helps you strengthen your relationship with God and other believers. For information on any of the small groups below, please contact the Church office (941) 639-3842.
Wednesday Night Bible Study – An apologetics ministry: Answers in Genesis is dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible through video presentation and group discussion, regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth. The ministry believes the first 11 chapters of Genesis is the foundation of the Bible and by knowing and believing what God has inspired men to write, gives reason to why Jesus came into this world.  On Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 – Larry is leading a Chronological Bible Study using Answers in Genesis materials. Sometimes a short video accompanies a lesson. For more information please contact Larry Keller: 941-391-3940 or
Discovery Bible Class – This group is for the Bible novice as well as the individual who has studied but needs a “refresher” course of the Word. Our goal in “Discovering” is to recognize the Bible is such a precious book that as you go forward…it’s a guidebook for daily life. Discovering meets Monday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in room 13. There’s a seat awaiting you.
Extraordinary Women – A women’s group of all ages, Extraordinary Women meets Thursday mornings at 9:00 am for a time of Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. (Life Center Room 5). New members are always welcome.
Gratitudes – Gratitudes meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings in Room 9 at 7:00 pm. There is always room for more!
Lifetime Journey – The goal of Lifetime Bible study is to gain a more intimate understanding of God and His Word. As David Jeremiah says, “We don’t read the Bible just to know it, but to be changed by it…But if we want to know the Word of God, if we want to grow in it, we have to make the input.” Lifetime meets every Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in room 13. There’s a seat awaiting you.
Faith Builders – Faith Builders is a small group for believers of all ages who desire to build a Biblically strong foundation for their faith, whether that be spiritually, financially or relationally with their spouse, children, extended family or friends. Faith Builders meets on Sunday nights from 5:30-7:00 in classroom 9 during Illuminate Children’s Ministry and Middle School & High School Youth Group, which makes it a perfect time for parents to come to a Bible study. Childcare is provided for those younger families.
Men of Faith – One of our largest small group ministries, the Men of Faith meet every Thursday morning at 8:00 am for prayer, then at 9:00 for Bible study and fellowship. Men of Faith is an interfaith group centered on faith in Christ, and service to others. Men of all ages are invited to join this wonderful fellowship of believers. (Room 13).
New Voyagers – New Voyagers meets on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. We invite you to join us for a great time of fellowship and faith!
Pathfinders – The members of Pathfinders meet each Wednesday evening from 7:00 -8:30 pm. An interdenominational group, Pathfinders welcomes women interested in growing together in faith. Different studies are presented throughout the year. We are currently studying the 12 disciples of Jesus. Pathfinders is dedicated to assisting with charity and outreach in our community and around the world through projects like Operation Christmas Child. The Pathfinders meet in Seminole Lakes, a Punta Gorda gated community. For further information, contact Trish Rusca.
Sunday School at 1st Church is about discovering how spirituality is relevant in your life – how it fits into every day and shows up in everything you love to do. It’s an environment where you feel totally supported. You can ask the hardest questions as you’re figuring out how to apply spiritual truths to your own experiences. We currently offer three adult classes, children’s worship for Pre-k to 5th grade and one for our middle and high school students.
Children’s Worship – Prekindergarten to 5th grade during our 9:15 service.
United 4 Him Youth Sunday school – LC6 following Praise & Worship during our 9:15 service.
The Seekers Sunday school class – room 9 at 9:15 am.
The Paradigm Bible Class – room 13 at 9:15 am.
Harmony Bible class – room 9 at 10:30 am.

Join us for Youth Group Sundays

at 5:00 pm until 7:00pm

Students in sixth to twelfth grade are invited to join us Sundays at 5:00 pm for a time of activities and fellowship (FOOD!) followed by small group opportunities for each age group. We hope to see you there, and don’t forget to bring a few friends to United 4 Him Youth!
Under the direction of Minister of Youth, Tim Buck, the United 4 Him Youth ministry helps teens from 6th to 12th grade establish and strength a personal relationship with Christ. Through fellowship, missions work, and Bible based programs, the United 4 Him youth are learning to become young men and women of faith at 1st Church. We believe it is vital to provide an opportunity for young people to fellowship with each other on a weekly basis, both in Sunday school during our 9:15 am service, and through weekly youth programs for the Middle School and High School age groups. All youth must have a 2020 Consent & Medical Release Form signed and NOTARIZED as soon as possible.
Outreach programs
We believe it is vital for our youth to be involved in outreach to encourage young people to be active in service to God both locally and through missions opportunities.  Over the past 15 years, many of our United 4 Him teens have served on mission trips to communities not just here in Florida. They have joined teams to minister in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and even Cuba!  These mission trips give teens the opportunity to work with children, families and non-profit organizations in designated areas which are recovering from various natural disasters or work with individuals living in impoverished neighborhoods. Projects such as Work Camps have allowed teens to experience God sightings first hand, often coming back blessed by the very people that they went to help. Fundraising projects like the Purple Passion Project and Yard Sales help our youth raise funds to help others in need.
Friends and Fun
United 4 Him also has a great time of fellowship!  Our Youth Minister is always creating new monthly activities for our teens to enjoy like Noodle Hockey, the always popular Box Mazes and nighttime scavenger hunts. Summer is always busy too with weekly outings and an amazing week of camp. 1st Church invites all teens from 6th to 12th grade to come join the fun at United 4 Him Youth.   
For more information about our programs, summer youth camp, teen missions opportunities or to be put on the United 4 Him mailing list please contact our Youth Minister Tim Buck at 941-639-3842 ext. 221