All are welcome at Winnsboro’s First Church so dive on in! We are a warm and welcoming congregation where you can meet people, celebrate life, grow deeper, stronger in your faith and turn energy into action that transforms the world. EVERYONE is invited and if you’d like us to meet you at the door, email us HERE and we’ll be there! 
Sunday Morning Worship

10:50 a.m.

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watch past Sunday services and/or devotionals.
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past Sunday services and/or devotionals.
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On November 1st it will be one year since I was appointed to serve as your Pastor and I have loved getting to know you, learning about the DNA of the church, getting involved in the community and exploring ways we can share the love of Christ with those who do not know His love! As we look back at 2018, and begin looking ahead to 2019, I want to invite you to our ALL CHURCH CHARGE CONFERENCE, and I want to encourage you ALL to please come …

Monday, October 15th

6:30 PM … Wesley Hall

(All professing members of the church are members of this COnference but everyone is invited to attend.)

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

An annual Charge Conference is designed to report the business of the church (budgets/finances, membership numbers, professions of faith, baptisms, etc.) and also discuss future business goals and decisions. This year, church members will, for example, vote on creating a FOUNDATION with the money from the Milner Estate.

Here is some of what our Book of Discipline says this:
¶ 246. General Provisions-1. Within the pastoral charge the basic unit in the connectional system of The United Methodist Church is the charge conference. The charge conference shall therefore be organized from the church or churches in every pastoral charge as set forth in the Constitution (¶ 43). It shall meet annually for the purposes set forth in ¶ 247. It may meet at other times as indicated in § 7 below.

2. The membership of the charge conference shall be all members of the church council or other appropriate body, together with retired ordained ministers and retired diaconal ministers who elect to hold their membership in said charge conference and any others as may be designated in the Discipline. If more than one church is on the pastoral charge, all members of each church council shall be members of the charge conference.

2. The membership of the charge conference shall be all members of the church council or other appropriate body, together with retired ordained ministers and retired diaconal ministers who elect to hold their membership in said charge conference and any others as may be designated in the Discipline. If more than one church is on the pastoral charge, all members of each church council shall be members of the charge conference.

¶ 247. Powers and Duties-1. The charge conference shall be the connecting link between the local church and the general Church and shall have general oversight of the church council(s).

2. The charge conference, the district superintendent, and the pastor, when a pastor has been appointed (see ¶205.4), shall organize and administer the pastoral charge and churches according to the policies and plans herein set forth. When the membership size, program scope, mission resources, or other circumstances so require, the charge conference may, in consultation with and upon the approval of the district superintendent, modify the organizational plans, provided that the provisions of ¶ 243 are observed. Such other circumstances may include, but not limited to, alternative models for the conception of a local church, such as coffee house ministries, mall ministries, outdoor ministries, retirement home ministries, restaurant ministries, and other emergent ways in which people can gather in God’s name to be the church.

3. The primary responsibilities of the charge conference in the annual meeting shall be to review and evaluate the total mission and ministry of the church (¶¶ 120-124), receive reports, and adopt objectives and goals recommended by the church council that are in keeping with the objectives of The United Methodist Church.

Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
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9-11-18 FUMC Updates …

I hope you enjoyed week 1 of our NEW 4 week worship series on FAITH in FILM … there’s nothing like watching a good movie, getting caught up in the story, sitting on the edge of your seat. If you want to laugh—there’s comedy. If you want to cry—there’s a chick flick. Thrills, action, drama—everything we long for, because we love stories, we long for adventure, we want to escape. Next week, we’ll be looking at Les Miserables, one of the greatest historical novels of all time, and we’ll be hitting the concepts of GRACE vs. LAW head on.  This will be a terrific Sunday to invite friends because this is NOT your typical sermon series!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT FELLOWSHIP DINNERS ARE BACK!  5:45 pm … We’re having hamburgers this week so don’t miss it! Your love offerings are welcome!
ALPHA IS UP AND RUNNING!  Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8 PM … I have heard so many great comments from everyone and I’m so excited to know you all sense what I sense about this amazing ministry!  It will really help us if you let us know you’ll be staying after dinner so we can get you connected to a group … you can find details HERE and register there also, or just reply to this email.  ALPHA is an “all inclusive” course so it’s hard to drop in and out so please try to come this week and see what you think – I don’t want you to miss a thing!!
THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th … WE’RE CLEANING UP WESLEY HALL!! 9/15, 9am – NOON, donuts and coffee … Yeeee haaaa!! The hard work is coming to an end and that means we can move back into Wesley Hall – but we need ALL HANDS ON DECK to help us get our space spic and span!  Won’t you PLEASE join us this Saturday morning -we’ll be cleaning windows, wiping down walls, putting furniture back, dusting blinds, etc. etc.  Please bring:
–  a roll of paper towels and all your favorite cleaning supplies, especially windex
– long arm dusters and Swiffers
– step stools
– mops and dust brooms
FUTURE UPDATES PLANNED … Please remember, the money that has been used for the Wesley Hall project did not come out of our normal operations maintenance budget (which we have yet to build up to be able to DO these long overdue maintenance projects). This money was made possible from a generous bequest from the Virginia Holly Estate following her death.  The trustees have worked EXCEPTIONALLY hard to be EXCEPTIONALLY good stewards of that incredible gift and I can’t thank them enough! We will be working toward Asbury Hall updates in the new year as funds are available, so stay tuned to be amazed by God! We know we have some foundation repairs to be made and we’re researching those costs now.
The high school kids are going to see THE PROMISE, and they’ll be RAISING THE MONEY for this exciting experience! (STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS) Parents … Ken will be sending the details and the permission slips that you’ve all been communicating about but here are the BASICS … thanks to KADE MARTIN who will be going along to chaperone!!
     9/22 …7:30 AM … MEET AT Family Life Center … departure
          Kayaking the Brazos River (bring snacks, sunscreen, etc.)
          Going to see THE PROMISE at 8 pm
     9/23 … 12:30/1pm … BACK AT FLC
UMW MEETING: Thursday,  9/13 … 10 am … all women are invited to attend and find out more!
Find other ongoing events on the calendar!
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. John 1:16


8-27-18 FUMC Updates

As school goes back and the days begin to get a little shorter, I start looking forward to FALL! This is such a great time of transition and after Labor Day, things kick back into gear in a BIG way! On September 5th, Wednesday night Fellowship dinners start back, choir rehearsals start back, and ALPHA starts … and on September 19th the Wednesday morning Women’s Bible starts back!  Mark your calendars!
I can not BEGIN to tell you how excited I am about ALPHA starting!  I have seen more than 800 people go through this discipleship making program and in almost EVERY case, people’s lives are enriched tremendously! When Jeannie Montgomery, (someone from a past class) saw we were doing Alpha in Winnsboro, she said … “Alpha was instrumental in developing my deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian! I loved the format of small group discussions and developed life long friendships.” PLEASE take a moment to register here, or reply to this email and let us know you’ll be joining us as we are training small group facilitators and want to be ready!  All kids, K – 12 will have classes that night WITH us so invite all your friends who have kids to come too!  
We’ll also start a NEW worship series on September 9th which is designed to be very non-threatening for people who may be thinking about checking out our church.  Don’t think the messages won’t be deep … oh, they WILL, but our GOD IN THE MOVIES series will have something for everyone and you won’t have to seen any of the movies to get the GOD message!
SPIRITUAL GIFTS and SERVICE: we have received 14 forms back from people who have shared their passion for places to serve but I’d sure love to hear from a few more people!  God has plans for our church and it will take ALL of us to use the gifts He has given us to reach the people and serve the people for Jesus Christ. Come know the joy and let us know where you might want to plug in! (SEE ATTACHED)
LAITY DAY in the EAST DISTRICT … Saturday, September 8, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. First UMC Sulphur Springs… this is always an exciting day for laity to gather from around East Texas to brainstorm TOGETHER ideas for the growth of the church. Members of the North Texas Conference leadership team are there to help facilitate the conversation on NEW FACES-NEW SPACES and this is essential if the Church is to make new disciples for Jesus Christ. (SEE LETTER FROM BISHOP ATTACHED)
SEE THE CHURCH CALENDAR for regular weekly activities and meeting schedules.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, 
and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook


8-24-18 FUMC Updates

How exciting to have a chance to talk about SPIRITUAL GIFTS this past Sunday … I really struggled with whether or not to share a brief description of all the gifts but so many people said they appreciated knowing and recognizing how other gifts interact with their own! Whew, it was a lot to cover but after taking the gift inventory online (CLICK HERE) it probably means a lot more! 
I hope you all received a handout after church asking you to let us know where God might be guiding you to serve … when you’re using your spiritual gifts you’ll feel JOY so this is definitely something worth exploring!  I’ve attached the form again and I’m asking you to bring the forms back to church on Sunday, leave them with an usher, or feel free to drop them off by the office! 
MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL PARENT and PIZZA MEETING … Wednesday, 8/22, 6:00 PM, FLC … parents and kids, please come to our KICK-OFF  to talk about all our plans for this semester, starting Wednesday, September 5th  … we want LOTS of input and we’ll be talking about: Sunday mornings, an exciting program we have planned for Wednesday nights, social activities, mission opportunities, etc.
ALPHA COMING SEPTEMBER 5th … I am so VERY excited to be bringing this incredible program to Winnsboro and please know, this is a GREAT opportunity to invite friends who may not have a church home! This 10 week course will start with our fabulous fellowship meal, then have an engaging video, followed by small group conversation … the weekly topics SOUND basic and oh, they are anything but basic! We do ask that you REGISTER HERE because we are training small group facilitators and we’ll need to know how many groups to have.  PLEASE REGISTER!  Then, watch for our FACEBOOK posts (which you will see often!) and SHARE them on your own page … it’s the most affordable promotion we have when we share with friends!
HAVE YOU BEEN ON A WALK TO EMMAUS? Please let me know!
In 1994 I went on a 3 day spiritual journey that changed my life! The Walk to Emmaus (which, by the way has very LITTLE walking!) was developed by the United Methodist UPPER ROOM as a non-denominational discipleship journey to help people grow in their faith and become leaders in the church. If you remember, after Jesus rose from the dead, He met some of His followers returning home and they did not recognize Him (Luke 24:13-35) and on this spiritual retreat, participants focus on knowing what it TRULY means to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  If you have been on a walk to Emmaus, let me know when and where!
BELONGING to a TABLE OF GRACE: 8/26, 9/2 …these next 2 Sundays are transitional Sundays and people are winding down from summer and not yet settling into “after Labor Day” routines. I hope you’ll be sure to join us as we talk about the simple elements used at the communion table … the bread and the juice.  We will serve juice on September 2nd from the grapes we harvested!
GOD at the MOVIES: 9/9-9/30 … the 1st few weeks after Labor Day are the SECOND most important Sundays for us to welcome and invite NEW people to church!  (New Year resolutions bring the MOST visitors!) For this reason, the fall worship series should be non-threatening, applicable to people’s lives and thoroughly engaging and what better way to do all those things than to talk about MOVIES! Movies have a way of communicating God’s fingerprints in POWERFUL ways and we’ll look at POPULAR movies that most people are either familiar with or can watch on NetFlix or On-Demand. But don’t worry – we’ll show short, meaningful snippets of each film, enough to communicate the GOD MESSAGE and give everyone the WHOLE picture in a short time.
Thanks so much for returning your SPIRITUAL GIFTS FORMS  .. and don’t forget to REGISTER FOR ALPHA


8-7-18 FUMC Updates

It’s hard to believe that school starts on AUGUST 16th … where did the summer go? It was great to see new faces in church on Sunday and it was wonderful to see families back who have been traveling, seeing family and enjoying vacations!  I could really feel YOUR energy on Sunday and I truly believe it comes from the power of the Holy Spirit who is doing incredible things in our church! Aren’t we blessed to be part of it!

Thanks for indulging me on Sunday to explain how to CHECK-IN on your Facebook app when you get to church … believe me, ALL of this is new to me BUT … when you check-in at the church when you get there on Sunday and invite others to come and join us (or tune into the sermon which will usually come at about 11:15) more and more people feel the energy too! I’ve reposted the notes from last week below so you can try it and be ready to check-in on Sunday!

We wrap up our worship series on Daniel this week and how appropriate that Chapter 12 brings us to a GLORIOUS FORECAST! (Call for study notes). We’ll then spend a few weeks on some miscellaneous subjects like spiritual gifts (have you done YOUR inventory? CLICK HERE), and I can’t wait for our next communion Sunday because we’ll talk in depth about this holy sacrament, but we’ll also have an opportunity to harvest some of the GRAPES we’ll use for the juice that day! 

HELLO HARVEST! Saturday, August 18th, 7am – Noonish … some of you have seen my pictures on Facebook or heard me talk about the wonderful experience I had at Mary White and Brad Scharf’s vineyard a few weeks ago … not only did I meet a lot of people, but it was so VERY rewarding to see these magnificent vines that started as nothing 4 years ago explode with gorgeous, sweet grapes! Mary and Brad have invited us all to be part of the FARM to TABLE harvest, and in OUR case, it will be part of the farm to HEAVENLY table harvest! Not only will we slice the grapes from the vines, (the tools make it remarkably easy!), we will then STOMP some of the grapes and THEN (because we’re Methodist!!) Ken Atkins and some of the guys will be cooking Ken’s FAMOUS barbecue chicken!  Anyone who wants to bring a simple salad, it would be appreciated!  Stay tuned for more details next week!

WATCH FOR A NEW LOOK ON OUR BULLETINS THIS SUNDAY … in order to cut down on the amount of time spent on announcements and make more time for worship, we are going to try to add value to our bulletins by adding more details on activities.  We throw away most bulletins every week and if we’re spending the money to print them, perhaps if they have more information, people will take them home and use them more. Give us a few weeks to see how it goes and then let us know what you think!  (Of course, we also have the weekly email, Facebook and the website!)

MISSED A SERMON? WATCH NOW ON FACEBOOK … I continue to be ABSOLUTELY amazed by technology (and THANK-YOU Kade Martin for saving the day this past Sunday!) … the fact that we can be in little ol’ Winnsboro, TX. and people all over the world can hear a message of Christ??? WOW!! We are, of course, broadcasting live so that people who may not have a faith community connection might find a reason to come and know what that feeling of belonging really is all about … want to help us spread the word???  See the notes on checking in below – and share the Facebook posts to YOUR page!

United Methodist Women invite you to meet our newly Elected County Judge, Lucy Hebron! Thursday, August 9th, 10 am … everyone is welcome to come meet our new judge as the UMC kicks off a new year! You’ll hear a wonderful faith story and enjoy a great morning of fellowship – don’t miss it!

JOIN THE FREE CONFERENCE CALL: Monday, 8/13, 10 am … We’re so excited to explore NEW SPACES for NEW FACES and this free conference call is designed to help us share and develop NEW IDEAS with church leaders and pastors from ALL over the Conference!! Everyone is welcome to call in – the calls are FREE but you’ll need to download the ZOOM app to participate … CLICK here to download the app so you’re ready for the 10 AM call on 6/11.

GET CONNECTED THIS WEEK: Click here for Calendar details


  1. Download the Facebook app from your Apple or Android APP store and make sure your LOCATIONS SERVICE is ON in your settings.
  2. Once downloaded, sign into Facebook which will bring you to your own page
  3. Scroll down past your picture and your name and your information and just BELOW the words ABOUT PHOTOS   FRIENDS, you’ll see your profile picture, in a circle, and to the right you’ll see WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND … click WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND
  4. Scroll down to Check In
  5. Here you will see a list of places/businesses near you …


To check into our church on Sunday when you come on Sunday …

  1. Sign into Facebook on your phone
  2. Scroll down past your picture and your name and your information and just BELOW the words ABOUT PHOTOS FRIENDS, you’ll see your profile picture, in a circle, and to the right you’ll see WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND … click WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND
  3. Here you will see a list of places/businesses near you and First Methodist Winnsboro should be on the top so click that
  4. You will then have the OPTION of tagging your FRIENDS so they know you are at 1st UMC Winnsboro! (Click lots of people you’d like to see the worship service broadcast!!)

5.Click NEXT which will bring you to a map of where the church is located and THEN, write a little something like “So glad to be with all my friends at 1st Church – come join us!” Or … “IF you can’t be here we’ll miss you but watch the Facebook live stream in about 30 minutes!”