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.
Looking for a Sunday Small Group?

We’re easy to find in Winnsboro!


4-4-18 FUMC Updates

THE RISEN CHRIST HAS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN AT FUMC …  what a wonderful week of worship we’ve had!  We had perfect weather for the sunrise service and we reaffirmed our baptisms while sharing the JOY of celebrating the profession of faith and sacrament of baptism with Landry, Hayden and Halle Deaton and their families!  Then we joined together to sing and worship and praise the risen Christ in our sanctuary, where we joined with visiting family members and NEW people on a beautiful Easter morning!
There are so many people to thank: Amy Moss and the worship team, Judy Beaty and the choir, Ken and Elaina Ragsdale for offering their home for sunrise service, Don Beaty and the men who cooked breakfast, Elaina and Julie Lewis for their beautiful altarscapes, for Jim Dyson and Ed Page for taking pictures (I’ll get them out as soon as I get them!!), and of course, Laquita for ALL the extra work she did with me this week!!  We are so very, very blessed to have amazing TEAM PLAYERS who are using their spiritual gifts in such amazing ways!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT STARTS BACK WITH A FEAST!! Chicken Excelsior w/rice, glazed carrots, spinach and fruit salad and DESSERT!  Our Fellowship Meal team will be here, this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., to start cooking.  If you brought dishes for the Noe bereavement meal, you can pick those up anytime after 12:30 pm.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR A CONVERSATION ABOUT GRIEF …  The United Methodist Women are inviting the congregation, anyone who is able to attend, to hear their Guest Speaker, Becky Carpenter, on the subject of Finding Hope in the Midst of Grief and Pain.  Ms. Carpenter will be speaking on Thursday, April 12th at 10:00 a.m. in Asbury Hall.  We hope many of you can attend this very special event!
Bible Talk, Tuesdays at 9 AM, Asbury Hall  ... men and women are invited to join me for a walk through the KEY chapters in the Bible, starting with Genesis 1.  Bring your study Bibles and a friend and come for this conversational deep look at important scriptures!  I’ll put the chapter we’ll be doing each week on Facebook on MONDAY AM.
Women’s Community Bible study with Linda Suche, Wednesdays, 9 am, Asbury Hall ... a new study begins NEXT Wednesday, April 11th, so make plans to be there!
MORE: Faith, Hope & Love, Thursdays, 8:45 AM, at the Clara Ida Frances LOFT (Main at Elm) … I’m very excited to be doing a 4 WEEK object study (men and women invited) on common things in our lives that bring out reminders of our faith.  Thanks to Janet Schma for hosting!! (There is one flight of stairs.)
ARE YOU ON THE PRAYER CHAIN? If you can receive text messages and want to get INSTANT prayer up[dates (8:30 am – 8:30 pm), please let us know.
OUR DATABASE IS ALMOST READY:  Laquita has been working hard to import all your names, birthdays, addresses, cell phone numbers, etc. and we’ll be creating a PRIVATE page on the website for everyone to have access to that information. Do we have all YOUR information?

New Way for Laity to Stay Informed!

Voice of the Laity

East District Conference Call

April 3, 2018 at 6 p.m.

What: East District Conference Call “Voice of the Laity”
When: Tuesday April, 3, 2018 at 6 p.m. – will be about a 15–20 minute call
Location: (712) 770–4751

  • When you call, you’ll hear the following: “Welcome to free conference call.com, please enter your ID#.” You then enter: 995279
  • You’ll hear the next message that says, “press star now if you are the host.” Since you’re not the host, no further input required.
  • You’ll be asked to “state your name,” feel free to do so or not. You will be joined to the call.

Why: This will be a monthly call to review:

  • General announcements from North Texas Conference
  • Upcoming calendar dates that may be of interest to the laity
  • Information from the North Texas Conference Board of Laity

Topics for this month include:

  • Intro and contact info for me — Stephen Gillem, District Lay Leader
  • Key calendar dates:
  • Information from Board of Laity:
    • Helping to grow gatherings of new faces in new spaces
    • Stronger alignment with NTC Centers of Missional OutreachChurch DevelopmentLeadership Development, and Connectional Resources
    • Summary of new leadership training, from Leadership Development Center, Marti Soper, Director:
      • Program about adaptive leadership: helping to be a leader that’s learning, listening, and growing with our changing world
      • Holmes Coaching Group — grows leaders through on-line program focused on ministry, working with peers, and individual coaching. Includes eight group sessions, six individual sessions. Cost is $880, but discounted to $440 thru the church.
  • Other: questions, topics would like to know more about each month, what support you need.
Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” hey gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. 

Debbie Lyons, Pastor

First United Methodist Church Winnsboro

CLICK HERE for our Facebook

CLICK HERE for our website

 (903) 342-6172 (TEXT 972-896-5254)


3-7-18 FUMC Updates

It’s hard to believe Easter is less than 4 weeks away … and we still have so much to talk about on our journey to the cross!  This Sunday, we look at the EMPTY TOMB and the different people who all witnessed the same thing but had such different reactions … read Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20 for an overview of the story.
PALM SUNDAYMarch 25, kids gather at 10:40 am ... I want to start talking about HOLY WEEK, the most sacred 7 days of the entire year and I’ll be talking more specifically about different events as we get closer.  But Holy Week begins with PALM SUNDAY, on March 25th and the children are ALL invited to meet in the lobby at 10:40 to be part of the palm processional.  (Yes, their friends are welcome too!!) We will have a very special guest this Sunday as the kids process through the sanctuary preparing the way for Jesus and His triumphant entry to Jerusalem for His last time.
EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE: 7 am ...  again, all the Easter events are on the website and I’ll be talking about Holy Thursday and Good Friday next week, but I do want to tell you that the 2 Easter services will be very different … the Easter sunrise service at 7 am will be at Ken and Elaina Ragsdale’s home and will be led by our high school kids who have been working with me on a Lenten study together.  It will focus on BAPTISM, as the early morning service always DID in the the ancient church, and I want you to have information about it now (CLICK HERE). If you or your children have not been baptized and God is calling you to baptism, this is a special, beautifully designed worship experience centered around BAPTISM (and we will all remember our baptisms!) so please call if you or your children would like to be baptized!
LEARNING NEW SONGS: From Billy Graham … a friend of mine shared this letter from Billy Graham with me this week and I found great comfort in his wise words (CLICK here for the Facebook post).  I have confessed that I am not a MUSIC person … I can’t read music, I don’t listen to music on the radio and I don’t have ANY music on my phone!  But I DO believe music plays an important role in praising and worshiping God!  I also believe that because different generations of people like different kinds of music, when trying to reach people of different ages and stages of faith, sometimes it’s best to BLEND music styles, which is why I gave Judy Beaty 6-7 ideas for new songs to learn and let her choose what the choir wants to teach us.  (If YOU have some ideas, let us know!) 
We’ll work through the process of learning IN CHRIST ALONE, (click here), the beautiful song that tells the story of Easter in such a lovely song!  After we sing it a time or two more, I know even the angels will be smiling!! 
WE ARE CREATING A NEW DATABASE: thanks to our CRAFTERS, we are so excited to be starting a NEW database that will allow us to keep much better records of names, addresses, phone numbers, attendance etc. etc. I know we have MOST of your contact info but will you please take a moment and send us some details so we can be sure to have current info … once we get all the data confirmed, we will be able to print a PASSWORD PROTECTED picture directory, on the website, for you!  For everyone in your family please send us:
           (Children, please share their birth year)
     CELL PHONE (Can you receive text messages?)
THANKS FOR BEING PART OF THE VISION MEETINGS: we had a great final meeting on Sunday and thanks to everyone who attended Pie with the Pastors, any of the 3 Vision conversations, or who took the survey.  The 3 main focus areas will be presented to the CHURCH COUNCIL for review but the 3 ideas that developed were:
1) Revamp our children/youth Sunday school on SUNDAY MORNINGS
2) Begin a congregational care team to visit and serve communion to those in nursing homes or are homebound
3) Put together 2 community service days a year to help our neighbors with yard work, etc.
Bread, Broth and Bible Study: come and join us Wednesday night at 5:45 … it’s supposed to be a BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY day so don’t miss it!  Questions for Brother Henry’s bible study are attached for this week and next week!
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. PS 95:1

Debbie Lyons, Pastor

First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
CLICK HERE for our website

 (903) 342-6172 (TEXT 972-896-5254)


2-28-18 FUMC Updates

What an honor to be part of a team of clergy and lay leaders in our North Texas Conference who have the privilege of interviewing the future pastors of our church!  We interviewed 16 incredible candidates this week and I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to see the energy and ideas flowing into the United Methodist Church – VERY EXCITING!
Our worship series, EMPTINESS TRANSFORMED continues this week with a look at the EMPTY Heart at the Cross … I posted the audio of last week’s message today (click here) if you want to catch up, but please know that Easter is quickly approaching so be sure to get all the important dates on your calendar! Find all the Easter activities HERE.
Thanks to all of you who have taken the survey (last chance is FRIDAY 3/2, click HERE) … this will be a working lunch to focus in our priorities for 2018 … please PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for discernment!! (And yes, there will be dessert!)
TEXT & ONLINE GIVING … have you tried it? (Click here): please try it and let me know what you think! 
          TEXT GIVING … it’s so easy!  Just text a $amount to 903-228-4944 (save this # under GIVING or something you’ll remember) … try it now, $10 minimum …it’s very easy and the set-up is simple and the 2nd time you text an offering there is no set-up at all and you can get immediate confirmations.
         ONLINE GIVING … what’s awesome about online giving is you can schedule recurring payments on the days of your choice. Again, the first time you set it up takes a few minutes 
PRAYER BLANKET MINISTRY … thanks to the Friendly Seeker’s class for their $100 donation to this new ministry!  6 families have been blessed by these beautiful prayer quilts and I anticipate many more WILL be in the future!
BREAD, BROTH & BIBLE STUDY ... questions attached for next week … we’re praying for better weather so we have a great, big fellowship celebration next week!  brother Henry’s questions are attached!
I want to thank Priscilla Massey for coordinating Christmas in the Park and I KNOW she will be missed as she leaves to answer God’s call to serve in the mission field!  Priscilla met Vickie Fogey from the Pine Street Baptist Church and she will assume the duties of Coordinator for Christmas in the Park and we are so happy and pleased that Christmas in the Park will continue as a wonderful event in Winnsboro as it has for the past 14 years! Janat Erwin has agreed to be the coordinator for OUR church and will work closely with Vickie on anything concerning our Church participation … we already have 13 tables reserved and the United Methodist Men will continue to do the lunch! Janat will get with the five different divisions in our church, UMM, crafters, quilters, bake goods & Rada, soon to answer any questions about more detailed table requirements or anything else those groups need.  Priscilla wants to thank everyone for their help and participation last year and she is confident that this year will be a huge success for our Church and for Christmas in the Park!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11

Debbie Lyons, Pastor

First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
CLICK HERE for our website


2-7-18 FUMC Updates

I just love the seasons of the church calendar … there’s a sense of balance, of richness, in the liturgical rhythm of the change from one important season to another. This Sunday, THE TRANSFIGURATION is a pivotal moment in the calendar when we transition from the season after Christmas to the pre-Easter season of Lent.  I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin the journey toward the CROSS together!
What a GREAT meal we had last week with so many people and so much energy! I always post the menu on the website calendar AND on Facebook when I know it so most of you know tonight is MEATLOAF-MASHED POTATOES-GREEN BEANS!  Bring a friend and come!
BREAD, BROTH and BIBLE STUDY … Wednesdays beginning 2/14, 5:45 pm
Speaking of transitions, with the Lent season approaching on Wednesday, February 14th, we are shifting our meals to that of a more SACRIFICIAL time of fellowship … the season of LENT is a solemn religious season that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation for EASTER through prayer, penance/repentance of sins, acts of charity, and self-denial.  On Wednesday nights during Lent, I ask that you be ESPECIALLY generous with your love offering because we intend to keep the meals VERY simple, and very inexpensive to serve so we can observe a sacrificial meal AND give the proceeds to the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco.  Yes, this means NO DESSERT … this means that when we look at that empty dessert table with cravings for those yummy sweets, we remember the sacrifice Christ made for us!
ASH WEDNESDAY, February 14th, 6:45 pm in the SANCTUARY
This is absolutely one of the most sacred nights of the year and I hope you’ll make it a priority … we will gather in the sanctuary and remember that there has been NO GREATER LOVE than that we have been given through the death of our Savior, and we will remember our mortality by imposing ashes on our foreheads.
We will have our lite fellowship meal, bread and soup, then at 6:30, Brother Henry will teach a Lenten Bible study … SEE ATTACHED outline so you can be prepared for the discussion. Each week we’ll send you the outline ahead of time so you can print it at home and do some preparation.
PARENTS:  Some special Lent programs for Kids
HIGH SCHOOL: starting 2/18, 9:45 am the High School kids will be hanging out with me in the FLC to talk about why Easter is MORE than just a day. Please encourage your HS kids to not only come, but to bring a friend.
YOUNGER KIDS: Carla plans a lesson for the younger kids after Wednesday night Fellowship Meals but starting 2/21, they TOO will be taking a closer look at this special season of Lent. I hope you will take turns to support our kids and “shadow” Carla and she teaches the Wednesday night kids.
WOMEN OF THE CHURCH: have you considered getting more involved? The United Methodist Women have their regular monthly meeting this Thursday at 10 am and YOU’RE INVITED to join them!! 
VISIONING CONTINUES … Monday, February 12th 6:30-8PM in FLC
Our last VISIONING MEETING is next Monday and we’ll be zeroing in on the 3 focus areas for 2018 … please be sure to take the survey that will be coming tomorrow … you will only have through SUNDAY to complete it so when you get it, click it right away!
Thanks to all of you on the prayer chain who are praying – it’s been a busy week and PRAYER MATTERS!  Please reply to this email if you want to be added to the text prayer chain.
– Pat Ragsdale in the Winnsboro Hospital
– Bonnie Crosby in the Winnsboro Hospital
– Dr. Dela Cruz is home from the hospital
– Cyndie Ewert’s mother, Andrea, facing serious health challenges
– For James and Ruth Nieman who are struggling with medical issues
– Jean Thurman having cataract surgery tomorrow
– For someone having serious medical tests today 
– For someone looking intensely for a new job
– For our City Council as they work through some management challenges
– For the Brumley family after the loss of their mom/wife/friend, Sissy
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;  COL 4:2
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
CLICK HERE for our website


1-25-18 FUMC Updates

Thanks to everyone who came to the VISIONING meeting on Monday night – what an AMAZING night we had celebrating the incredible church memories that have “stuck” with people, identifying the “DNA” of our church (loving/caring/welcoming) and looking at the demographics of who REALLY lives in our community.  There are almost 68,000 people in a 20 mile radius of our church and the vast majority are 55 and older … this is very unique to our community when compared to the state as a whole. We also discussed the fact that since Jesus has given us our MISSION … to GO, MAKE DISCIPLES, our focus should be on the 57% of people in a 20 mile radius who are NOT involved in a religious community. (If you are interested in demographic research, please let me know – it’s QUITE fascinating!)
OUR NEXT VISIONING: Monday, February 5, 6:30 – 8 PM … we’ll be getting deeper into the specifics of where God is calling us to put our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness in order to make new disciples for Jesus Christ.  We have one POWER HOUR of worship on Sunday mornings to make a first impression AND help each other grow in our faith – is the sermon, music, liturgy, etc. what it needs to be to be the BEST it can be? Do we need a team to focus on COMMUNITY EVENTS to bridge relationships with those outside our church?  Do we need more focus on CHILDREN?  Or YOUTH? Or EMPTY NESTERS?  Or ACTIVE SENIORS? Is our “aesthetic evangelism” holding us back? What do NEW people see, smell, feel, experience when they come? (A young man who was at the first visioning workshop told me last night with AUTHENTIC honesty that our church feels like his great grandmother’s house … I asked him if there was a lot of LOVE in that house and he said “Yes, but it’s a really old house.”) 
I was going to send a survey out to the congregation this week but I’m going to wait until after our NEXT visioning meeting so we have some more time to talk before zeroing in on specifics. I will, however, be putting a survey on our FACEBOOK asking people who are NOT CONNECTED to a religious community to share WHY … you should see that on Facebook next week. STAY TUNED!
HIGH SCHOOL KIDS:  we’re REVIVING an old tradition … STEAK NIGHT AT MY HOUSE, this Saturday, 1/27, 5 PM … after a great confirmation conversation this week, the parents decided to have a relaxed, “no agenda” night for ALL the high school kids to talk about “what’s next”.  I have sent an email to all the kids that we KNOW of but please be sure to spread the news to your kids/grandkids that I might not know about.  Ken Ragsdale is handling the food with the parents and we WOULD like to have an idea of how many kids to fire up the grill for … I’ve heard from MANY of you and I’m excited to get to know these kids!
FINANCE COMMITTEE UPDATE: the finance committee had a great meeting this week and your 2018 year end statements will be in the mail next week. Thanks to ALL of you who give so generously to God!
We have  decided NOT to publish the weekly offering amounts in the bulletin because after discussing the purpose of reporting that number, we see better ways to be transparent about our financial position.  Instead, we will be announcing when Church Council Meetings are and everyone is always welcome to attend and discuss finances as well as other things, and we will make quarterly updates from the pulpit.  Our monthly financial statements are ALWAYS available as we are an “open book” so feel free to contact us if you have questions.
We’re also working on some other exciting things and I can’t wait to share them with you soon!
BASIC and ADVANCED LAY LEADERSHIP TRAINING … March 10th and 24thFUMC Deport. How wonderful to have training in our own back yard!!  Basic Lay Servant Training and an advanced class: “Called to Preach”. (The Called to Preach is a new course that is replacing the “Go Preach”.  The book we will be using is titled “From Pew to Pulpit” by Clifton F Guthrie.)  Classes are open to anyone interested and you are NOT required to become a Lay Servant.  The Basic Class is useful for anyone interested in being an active member of the church.  (Anyone whose last training was in 2015 or before needs to recertify this year)  Contact  LORI MASSEY, East District Director of Lay Servant (Speaking) Ministries 903-227-0302
GO CAMP for KIDSOur very own KIMBERLY NOE is going to be one of the volunteers at these fabulous new GO CAMPS that bring the CAMP to the KIDS … a great weekend camp outside of Paris, TX. February 23-25 in Detroit, TX (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS) or the summer camp in July:  CLICK HERE FOR THE JULY CAMP. Please don’t let financial concerns keep your children/grandchildren from participating – talk to me!!
RADA CUTLERY UPDATE …The sale of Rada cutlery continues to be UMW’s main income source.  A new order will be submitted soon.  Call 903-629-2259 if you will be needing anything for yourself or a gift. CLICK HERE to see the catalog.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING DAY: 1/27, 9 am – NOON, 1st UMC Sulphur Springs  … one of the true benefits of being a CONNECTIONAL denomination is that we have learning and growing opportunities from a GREAT group of leaders outside the walls of our own church. Your elected leaders are ALL encouraged to attend this workshop but it is for EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH!  We are especially excited about this year’s training with ALL the Center Director Leaders from our Conference Office – this is a RARE opportunity to learn from the LEADERS!   They will open the day with their work and plans for 2018 and then open up the floor for a panel discussion with questions and responses. When this is over we will adjourn into five breakout sessions and YOU GET TO CHOOSE which of these are of interest to YOU!  
– Working in discipleship ministries, children and youth, camping and retreats, and adult Christian formation. (This is a VERY important area for us!)
– How to organize a mission team to south Texas to help with ongoing rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey this year. 
– How churches can experience church vitality and new energy through community engagement. 
–  Those interested in the finances and asset management of the church will appreciate the administrative issues and new laws and policies that will affect local churches.
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15–16)
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook