From left: Tom Palmer, Deanna Goodman, Mike Ridgley, Amy Richardson and Kathy Baker. 

Community service has been an ongoing effort for the First United Methodist Church of Coppell (FUMCC) since 1879 when the church first opened it doors. Now 140 years later, the church is still continuing that service.

On Sunday the church will celebrate its 140th anniversary as the first church to serve Coppell. The original building was located in Old Town and was first called Grapevine Springs Methodist Church. About 11 years later, Coppell became an official city, and the church later changed its name.

“What we’ve been doing particularly this year is tapping into that original DNA of celebrating our anniversary by serving this community in Christ’s name,” said Lead Pastor Tom Palmer.

Last week, volunteers from the church conducted a series of community service projects to commemorate its anniversary. They built wheelchair ramps, repaired homes and worked in the city’s community garden and on the city’s walking tails.

But the extent of the church’s service far surpasses last week’s efforts. For years the church volunteers have partnered with organizations like Metrocrest Services to help its Sack Summer Program, Christian Community Action and Coppell Cares. For more than 25 years, the church has served breakfast at the Austin Street Shelter in Dallas.

Palmer said the church has been making an effort to reach out to meet people of the community of different ethnicities to learn more about their cultures and backgrounds.

“Our community here is becoming more and more diverse, and we embrace that, and we’re wanting to build bridges of understanding and compassion,” Palmer said.

Sunday’s anniversary service will bring in former FUMCC pastors and the area bishop. After the service, church members will take about 500 kits filled with  water, non perishable food, hygiene products and other items to pass out to the homeless.

Palmer said he hopes the church will be able to continue to serve for years to come.

“What we’re seeing this Sunday is not just a way of remembering the past but launching us into the future,” Palmer said. “We’re seeking to be a church that will be vibrant here in another 140 years and tap into our vision to be one growing family in Christ, sharing God’s love with all our neighbors.”

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