All About FUMC Shreveport

FUMC Shreveport 1 Vision

It is the mission of First United Methodist Church to embrace and extend God’s grace while passionately growing servant leaders.
That sounds great, right? But what does it mean? How does that actually look? What can we personally do to help our church family achieve that mission?
For us as a church family, living out this mission requires each of us to personally:

  • CONNECT on a personal level with others through small groups
  • GROW through taking responsibility for our own discipleship
  • SERVE others through local and global missions and
  • LEAD others to connect, grow, serve and lead

By really focusing on these areas as individuals and as a church family, we know we can live into our mission and truly embrace grace, extend grace, grow into and help others grow into the servant leaders God wants us to be.

Take a look at the areas below. Think and pray about where you can be involved in each area.

For as long as there have been followers of Jesus, they have been gathering together and belonging one to another in a dynamic way. It is our desire that everyone involved in First United Methodist Church, Shreveport would belong to a close knit group for the purposes of a deeper and more vibrant life.Check out to sign up for a small group today!Contact Erik Rasmussen at (318)424-7771 or to find out more.

We seek to live lives of significance in the world for the glory of God. It is our goal to provide everyone with the spiritual tools needed to grow and strengthen their relationship with Christ, coming together as a community of believers and reaching out to those in need.If you are interested in taking your discipleship journey personally, check out You will find resources and tools to guide you along the way.

First UMC is seeking to build lasting missional partnerships locally and globally. Our hope is that all involved in First United Methodist Church would learn and grow as they serve alongside our partners in ministry.Opportunities are available constantly to serve locally and globally! For global opportunities, take a look at or email Ashley Goad at
For local opportunities check out or email Michelle Osborn at

Part of the mission of First UMC is to grow servant leaders, equipping them to lead through service in our church and community. We know when this happens, the possibilities for impacting families, businesses, churches and cities around the globe are endless.Everyone can be a servant leader. What separates servant leaders from those who aren’t? Action! You just have to take the initiative. Jump in. See a need around the church? Fill it. See a need in the community? Fill it.
If you know of an area in the church where you would like to lead, contact someone on staff and they will walk you through the logistics.
Take this Spiritual Gifts Assessment or purchase the one Rev. Derek Joyce recommendsto see where you’re suited to lead.

History of FUMC Shreveport

In the 1830’s the river town that would become Shreveport, Louisiana, was a frontier settlement often mired in the mud. It was merely a stop on the Texas Trail, welcoming the river boats and then watching the dust settle behind wagons headed west. The town prospered from its alluvial Red River soil and its port status, and it dealt with the flotsom — saloons, carousing, shootings.

First United Methodist Church was founded in this rough-and-tumble environment by a small society of Christians called Methodists. The church had no building, and pastors were visiting circuit riders. It was still simply known as Shreveport Methodist Church in 1845 when it built the city’s first small meeting house on Market Street and shared it with the Baptists and Presbyterians.

Later it would be called the First Methodist Church – after it helped establish other Methodist churches in Shreveport. A denominational merger eventually would change the name to its current name of First United Methodist Church. The church, like Shreveport, would grow and prosper. It would move to the head of Texas Street and would become central to the life of the city. That would be one thing that would remain the same. Eventually, most of the other Shreveport churches would move to the burgeoning suburbs, but the Methodists would not. In 1960, pastor D.L. Dykes, Jr., phrased the philosophy, “I think every city needs a heart, a heart of religion. We chose to stay downtown and be that heart.”

Today First United Methodist Church lifts its steeple high above the city — a symbol of the same, simple hope that marked the church’s founding: the desire to serve God and reflect the abiding love of Jesus Christ.

Our Moller Pipe Organ

FUMC Shreveport Membership

What does it mean to be a member of First United Methodist Church Shreveport?
As a United Methodist, there are 5 vows that we commit to each year in our service to the Lord our God: Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness. In doing so, we are making a covenant with God and the church.


By committing to prayer, we are acknowledging that we will take time each day to pray. We will pray for wisdom and discernment for the church and its leaders. We will pray in both celebration and thanks, as well as in times of stress and grief.

If you would like, you can also join our Prayer Ministry. This group is committed to praying for all of the many prayer requests we receive, both locally and globally.


Presence is a commitment to actually attend service. By attending, you are showing that your commitment to God and First United Methodist Church is important to you and your family.

We have multiple services and ways for you to attend. We offer a traditional service in our main sanctuary at 8:30 and 11 am each Sunday. If you’d prefer a more contemporary service, we offer an 11 am service entitled FaithLink in the Emmett Hook Center each Sunday.

If for some reason, you are not able to attend service in person, you can also watch our 11 am traditional service live on KTBS Channel 3 every Sunday. Or you can watch it right here on our website on our “Watch Online” page. We also have PDFs of each Sunday’s bulletinand downloadable past sermons, in case you missed worship.


Here at First United Methodist Church of Shreveport, we think of gifts as an investment in heaven. God has given each of us so much. He owns everything; we own nothing. However, we also understand that what each person can give varies tremendously. With that in mind, we recommend that you work your way up to being able to give 10%. And as your circumstances change, you are welcome to call our business office at 318-424-7771 and increase or decrease your pledge as necessary. We do encourage you to be consistent and make an effort to honor your pledge.

To make your pledge for the year, visit our online pledge commitment page. You will be asked for your basic information, as well as how you would like to make your gift: via mail, online, or automatic bank draft. Instructions for each option are on the page.


Service is a great way to utilize the talents that God gave each one of us to further His love and His kingdom. At First United Methodist, we have a wide array of ways that you can get involved and serve. Whether you’re looking for a Global mission trip, a way to serve the city or a way that you can help out here at the church, we’ve got something for you. Let us help you find your niche. Visit the opportunities to serve page to see the full list of service areas and make your service commitment. You can also visit throughout the year to see what other opportunities may come up.


Witnessing is the act of telling others what God has done for you and what your church has done for you. Here is a four step plan for how to witness:

  1. Tell people what your life was like before Christ.
  2. Tell them how you met Christ.
  3. Let them know how He has changed your life.
  4. And let them know how your church has changed you and helped you grow in your relationship with God.

If you would like, we have opportunities for you to share your story with the entire First United Methodist Church community. We have a portion of our traditional service dedicated specifically to witnessing known as the “Celebration of Life.” Lay people from the congregation will often get up and share their story of how God and First United Methodist have positively impacted their lives.

We welcome you to share with us in whatever way that you choose. You can email us your story at, message us on Facebook with a video or text testimonial, Tweet us, or you can send us some good old-fashioned snail mail to P.O. Box 1567, Shreveport, LA 71165-1567. We would love to hear from you!

FUMC Shreveport Staff

Dr. Will K. Andress

Director of Fine Arts

Donna Bell

Accounting Manager

Stephanie Faries

Events Coordinator, Assistant to Rev. Wilkinson & 1st Kids

Dr. Pat Day

Senior Pastor

Kenny Densmore

Logistics & Production Manage

Bridget Kennedy-Edwards

Accounts Receivables Assistant

Louise Eason

Admin. Asst. to Dr. Day

Dr. Ashley Goad

Associate Pastor, Director of Global Missions & Women’s Ministry

Mathew Hargett

Youth Director

Cory Hinton

Director of Communications Social Media Manager

Carrie Linn Irvin

Graphic Designer

Rev. Derek Joyce

Executive Pastor, FaithLink

Michelle Osborn

Director of Local Missions

E. Ray Peebles

Principal Organist/Artist

Erik Rasmussen, LPC

Director of Connect Groups, Counseling, Singles & Marriage Ministry

Rev. Dr. Carl Rhoads

Associate Pastor, Director of the Altar Guild and Senior Adult Ministry

Charlotte Rogers

Director of First Beginnings

Jay Sawyer

Director of Business Administration

Vicki Sullivan

Accounts Payable Assistant

Staci Zeagler

Director of Elementary & StepUp

What FUMC Shreveport Believes

United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. According to our foundational statement of beliefs in The Book of Discipline, we share the following basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities:

  • Trinity
    We describe God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it.
We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.
We believe that God is loving. We can experience God’s love and grace.

  • Jesus
    We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
    We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
    We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. (Christ and messiah mean the same thing—God’s anointed.)
    We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.
    We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.
  • The Holy Spirit
    We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us.
    We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.
    We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God’s will and empowers us to live obediently.
  • Human Beings
    We believe that God created human beings in God’s image.
    We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.
    We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.
  • The Church
    We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
    We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
    We believe that the church is “the communion of saints,” a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.
    We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.
  • The Bible
    We believe that the Bible is God’s Word.
    We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
    We believe that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).
  • The Reign of God
    We believe that the kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.
    We believe that wherever God’s will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present. It was present in Jesus’ ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration, and healing.
    We believe that although the fulfillment of God’s kingdom–the complete restoration of creation–is still to come.
    We believe that the church is called to be both witness to the vision of what God’s kingdom will be like and a participant in helping to bring it to completion.
    We believe that the reign of God is both personal and social. Personally, we display the kingdom of God as our hearts and minds are transformed and we become more Christ-like. Socially, God’s vision for the kingdom includes the restoration and transformation of all of creation.
  • Sacraments 
    With many other Protestants, we recognize the two sacraments in which Christ himself participated: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
  • Baptism 
    Through baptism we are joined with the church and with Christians everywhere.
 Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God’s love and forgiveness of our sins.
Persons of any age can be baptized.
 We baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring.
 A person receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.
The Lord’s Supper (Communion, Eucharist)
 The Lord’s Supper is a holy meal of bread and wine that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ.
 The Lord’s Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God’s family.
 By sharing this meal, we give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice and are nourished and empowered to go into the world in mission and ministry.
 We practice “open Communion,” welcoming all who love Christ, repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.
  • Marriage
    As spoken by Dr. Day on June 28, 2015 in Traditional Worship:
    “This past Friday the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision allowing same-sex marriage to be throughout our country. There have been those on both sides of the fence. Some rejoiced and celebrated, others mourned and lamented. Without question in my forty-three years in the Methodist ministry, no more divisive and painful issue has been in our country and our own denomination and church than human sexuality. I have loved all people of all races, all genders, of all human sexuality. It’s who I am as a person. I love every person in this room this morning because you’re a child of God, created in His image. These controversial issues have divided our nation. They’ve divided our denomination. I have been asked to speak to where the United Methodist Church stands on the decision that was reached this past Friday. When I went into the ministry, I made an allegiance and a vow to uphold two books. One was the Holy Bible and the second is what we call The Discipline. Every year, or should I say, every four years, we have what is called a General Conference. Delegates from all over the United States and literally from around the world come together to convene to decide these controversial and difficult issues that we as a denomination as well as every denomination deals with. In the 2012 General Conference, this is the reading and this is the official stance of the United Methodist Church. ‘Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.’ That is the rule of our church and as a United Methodist minister, I choose to abide by The Discipline as well as the Bible. There will be no same-sex marriages conducted at First United Methodist Church by any clergy. It is prohibited and will not be done here. At the same time we recognize and we pray for grace and love and understanding on both sides of this issue. Every person who comes to this church is welcomed. Every person who comes to this church will be honored and respected for their differences as well as for their beliefs. We are a family and I’ve spent my entire life trying to keep our denomination together. I will continue to do so as a delegate to General Conference. This is the second time this conference has elected me in this area. I have prayed for unity and I ask you to pray for unity. I pray for love and grace and compassion to be extended on both sides of the fence. We are a family here at First United Methodist Church first and foremost, and as such we have differences of opinions, differences of beliefs. You will be loved, you will be honored and you will be cherished regardless of which side of this issue you come down on. I love you and it’s an honor to be your pastor.”


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