THE LEGACY OF TUMC
The history of Tuskawilla United Methodist Church began in June of 1980 when seventeen worshipers gathered at Harbor School for services. The Reverend Barbara Williams Riddle was the founding pastor and within three months had expanded this infant church to forty-five. The congregation soon found a temporary worship center across the road at Red Bug Elementary. The congregation became chartered on December 14, 1980 with seventy-one members and fifteen preparatory members. The first building, a 6,900 square foot multi-purpose facility and our current fellowship hall, was ready for occupancy in November of 1982.
The church was growing in numbers and needed space for Sunday School classes, meetings, youth group and more. The two-story education building was the second phase of construction reaching completion in June 1987.
TUMC bid farewell to Pastor Barbara in 1988 and welcomed Reverend David Fuller that June. Pastor David concentrated on church programs during his tenure. He initiated our age group ministries and continued the growth and nurturing of our youth programs.
June of 1992 brought Dr. Glenn L. Quam as our pastor. Pastor Glenn paved the way for a new building program by negotiating the purchase of property adjacent to TUMC. This property opened the possibility of expansion, ultimately resulting in our new sanctuary.
Rev. Samuel "Skip" Parvin became our pastor in June of 1994. Pastor Skip began a three-year stewardship program in 1996 to fund the building of our new sanctuary. The fruits of this campaign became a reality when the beautiful worship center, complete with stained glass windows, was consecrated on February 27, 2000.
Rev. Charley Reeb became our pastor in July of 2003. Under Pastor Charley’s leadership, small group studies became a vital part of the church's focus. With a passion for people and preaching, Pastor Charley will be remembered fondly by his huge and frequent laughter!
In July 2008, TUMC welcomed Reverend Dwayne Craig. With a desire to see our congregation become more-reflective of the larger Christian community, Pastor Dwayne encouraged the church to be more intentional about including folks of all walks of life, all ethnicities, all skin colors, all socio-economic backgrounds, those with disabilities, and anyone desiring to be a Christian in our fellowship and ministries. Unity and inclusiveness are important themes that are woven into all areas of TUMC.
In July of 2011, TUMC welcomed Reverend Molly Warren. Pastor Molly was instrumental in helping equip our congregation to further the Kingdom of God through forgiveness, healing, and reaching out to wandering sheep. By placing an emphasis on small groups, such as Disciple Bible Study, TUMC saw growth in all areas of the church. In 2014, we bid her farewell as she transitioned into retirement.
The summer of 2014 brought with it Reverend Sarah Miller and her ever-growing stiletto collection. Pastor Sarah brought with her an exciting inter-generational vision for ministry as she continued to build upon our belief that the church is a place for everyone. Pastor Sarah was the driving force to make TUMC more inclusive to our community members and local families including welcoming the Arbor School to the TUMC Campus. We will forever be grateful for her leadership, kindness and compassion. TUMC continues to honor her vision of inclusiveness as we strive to be a community of faith that knows, sees, and serves our neighbors.
In July, 2019 we recently welcomed Reverend Heather Harding. We are excited for all that she has planned for TUMC as we welcome the addition of the Arbor School to our campus. Pastor Heather's deep Christian roots bring new life into our church as we strive to build upon the work of the many faithful pastors who helped create the warm, welcoming family that is TUMC.