First United Methodist Church of Elmhurst Kicks-off “God’s Vision Our Hands” Capital Campaign with $320,050.00


For Immediate Release
October 27, 2013

Dist. Superintendent Oscar Carrasco, Rev. Dr. Norma Lee Barnhart, Ed Miner, Campaign Chair, and Mel Kalagian, Campaign Director

Elmhurst, IL – With anticipation and excitement, First United Methodist Church kicks off its God’s Vision Our Hands Capital Campaign to address the needs of the church and continue to grow its ministry in the community and around the world. Reverend Norma Lee Barnhart shared God’s vision for First UMC members and regular attendees at a luncheon in Wesley Hall. Members enjoyed testimonies from Barbara Knoepple, who shared how the church has made a positive impact in her life and how she sees the future of the church. The events keynote speaker Rev. Oscar Carrasco, District Superintendent, gave an uplifting speech that inspired the crowd. ‘It will be good today to remember who we are. Today we assure the future of a home where countless lives have been transformed. Where all are welcome. First United has touched so many lives that you may have never met, but through your work you are changing lives. God is working through your hands, said Rev. Oscar Carrasco.

The highlight of the afternoon was when Ed Miner, Campaign Chair announces the $320,050.00 raised thus far from leadership. Members were amazed at how much had been raised so far. Reverend Barnhart closed the afternoon by sharing an inspirational letter from Bishop Sally Dyck encouraging everyone to be part of maintaining our home base and preparing us for the future. In addition, Rev. Norma Lee shared her excitement about the work we are doing in Elmhurst and the work that lies ahead. I am privileged to be part of this congregation. Lets have faith in things we cannot yet see and trust in God. I am excited about this church, its ministry, and the opportunity to walk along side you, said Rev. Norma Lee Barnhart.

First United Methodist Church has been ministering to the area for almost 90 years. It was 1924, when a small group of Methodist gathered in homes and local businesses and took the leap of faith to start a church and by laying the foundation for the many changed lives in Elmhurst, IL and around the world. In 1929, at the height of the depression the members took another leap of faith and built the first building that would grow into what it is today. First United continues to be a beacon to the community through its many ministries, and our firm is proud to be part of its long and continuing history in Elmhurst, said Mel Kalagian, Campaign Director, with James D. Klote & Associates.

Ed Miner, Chair of the campaign, spoke eloquently of the need to address the needs of the church now and free them up to do what God is asking them to do. He also expressed to families to welcome a call from fellow members, as they would be reaching out to them over the next four weeks. I have faith that we can raise the $1.2 million, and take advantage of the opportunity to grow and serve the community through our ministries. I believe the campaign will help all of us grow spiritually and I am willing to take that leap of faith and I ask all of you to join me, said Ed Miner, Campaign Chair.

With offices in Falls Church, Virginia; St. Charles, Illinois; and Toronto, Ontario, James D. Klote & Associates is the largest full-time, on-site stewardship consulting firm in North America. For additional information, please contact the firm at or (800) 360-2315.


Erin West
James D. Klote & Associates

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