Tampa Mission Team makes return visit to Mt. Pleasant


The St. James UMC WV Mission team from Tampa, FL, during its recent visit to Mt. Pleasant UMC in Mineral Wells, WV (Little Kanawha District). The team has been coming to West Virginia for mission and relationship-building for more than 15 years.

By Cassie Kile
Associate Pastor, Mt. Pleasant UMC
WVUMC Communications Team At-Large Member

The St. James United Methodist Church WV Mission Team from Tampa, FL, visited Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Mineral Wells (Little Kanawha District) June 2428. The team of more than 20 members assisted in a number of projects throughout the area.

Team members helped to restore a house in the community that belongs to a woman who could not possibly have done that on her own. They also helped out at Parkersburg Urban Ministries by pulling food from the shelves, painting the shelves and other walls in the food pantry, and then re-shelving the food. The team finished up its work by painting Walker United Methodist Church. They closed out their week with games and ceremonies, and finally, Holy Communion.

The WV Mission Team has a deep and long-standing friendship with Mt. Pleasant Pastor Rev. Steve Gedon and has been visiting West Virginia for more than 15 years. Their visits are more than just going to various work sites and helping someone out. As one of the team, Jim Claugherty, put it, “Sometimes you have to go where God is calling you.” As another put it, “We have been called to West Virginia.”

The team leader, Craig Yancy, said, “We do it because blessing us is so easy when we serve others and we just have such an affinity for meeting so many wonderful people in West Virginia. The bottom line is that when you serve others, you’re blessed tenfold. So you may think that you’re blessing them but in return if you just look around, your heart will be open, and be warmed; you’ll be understanding things in a new and enlightened way by letting God use you as His hands and feet.”

God calls us to all sorts of people and places in our lives, not just for us to help them, but for them to teach us. This is definitely the case for both the St. James UMC WV Mission Team and for us at Mt. Pleasant UMC. We all had something to teach one another and we all had something to learn from one another. God has joined our lives together every year for a while now, but God has joined our hearts together forever.

There is absolutely nothing better in this world than being able to serve God with friends—and that is what we at Mt. Pleasant UMC have gotten to do for years now with the WV Mission Team from Tampa.

Click here to view a video of the team’s visit.