|Linda Ford, Pastor
Crystal Nichols, Church Secretary
Carol Kinser, Choir Director
Karen Parlato, Pianist
Pam Barkdull Pianist
Hi, and thank you for visiting our website. My name is Linda Ford, and I’ve been the pastor of the Fortuna United Methodist Church since the summer of 2014.
Here’s just a quick introduction.
I was fortunate to grow up in a home where we talked about God and we talked to God. A child of the modern age, I grew into a relationship with God, with wise parents who saw no need to choose between science and knowledge on the one hand, or faith on the other. On all roads, I encounter and praise God.
As a kid I started telling stories to my nieces and nephews. As years passed storytelling became something that, in part, defined me. I collect tales from around the world the way some people collect stamps–there is great wisdom in the world’s diverse cultures. My collection comes in handy for storytelling on Sunday mornings.
Approaching the Bible as a study and storyteller, I love exploring the stories and history of God and the growth of faith. It’s a privilege to share that in worship.
We’re all called to some form of work and ministry. The call I heard from God to pastoral ministry has led me to Fortuna and I am grateful to be here.
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The Methodist movement began in England in the early 1700s, under Anglican clergyman John Wesley and his followers. The United Methodist Church (UMC) was founded on April 23, 1968, when The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church united to form a new denomination. The UMC ranks as the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. The United Methodist Church as of 2015 now has over 10 million members worldwide.
After thirty-six years of Methodist pioneering in the Fortuna area, the first Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated on December 20, 1887, in the little town of Springville (now Fortuna). It was built on the same spot where the present church now stands.
Through the years there have been additions and changes in the church buildings to meet the congregations’ needs. Some of the major ones are:
1898 it was decided a larger church was needed, so the first church building was moved to the back of the lot and the new sanctuary was built and attached to the first building
1928 it was realized that the facilities were not adequate and it was decided to build an auditorium unit (social hall). This building was completed in January of 1931.
1940 the education unit and the Fireplace Room were completed.
1958 the Children’s Building was built west of the sanctuary, and in 1964 Glines hall was built behind the social.
1974 an earthquake hit the north coast almost destroying the sanctuary and pipe organ. Repairs to the sanctuary led to enlarging it by adding aisles on both sides.
The Ladies Aid Society was instrumental in starting the first church. Throughout our church history the different women’s societies have played a very important role in the life of the church. Today the United Methodist Women group remains extremely active.
Music has been important part of our church through the years. Even though there is not a working organ in the sanctuary today, there is a beautiful grand piano. There is always some form of special music, whether it be the choir, or members of the congregation or community performing during church services and activities.
Children and Youth have been an essential part of the church. Church leaders have realized the importance of religious education for the youth. Buildings and much planning have gone into attempting to have the best religious programs for the youth not only in the church, but in the community.
Members of the congregation have and are leaders and volunteers in the community. They are always looking for ways to spread the teachings of Jesus, and invite anyone to participate in Fortuna United Methodist Church Worship.