About Us

The United Methodist Church is an 11 million-member global denomination of open hearts, open minds, and open doors, with the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Rev. Leah Pogemiller.jpg


First United Methodist Church is a community of faith where all are welcome.  The United Methodists are people who seek to have “open hearts, open minds, and open doors.”  This congregation provides opportunities to walk with Jesus in acts of piety (e,g. worship, Wesley Covenant Groups) and sending us forth to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” [Micah 6:6]  As Jesus taught, we intentionally seek to connect with one another, with our community, with our nation, with the world and with God.  That is why we are planted in the heart of downtown Champaign¸ our mission field.  Come join us on this journey!



Rev. Leah Pogemiller


Through the gifts of scripture, tradition, reason, and experience, United Methodists encourage people to know God in Jesus Christ while also being respectful toward people of differing faiths.  Questions and doubts are welcome while all grow in faith together.John Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living, putting faith and love into action.  This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” continues to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.

Wesley defined God’s grace (unconditional love) as threefold:

Prevenient—God loves every person from the very beginning, even before she or he is aware of it or is able to do anything in response to it.

Justifying—We are reconciled to God by God’s own action, and not by our own doing.  In spite of our sin, we are forgiven and can live without fear in relationship with God.

Sanctifying—We live a new life and are constantly being transformed into the persons God made us to be.  Through prayer, worship, study of scripture, fasting, the Lord’s supper, Christian conversation, and acts of justice and mercy, we live our lives more completely the way Jesus lived.

In this spirit, the mission of First United Methodist Church of Champaign is:

  • To connect people with God and one another

  • To grow as disciples of Jesus Christ

  • To serve others

We hope you will join us in this mission!

Our Staff

Rev. Leah Pogemiller
Directing Pastor

Rev. Jerry Nichols
Visiting Pastor

Meredith Garreau
Director of Youth, Adult, & Family Ministries

Scott Easton
Director of Lay Ministries & Community Outreach

Barbara Zachow
Director of Music & Worship

Tina James
 Business Manager

Emily Hortin
Business Office Assistant

Jason Mack
Building Manager

Laura Hendricksen
Director of Child Care Center

Sharon Johnson
Administrative Assistant

Bonnie Berner
Director of Communications

Ray Wiggs

Mara Boehm
ARK Coordinator

Diane Fish
Parish Nurse

Leah McDowell
Parish Nurse

Tim Valentine
Weekday Evening Custodian

Terry McClellan
Weekday Morning Custodian

Scott Ervin
Weekend Custodian

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