Making Disciples. Changing Lives.(865) 689-5175
If you’ve ever tried to survive the parking lot in the morning during the school year, it’s no secret that the Fountain City United Methodist Preschool is making a difference in the lives of children and families in and around Fountain City.
What you might not know is these children and these families are part of a history of educating, nurturing and forming children and families that spans half a century.
In 1964, David Hazelwood, an associate pastor serving at FCUMC, church spurred the church to expand opportunities for ministry to children and families that included welcoming a local kindergarten program. Fifty years later, the church and the Preschool are celebrating the lives and families and communities who have been blessed by this important ministry.
“It is a support to parents and in the last few years a strong support to grandparents who are either raising their grandchildren or supporting their own children in raising their children,” FCUMC Preschool Director Susan Todd said. “It is not taking the place of Bible School or Sunday School and it doesn’t need to. You can still minister to children in important ways–that they are important, that they have value, that they have worth.”
What began by welcoming a pre-existing program has evolved over the years into its current ministry. Although the Preschool operates within the church building, most of the children and families it serves come from outside the worshiping community of FCUMC. Not surprisingly, many families throughout the years have joined the church after first hearing about the Preschool.
Susan Todd says, however, that ultimately the effectiveness of the Preschool’s ministry is not judged by number of families that come into the church, but by the need it fills for children and families in our community.
“It values young kids and it says that they are important. It is about learning in community; learning how to be in community. Educationally it is important; but it is not so much about letters and numbers, but it is about relationships and how to build them. I can’t imagine
my life without it.”