St. Luke's United Methodist Church


8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. - Traditional
9:30 and 11:00 a.m. - Contemporary


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819


Commit Campaign

Message to COMMIT Campaign Donors:

Emails have been sent to COMMIT Campaign donors who donated $2,500 or more regarding your donor plaque. If you donated $2,500 or more and did not receive an email, contact Kelly Smith at 407.468.7998 or to ensure you are included in this recognition process. St. Luke’s has been blessed by each gift to the Campaign, and appreciate the sacrifice many have made to ensure these dreams became a reality.

Latest COMMIT Campaign Update:

View Available Naming Opportunities:


Recap of St. Luke’s Chair-ity Challenge


Watch the Chair-ity Challenge Videos



Make a Pledge-Support the COMMIT Campaign

2017 Commit Campaign Completion Pledge Card

Give online here, call 407.876.4991 or email

View Available Naming Opportunities

Click to View New Naming Opportunities for 2017

Give online here!


Give to the COMMIT Campaign

2017 Commit Campaign Completion Pledge Card

Click to View New Naming Opportunities for 2017

Founder’s Hall & Barnes Learning Center

St. Luke’s former Lead Pastor, Dr. William Barnes, retired as of June 30, 2015. He has requested that any gifts toward his retirement be made to the COMMIT Campaign. Thanks to an anonymous donor a portion of Founder’s Hall (the new Worship and Performing Arts Center) will have an area named the Barnes Learning Center. Our goal is to raise an additional $250,000 in honor of Bill and Kim’s ministry with and to St. Luke’s over the last 23 years. If you would like to make a gift toward Bill’s retirement, please contact us at 407.876.4991 or Gifts can be made in honor or memory of an individual or families too.

Please use the links below to view brochures about these gift opportunities.


Barnes Learning Center Gift Information

Founder’s Hall Gift Information

View 2015 COMMIT Campaign Completion Informational Handout

Download COMMIT Campaign Completion Pledge Card

COMMIT Campaign Video

View original Commit Campaign Prospectus below. This detailed information booklet was used during the initial phases of the Commit Campaign to share information about both the community transformation and facilities optimization components of the Commit Campaign. *This prospectus is no longer accurate due to revised project plans however it does provide a look back at the original vision for the campaign. **Please allow 30 seconds for this file to load.


View and download a PDF of the Commit Campaign Prospectus

St. Luke’s Commit Congregation Gathering – April 7, 2013

Presentation Slides from the April 7 Commit Congregational Gathering

St. Luke’s 4D Visioning Process-Click to See the Whole Picture

Church Conferences on Commit Campaign

June 9 Church Conference

On June 9, 2013 a Church Conference was held in the Sanctuary and St. Lukers voted unanimously to form a Building Committee, release aprox. $2,000,000 held over from the BodyBuilding campaign, and form the new Commit Campaign Committee. This is a big step toward actualizing our community transformation and building development initiatives. Thank you to all who worked to bring us to this point and to all in attendance who spoke with one voice saying, “St. Lukers Commit!”

The videos from the Church Conference have been broken into seven sections to help you jump directly to the parts you want to view.

1. Welcome & Devotion (16 minutes)

2. History – Where We’ve Come From (5 minutes)

3. Community Transformation East Winter Garden Neighbors (14 minutes)

4. Campus Development Update (13 minutes)

5. What Happens Next with Tom Marsten (5 minutes)

6. Q&A (36 minutes)

7. Prayer & Presentation of Resolutions (8 minutes)

A Called Church Conference was held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Attic of Building C. This meeting was to discuss and approve the purchase of property in East Winter Garden associated with the Commit Campaign Community Transformation Initiative. All members who attended voted and the request was approved. 

On Sunday, August 17, 2014 during all worship services the Building Committee, Church Council members, and Pastors Jenn and Bill shared the latest recommendations from church leaders that will move us closer to our goals! View the complete presentation below.

On Sunday, January 26, 2014 St. Lukers met for the first church-wide COMMIT Gathering of 2014. Watch video from the meeting that included an update on pledges received and next steps regarding facilities optimization and community transformation.

Archived COMMIT Campaign Updates

June 7, 2017

Sunday, June 4 was a momentous spirit-filled day but we aren’t done yet.  As you will recall, the COMMIT Campaign included the following:

  • Building Founder’s Hall and the Barnes Learning Center – Done
  • Changing the Lives of Children in poverty through Community Transformation – In Process
  • Renovating Fellowship Hall to new Youth Center/multi-purpose building
  • Creating a new security entrance to Building A
  • Renovation of classrooms in Buildings A and B including new UMW and CDC Storage options
  • Technology upgrade to Sanctuary

You may be asking yourselves, “Where are we on these last four items”.  Well below is an update from our Building Chairperson, Ken Simback.

There has been a lot of behind the scenes work happening on the remaining pieces associated with our campus optimization plan. The Building Committee will review the final plans next week associated with the Fellowship Hall and the new security entrance to Building A and then submit to Orange County for a building permit by end of June, at the latest. There are things we can begin working on that  are not related to the permitting process so you will see some work happening in the next several weeks. The Building Committee will also continue meeting as we look at overall design opportunities and determine color schemes for paint, carpet and tile work. We feel the construction process should take approximately 120 days.  We will also be working on the needs and implementation process for the Sanctuary technical upgrades with the goal of completing all campus optimization projects by the end of 2017.

To accomplish all that is still ahead of us it is important for all of us to complete our pledges that were made to the COMMIT Campaign and, if you have not participated we invite you to make a pledge or a one-time donation to the campaign by visiting or contacting Kelly Smith at or 407.876.4991 x. 223. We look forward to more celebrations of success and the completion of our campus optimization projects by the end of 2017.

February 9, 2017

Work on Founder’s Hall continues to make great progress.  This week we have seen the following:

  • Metal studs on the stage area
  • Handicap accessibility ramp poured
  • HVAC duct work and vents are almost complete
  • Drywall is being hung which brings more definition to the space
  • Interior Design team continues to finalize the color scheme for the interior
  • Furniture needs are being assessed and pricing be collected
  • Audio, Video and Lighting design work and implementation continues

The excitement among the committee members as well as the construction team is hard to contain. The construction teams that are working on the site feel the importance of their work and are considering it their worship space as they see it come to life.

With regards to the other campus optimization projects, we are seeing design work being finalized on Fellowship Hall (soon to be the new youth space) as well as the new entry into Building A.  We have had meetings with the architect, audio, sound and lighting consultants and HVAC designers. We are working to have plans not only for permitting but also for cost evaluation by the end of the month.

The Community Transformation Initiative continues to see great results. This week, St. Luke’s Circles Coach, Beth Witten, reported that the next group of Circle Leaders and Allies are outstanding and excited about partnering with each other in their matched circles.

February 2, 2017

Did you know that a weekly meeting is held out at the construction trailer between St. Luke’s representatives and the construction superintendent and project manager with Aagaard-Juergensen to review the progress being made on Founder’s Hall?  Each week you will find St. Lukers Doug Dannen, Tom Runnels, and Kelly Smith at those meetings as they ensure that every detail of the building is reviewed and implemented as planned.  These weekly meetings ensure the project is moving forward as designed and as budgeted and that things are moving along on time. Below are updates on the project and videos of the progress:
  • Temporary wall (with viewing window) has been constructed as you enter Building C – this will allow you to still see what is happening with the construction as they remove the large windows and cut the existing walls for the new entryway into Founder’s Hall
  • Drywall has been delivered and hanging will begin next week.
  • All interior stairs have been completed
  • Exterior of the building has been textured and painted
  • Emergency exit stairwell has been installed on the building on to the gym

January 22, 2017

St. Lukers signed their names on the floor and walls of Founders Hall. A Bible that the congregation signed was placed in the foundation of the stage. Worshippers were able to tour the space and see their COMMIT dollars at work.

October 2016

On Monday, October 17, 2016 we began to see a lot of activity at the build site for Founder’s Hall as the concrete contractors began to pour the walls for St. Luke’s new worship and performing arts center. Once the pour was completed the walls needed to cure for 7 to 10 days. Beginning the week of October 24, the walls will begin to be lifted into place by a crane. This will be exciting to watch and we encourage you to stop by and take in the excitement through the picture window in Building C.  This “raising of the wall” will take about 3 days and then the contractors will begin to set the interior columns and portions of the roof. This will make the building really begin to take shape.
Thank you to those who are supporting St. Luke’s through the Commit Campaign. To learn how you can get involved with the Commit Campaign, contact Corey Jones, Executive Pastor, at or 407.876.4991 ext. 288.

July 2016

Things are getting ramped up with regards to the Commit Campaign and the new building on campus, Founder’s Hall. This week the building permit was issued which means we will begin to see the construction site come to life over the next several weeks. Some things that have happened or will happen next week in preparation for construction include the following:

  • Playground equipment removed (will be reinstalled in new location in 2017)
  • Propane tanks relocated behind Building C
  • Construction fence and trailer(s) to be installed on or around July 7. This area will include all of the open space behind Building C and include the grass parking area on the A side parking lot.
  • Sub-Contractor trailers to be installed just beyond the gravel driveway to Shepherd’s Hope which is located on the back open field across from the gym.
  • Site work will most likely begin toward the middle of July which will mean demolition of the pavilion in the old playground location, removal of the fence post and removal of some trees and scrub bushes in the grass area behind Buildings A & B.

All of this is very exciting news as we begin to move into the construction phase of Founder’s Hall which will also house the Barnes Learning Center. We will continue to keep you updated on the building progress and major milestones. The goal is to have construction completed and possible have a dedication in May, 2017. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in the Commit Campaign please take time to prayerfully consider making a contribution and/or pledge. It is important for the entire St. Luke’s family to feel a part of this next chapter in the life of the church. You can see more information about the Campaign, building updates, the ground breaking and more at You can also setup a recurring gift or make a one-time donation at If you have questions on anything related to the Commit Campaign, the building and/or making a contribution, please contact Corey Jones, Executive Pastor, at or 407.876.4991 ext. *288.

May 2016

St. Luke’s Ground Breaking Ceremony _MG_3853

On Sunday, May 15, Pentecost Sunday, hundreds of St. Lukers gathered on the site that will become Founder’s Hall and the Barnes Learning Center. The sanctuary choir and dance ensemble lined the path from traditional worship as church goers spilled out into the scared space that will soon be home to worship, performing arts, concerts, conferences, and discipleship.

Members of St. Luke’s COMMIT Campaign Committee, Building Committee spoke about the journey to reach the day of groundbreaking. Lead Pastor, Rev. Jennifer Stiles Williams, addressed the crowd along with St. Luker’s from our children, youth and young adult programs all with bright futures ahead were among the first ones to turn dirt. These young people then released doves on what was truly a beautiful day for breaking ground! On that Pentecost Sunday the Holy Spirit was surely in that place.

Click here to view video footage from St. Luke’s COMMIT groundbreaking ceremony.
Click here to view the latest COMMIT Campaign Building Update Video


January 2016

Construction plans for Founder’s Hall and the Barnes Learning Center have been submitted to the orange county building department for review and we have a permit number! Plan review is expected to take up to 90 days so the building committee is eagerly anticipating construction permits and a ground breaking in April, 2016!
Many thanks to Aagaard Juergensen, committee volunteers, and the ministry staff who helped direct the design of this worship center addition to the St. Luke’s campus. Their assistance has been invaluable in space planning and programming and especially important to the integration of the church’s technology resources. We look forward to sharing the final plans for the Founder’s Hall and the Barnes Learning Center with the congregation in the very near future.
Work is accelerating on the campus renovations as well. The committee and staff have been meeting with the project design team to review preliminary plans for Fellowship Hall and Building A. Major upgrades to the electrical system will be required to implement the renovation and the project design team is currently coordinating those requirements with Duke Energy. Once that piece of the puzzle is in place the committee will be able to move forward with final designs for the new fellowship hall-youth ministry facilities and the security lobby for Building A. Preliminary designs will be shared at the youth’s Pastabilties fundraising dinner this Sunday (January 31). Although still in draft form the plans are very close to completion.

December 2015

St. Luke’s Building Committee is just days away from completing final constructions plans for the new Founder’s Hall and Barnes Learning Center. The completed plans will be submitted to Orange County for review the first week in January. Aagaard-Juergensen, the project’s building contractor, expects the review and permitting process to take about 90 days. SO LOOK FOR AN ANNOUNCEMENT FOR A SPRING 2016 GROUND BREAKING!

Many thanks to the Committee volunteers and ministry staff who have helped guide the design of this worship center addition to the St. Luke’s campus. Their assistance has been invaluable in directing the space planning and programming process and especially important to the integration of the church’s technology resources. We look forward to sharing the final plans for the Founder’s Hall and Barnes Learning Center with the congregation in January.

Work is accelerating on the campus renovations as well. The Committee and staff met with the project architect this past week to review preliminary plans for improvements to Fellowship Hall and Building A. Those plans will require major upgrades to the electrical system which we will further evaluate over the next two weeks. Once that piece of the puzzle is in place the Committee will be able to move forward with final designs for the new Fellowship Hall-Youth Ministry facilities and the security lobby for Building A.

A Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year from the Building Committee.

Fall 2015

The COMMIT Campaign Building Committee has been hard at work on the design phase of the on-campus optimization portion of the COMMIT Campaign. Please keep this team in your prayers as they seek to accomplish campaign goals and be good stewards of the gifts that have and continue to be made.

If you did not receive a pledge card, or wish to make an additional pledge, please pick up a brochure and pledge card in the church office, in the campus information racks. We will continue accepting gifts toward the Barnes Learning Center and Founders’ Hall.

Facilities Optimization: The Committee issued a solicitation for architectural services to assist with the design of the Fellowship Hall renovations and the security lobby for Building A.

Technology Upgrades: With assistance from St. Luke’s Technical Services staff the Committee has developed a scope for audio, video production, lighting and acoustic improvements for campus assembly areas and is reviewing proposals from vendors. Selections will be finalized by the end of September.

Founders’ Hall/Barnes Learning Center: The Building Committee completed its review of the floor plans and structural system for the new Founders’ Hall/Barnes Learning Center and authorized Aagaard Juergenson to proceed with “design development” drawings. That work is expected to take up to 5 weeks and will include the design of HVAC, MEP, civil engineering, technology and other building systems.

Community Transformation has already been hard at work and thanks to their relationship building in the East Winter Garden Community and other partnerships they are projected to underspend their budget for 2014 and 2015 by approximately $300,000.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this point. If you’ve made a pledge to the COMMIT Campaign don’t forget to wear your COMMIT lapel pin on your name tag. If you haven’t picked up your pin and/or you need a name tag, contact Corey Jones, Executive Pastor, at or 407.876.4991 ext. *288.

August 17, 2014

uring all worship services the Building Committee, Church Council members, and Pastors Jenn and Bill shared the latest recommendations from church leaders that will move us closer to our goals!

Click Here to view the entire presentation

November 21, 2013

Read the post-Hard Rock Commit Update from Campaign Committee Chairman John Logan

October 21, 2013: Read the first Commit Update from Campaign Committee Chairman John Logan

A Look Back at How We Decided to COMMIT:

September 8, 2013

On Sunday, September 8 St. Lukers attended a church-wide gathering to view the updated building plans and to hear about the status of our East Winter Garden Partnership, the Building Committee, and the Campaign Committee. Click here to view a PDF of the slides shown. Please send your feedback and questions regarding the Commit Campaign to Corey Jones, Executive Pastor, at or 407.876.4991 ext. *288.

Bill Barnes Learning Center

Additional Gift Information

St. Luke’s former Lead Pastor, Dr. William Barnes, retired as of June 30, 2015. He has requested that any gifts toward his retirement be made to the COMMIT Campaign. Thanks to an anonymous donor a portion of Founder’s Hall (the new Worship and Performing Arts Center) will have an area named the Barnes Learning Center. Our goal is to raise an additional $250,000 in honor of Bill and Kim’s ministry with and to St. Luke’s over the last 23 years. If you would like to make a gift toward Bill’s retirement, please contact Corey Jones, Executive Pastor, at or 407.876.4991 ext. *288. Gifts can be made in honor or memory of an individual or families too.

Please use the links below to view brochures about these gift opportunities.


Barnes Learning Center Gift Information v2

Founder’s Hall Gift Information v3

View 2015 COMMIT Campaign Completion Informational Handout

Download COMMIT Campaign Completion Pledge Card

FAQs About Commit Campaign

What gives the church leadership confidence that the congregation can achieve the COMMIT Completion Campaign goal for facilities optimization and community transformation when it is struggling to raise enough operating revenue?

Funds for annual gifts and capital campaign gifts are made from different sources.

That may sound counter-intuitive to any family receiving its annual income from paychecks and who have a basic retirement fund and a savings account for emergencies. For people in this situation – which is a lot of families – pre-deciding how much of God’s blessings to share with the church is a function of determining how much of its annual income to share. Giving a gift either from the retirement account or savings account does not make sense. So it is natural for these families to wonder how the COMMIT Campaign can achieve its goal if they assume most St. Lukers are in the same situation as them.

The reality is that some St. Lukers have accumulated more assets than what is necessary to provide for their family.

The assets come from a variety of sources. For example, some assets come from sacrifice through frugal living and making wise investments over a lifetime. Some assets accumulate because the family took the risk to start and grow a business. Still others may come from caring family members of previous generations who themselves sacrificed and risked in order to give it to the next generation.

People who accumulate significant assets than what their family requires often answer God’s call to share it with others.

One way you may witness this generosity is through significant gifts made to capital campaigns helping their church accomplish big goals. After all, it is the church where the family attends and where its family members benefit from the spiritual growth, emotional support, abiding friendships and many fond memories. Investing in the church’s future using the blessings God has bestowed upon the family becomes a source of great joy in their life. It gives them the opportunity to bless others, even people well into the future and whom they will never meet.

What is the impact on operating costs from COMMIT’s facilities optimization plans, especially when current giving is not meeting annual revenue requirements?

The Building Committee studied this issue and discovered a net annual savings because it is not necessary to pay technicians to set up contemporary worship space each week.

Over the past several years, St Luke’s has spent approximately $60,000 per year to transform the Coleman Gymnasium into a Sunday contemporary worship space (set up and tear down of plastic on floor, chairs, tables, light controls, sound and controls, temporary stage, kneeling rails, décor, altar, musical instruments). The Building Committee has received cost estimates for the new Contemporary Worship space (electricity, custodial, HVAC maintenance, insurance) and when considering adding these new operating costs while eliminating the weekly set up/tear down in the gym, the annual savings to the church operating budget is $25,000-$30,000. As a result of building the contemporary worship space St. Luke’s is actually saving money while also making the gymnasium available on weekends adding more than 100 days a year.

What is going to be the impact to the church from Pastor Bill’s planned retirement and in what ways will it affect the church’s ability to achieve the COMMIT objectives?

St. Luke’s is blessed to have a Bishop who allows Pastor Bill to serve here as long as he has.

The appointment of Pastor Bill Barnes as Pastor Jim Harnish’s replacement over 20-years ago is the traditional Methodist way.The Bishop makes appointments each May. Methodists across the nation experience a new pastor standing in the pulpit come July. Imagine how fortunate St. Luke’s is for having Pastor Bill for over two decades when that is atypical within Methodism. It is going to be difficult watching Pastor Bill follow God’s call in retirement knowing it means we will see less of him. However, what a blessing it is that he plans to retire in Central Florida.

The Bishop deeply cares about St. Luke’s and the impact it is having in growing disciples.

He is intentional in his appointments. Just witness Pastors Jenn, Jad, and Corey being appointed to help St. Luke’s thriving congregation through their amazing gifts. The opportunity to get to know Pastor Jenn over the past eight years and serving in a variety of roles is an experience not afforded many congregations. The Bishop has never let St. Luke’s down in our service to our brothers and sisters in Christ and there is no reason to believe he will do so now during this transition.

Pastor Jenn’s appointment as co-lead pastor demonstrates the Bishop’s confidence in her.

The Bishop sought out Pastor Jenn to plan and coordinate worship services for the last two annual conferences within the Florida Conference. The 4D planning process she led the congregation through is now a model other Methodist churches are adopting. The opportunity to get to know Pastor Jenn over these past eight years she has been at St. Luke’s is an experience not afforded many congregations.

Change is the only constant in life and in the Methodist Church.

Transitions between pastors every June offer new opportunity for Methodist congregations across the nation. Having a new senior pastor means God is moving among the congregation. Let’s prayerfully listen for His voice. St. Luke’s congregation is strong and growing. There is no reason to think it will stop attracting new disciples for Christ. Transitions like this often result in a change in membership; the Bishop indicated as much as 10%. For some change is very difficult to accept. Regardless whom the Bishop appoints into pastoral leadership some will be anxious. Faith is our rock. Change makes our faith in God stronger. Let us move forward confident in the knowledge that WE are St. Luke’s and WE are the church.

What is the impact to the original COMMIT goals of community transformation and facilities optimization due to the $10 million reduction in construction costs?

The original impact to serve more children and grow more disciples still remains and is unaffected by the reduction in construction costs because the changes do not directly affect those goals.

That is the beauty of what the Building Committee has done and is doing. They are ensuring our objectives are met for serving children (community transformation) and creating a safe and secure campus (facilities optimization). However, they still are able to reduce construction costs by affecting the method of construction and eliminating portions of the project such as the connection hall and administrative office expansion. In doing so they are creating new possibilities by creating space for smart classrooms with equipment that will allow St. Lukers to dig deeper into the Word while sharing our faith and gifts with more people around the world.

You are making it possible for today’s St. Lukers to leave a legacy that will serve families for decades.

The person who plants an acorn knows it is unlikely that he or she will ever enjoy the shade the mighty oak eventually produces. Likewise, today’s members who are building St. Luke’s are optimizing the facilities to reach beyond our congregation’s campus. With the worship space and technology improvements St. Luke’s will be in a position to grow disciples and build the Kingdom regardless whether a faithful disciple ever steps foot on our campus. Technology is making it possible that when a member moves to another community they are able to worship and grow with St. Luke’s ministries.

In what ways will Community Transformation, and specifically the East Winter Garden Initiative, serve St. Luke’s vision for the future of Central Florida?

God’s is calling St. Luke’s to impact more children’s lives and it is happening in East Winter Garden.

When St. Lukers dug into what it meant to impact children’s lives it became readily apparent that it means changing the lives of entire communities one family at a time. One cannot change a child’s life without changing that of his or her parents. That cannot happen unless the neighborhood where the family lives also transforms. For people living in crushing poverty where hope is in short supply, St. Luke’s is experiencing amazing results. Already, 60% of the families (Circle Leaders) in the Circles program are experiencing higher incomes, greater savings and less dependence on public support. Your pledge made that happen.

In order to change communities St. Luke’s has to change how it approaches its missions.

Thanks to the resources made possible from COMMIT pledges, St. Luke’s mission teams are at the forefront of ending long-term poverty in Central Florida. It obviously cannot happen overnight, but before it can be effective, St. Luke’s had to change its approach. Gone are the days when teams of well-meaning people swoop in and tell people living in poverty what they need or what they should do. St. Luke’s is being invited into neighborhoods where before anything is done, trust is built. Bringing together everyone interested in improving a neighborhood allows transferring of social capital – connections and networks. St. Luke’s may be an organizer, but it is the neighborhood leaders who are deciding what gets done and what kind of knowledge and relationships are necessary to accomplish it. Already we are showing other congregations within Central Florida and across the nation how to address four pillars of community success simultaneously – family stabilization, education, housing and economic development.

St. Luke’s is walking with people out of poverty by helping them to uncover gifts they possess as children of an awesome God.

Once brothers and sisters discover individual spiritual gifts, they can begin developing them. Ultimately, they see how to shape their future and begin to take steps to do so. In the process, St. Luke’s volunteers permanently change the amount of hope existing in peoples’ lives. What we learn in East Winter Garden is transferrable to any of the 100 distressed neighborhoods in Central Florida. In fact, documentation of our approach and successes and failures is already being used to help others learning how to become better helping people to uncover their gifts, develop those gifts and determine their own destiny instead of making them dependent on the church’s permanent presence. Eventually, St. Luke’s will no longer need to have a presence in East Winter Garden. However, it will always benefit from the relationships it builds and be able to rely on them to help other distressed neighborhoods become strong and independent.

What are the goals for community transformation?

The overarching goal of community transformation is to end poverty in the East Winter Garden community. We will make this happen by committing to work alongside the people and organizations in the neighborhood to make long-lasting positive change in the following areas:

  • Increase household income individually through the Circles Campaign and more broadly through economic development
  • Improve school readiness through early childhood interventions and ensure that students maintain grade level up to forth grade through additional educational interventions and partnerships with local schools and other education providers
  • Improve the stability and security of housing options through the construction of new, affordable homes in partnership with West Orange Habitat for Humanity as well as partnering with the City of Winter Garden and other local organizations to make improvements in the existing housing
  • Expand the capacity of the individuals, households and organizations through the use of grants, training, and other forms of support as a catalyst for positive, sustainable, long-term neighborhood change
  • Increase hope by investing in the well-being of the community

What is happening with our Community Transformation initiative?

Here are the highlights of the activities over the past 20 months:

  • West Orange Habitat for Humanity–Developed a joint proposal with West Orange Habitat to build 10 houses in East Winter Garden by 2018. St. Luke’s has made a commitment of $20,000 for each house for a total of $200,000. In addition, St. Luke’s is providing the construction management and the majority of the volunteers. Currently, there are two houses underway on Bethune Avenue.
  • East Winter Garden Community Development Corporation—St. Luke’s provided a small grant of $7,500 to do repairs on six houses owned by those who are elderly or disabled. In addition, we provided volunteers and supplies to paint two more houses.
  • St. Luke’s is the lead organization for Circles Orange County. Circles is a national model for family stabilization. This model matches volunteers from middle to upper middle income families with families who are living between 100% and 200% of the poverty level (which means for most of these families a dependency on public or private benefits). Through a process that involves intensive training for both the volunteers and families and structured weekly meetings, this program has been significantly effective nationally and now here locally. In the first six months, 60% of our Circles families had an increase in household income and 60% had a decrease in public benefits.
  • Maxey Elementary School—St. Luke’s has 12 weekly classroom volunteers at Maxey ES, provided backpacks for Back to School night for the past two years, helps with events, and provides gift cards and classroom supplies for all the teachers annually.
  • ArtWorks—This ministry has already been offering art in the Winter Garden community through the PAL summer camp, Lakeview Boys and Girls Club, and currently at the Boys and Girls Club that meets at the Magic Recreation Center. The Assets and Dreams project was on display at Winter Garden’s first annual Culture Arts Fest in November and for three weeks at the Winter Garden City Hall as well as at St. Luke’s. The MLK DREAM banner was part of the Winter Garden MLK festivities on January 17, 2015.
  • Volunteers and Events—St. Luke’s has provided volunteers for the Winter Garden Community Garden, both the Magic and Lakeview Boys and Girls Club, Kids’ Café, and several special events.

Is St. Luke’s addressing a need in Winter Garden that the groups in Winter Garden working with people who are living in poverty are not addressing? If so are we working together with those groups already established in Winter Garden who work with people who are living in poverty?

Yes. St. Luke’s is addressing needs through alternative models such as the Circles Campaign. These strategies complement what other organizations in Winter Garden offer.

Yes. St. Luke’s is partnering with a number of organizations in and around East Winter Garden that are also working to fight poverty. Some partners include but are not limited to: Habitat for Humanity, East Winter Garden Community Development Corporation, The Boys and Girls Club, The Magic Center, The City of Winter Garden, and The West Orange Church of Christ.

How is the Community Transformation money being used and how many people will be impacted?

As mentioned in an earlier answer, the work in East Winter Garden is an asset-based community development model. The talents, skills, and resources of the residents will be identified and celebrated. Our goal, as St. Luke’s is to help expand capacity of the individual, family or household, organizations, and ultimately the neighborhood as a whole. Unlike a traditional social service model, most of the money spent will be a catalyst for change rather than a one-time donation or grant. This will lead to long-term sustainability rather than a long-term dependency on outside resources (church, non-profit, or government).

Between 2014-2018 (a total of 5 years), $2,500,000 has been allocated for this Community Transformation Initiative in East Winter Garden. In 2014, $236,000 of the original $470,000 that was released from the Commit Campaign for Community was spent.

Included in the $2.5 million are funds for 10 Habitat houses; education support and school readiness; Circles program focused on family stabilization and increasing household income; home repair; and neighborhood improvements.

There are 1601 people in the 1.07 square mile radius that has been identified as East Winter Garden. 334 0-14 years old

939 15-64 years old

329 65 and over

There are 524 separate households.

To find more details about this Community Transformation Initiative go to:

To learn more about opportunities to serve in East Winter Garden email St. Luke’s Serve Office.

Community Transformation

Find out how you can serve and support the Community Transformation efforts by contacting Lynette Fields at or 407.876.4991 ext. *230.

Watch a video about the Circles Campaign, a national model for family stabilization

Community Transformation Notes and Information

Click Here to be Redirected to the Community Transformation Webpage.

Here’s what you do:

1. Get trained (training details coming soon).
2. Once you have completed at least two of the trainings, contact Lynette Fields, Executive Director of Missions, at or 407.876.4991. ext. *230 to become a part of the EWG Team. You can get regular updates of how you can be directly involved.

Guidelines for Ministries Working in East Winter Garden

  • Ministries must be able to connect with the current approved metrics (see above).
  • Ministries must follow the Community Transformation guiding principles (see above).
  • Training required for all volunteers. Click here for listing.
  • New ministries should work within the overall strategy of community transformation and with close collaboration with all other ministries in EWG.
  • Ministry will be done by invitation and with cooperation from the community. Please contact Lynette Fields, Executive Director for Missions, for details about how to get other ministries connected at or 407.876.4991 ext. *230.
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