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We are a downtown congregation that strives to be the hands, feet, heart, and mind of Jesus offering radical hospitality to the Valley. 

If you work in the city and county offices, own a business, wait tables in a local restaurant, or find yourself unemployed, we welcome you. We welcome the comfortable and well-fed, the unsheltered and the hungry, those battling addiction, and those who are recovering. Whether you are straight, gay, transitioning or questioning, we offer a safe place for you to discover the love of Jesus and a community. 


If you know what you believe, or are an agnostic doubter, recovering from a previous church experience, or a long time Methodist, we understand it is more important to experience grace and community than it is to claim a dogma. We welcome the Valley, the well to do, and the struggling family, the retired gray-haired older adult and the squirming baby, the dad who tells silly jokes and the high-tech mom. We welcome black and white people and all the wonderful skin hues that are in between. Whatever your heritage, born here or elsewhere,
we believe that diversity is a strength and reflects the creativity of God.

Together we strive to live out the teachings of Jesus. We believe that first and foremost our faith should make us kinder, more compassionate, and create in us a greater capacity to love.  We invite you to become companions with us. We strive to be the hands, feet, heart, and mind of Jesus in the Valley.

Our Partners

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Samoan Mission First United Methodist Church "Talofa! Samoan Mission is under the direction of Pastor Dr. Tau Moli, who is of Samoan background himself, grew up in Samoa and moved to the US with his wife and kids over 30 years ago! Samoan Mission is composed of over 50 Samoan individual members and the entire service is conducted in the Samoan language. Services for Samoan Mission are held in the Chapel from 2:30pm-3:30pm every Sunday other than the first Sunday of every month. Communion Service is every 2nd Sunday of the month. All are invited to visit and worship together! Anyone can also catch our services streamed live on our Facebook page. Please call our Secretary, Apaau Fuataga (458-226-5546 or with any questions or comments you may have, thank you!"

Center for Farm Worker and Immigrant Advocacy Unete, Center for Farm Worker Advocacy which began in 1996, is a movement of farm workers and immigrants that strives to empower and enrich the lives of both groups through education, cultural presentations, advocacy, representation in issues that affect their lives and organizing to defend immigrant rights. Go Here for More

Boy Scouts of America,

Medford BSA Troop 7 Go Here for More 


Our Pastor - The Gospels drive me. I am driven by the four New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Within them are the life and teachings of Jesus. Many of Jesus’ words have become embedded in my life and memory. And while I have kept them close these many years, they continue to resurface with new meaning.  I find myself asking, how do the Gospels apply to congregational life. What do they say about how we relate to one another and our outreach to the world?  How does a congregation that claims Jesus as Lord confront the disparity between the wealthy and the poor, gun violence, and fear of the other? My role as a pastor is to lead the congregation in answering these questions.

I am blessed to be the pastor of First Church. Our work in our community is not only fulfilling but humbling. Our work is more important than our challenges.

I am the proud father of two accomplished children, and the grandfather to four beautiful grandchildren. I was raised in Western Massachusetts but spent most of my adult life in North Carolina, eventually moving to the Pacific Northwest where the United Methodist Church is welcoming to LGBTQ clergy. In a world beset by stubborn evils and difficulties, our story of Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection reminds us during times of struggle and hardship we will not be overcome. Love and life will eventually win the day.  I hope you will join us at First United Methodist Church in Medford and see more of what we are about.

Benjamin Devoid

Governing Board 
Liz Vogt    Chair 
James Matichuk, Lay Leader
Angela Stuhr, Trustee Chair
Charlene Fermer, Staff/Parish
Cathy Okerlund, Children's Ministry
Evotia Fuliava, Samoan Rep
Dale Templeman, UMM
Lauren Cannarella, Finance Secretary
Linda Wikstrom, UMW President
Bruce McGarvey, Scout Liason 
Lavelle Castle, Membership 
Terri Nabozny, Secretary 
Ben Devoid, Pastor 


Angela Stuhr, Chair 
Bruce McGarvey    
Don Watson    
Bob Covey    
Lavelle Castle     
Mike Bakewell     
Brandon McCarty    
Merry Harris    

2024 Leadership

Finance Committee

Bob Lichlyter, Investments 
Lauren Cannarella, Finance Secretary
Liz Vogt, Board Chair 
Charlene Fermer, Staff Parish
James Matichuk, Lay Leader 
Beverly Douglas    
Sue Sn


Ben Devoid, Chair
Rod Husain      
Cathy Okerlund    
Judy McGarvey  

What We Believe

United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith (listed below). We do this in ways that are evangelical, meaning we share the good news of Jesus Christ freely, but we’re moderates rather than fundamentalists. We look to the Bible as the primary and authoritative guide for faith and practice. In addition, we value tradition, experience of the Holy Spirit, and our reason to help us in the understanding of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all of creation.

Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion.

Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith, lived out in concrete ways with those around us in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, lively worship, and small groups where people can grow in faith.

Methodists have open hearts and open minds — we welcome anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith.

United Methodists are the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States. We are home to both President Bush and Senator Dole, as well as President Clinton’s family.

Over the years, our area has seen settlement houses, homes for orphans, community centers, medical clinics, food pantries, soup kitchens, camps, and many other kinds of outreach into the needs of the community initiated and supported by the Methodist church.


What do we believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible?

We believe God created humanity to live in covenant with Him. However, we, as sinful creatures, people who choose to go their own way, have broken that covenant and need redemption, a way to repair that broken relationship. Yet God truly loves us. He acted through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to bring us salvation and the hope of eternal life.

We believe God’s love comes alive in us through the work of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit works in both our personal experience and in the common life of the church.

We believe Holy Scripture is inspired by God and contains what we need in order to understand and love God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and receive the offer of a whole and restored relationship with God — salvation.

We believe that in justification — the restoration of our relationship with God — we are given a gift, by grace and through faith in Jesus Christ, to repair and renew our connection and live a new life the way God intended us to live.

We believe in the general ministry that all Christians are called to do God’s will in mission and service wherever they are.

We believe that the reign of God is both a present and future reality. This gives us hope today and a future forever.

We believe we are part of Christ’s Universal Church. We enter the church through baptism, and in Holy Communion we celebrate the presence of Christ and find strength for Christian living. The church is one in Jesus Christ. We express our unity in hymns, prayers and liturgy, in the historic creeds, and in the belief in one holy, catholic (universal), apostolic church.

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