Fir$t Match



First Church has been presented with a challenge in the form of a $20K donation!

Update: On May 19, it was announced that a donor had added an additional $10K to our First Match challenge and you accepted the challenge. In just three weeks, you have given $32,794, meeting the first challenge of $20K and the additional challenge of $10K. So we have a total of $62,794 and we have one more week to go.

As you know, these funds will be allocated to three areas: air conditioner maintenance and repair, preventative tree maintenance and care, and enhanced campus security. The estimate to complete everything on the list is $106,700. We have made tremendous progress by matching and exceeding the $30K challenge. In this last week of the challenge, how close can we get to the total needed?

  1. Care and preservation of our trees. First Church has many historic oak, pecan, and cottonwood trees among others across our picturesque campus. Did you know that the Council Oak tree is several hundred years old? Estimates range from 400 – 800 years. It is one of several Council Oaks (the Treaty Oak in Austin is another) where Tonkawa Indians were said to have held council. It is important to care for them aesthetically but also from a safety perspective. What do we need to do to care for our historic trees?
    • Remove dead, diseased, and broken branches to improve tree health and appearance while reducing the risk of branch failure.
    • Thin the crowns of trees to reduce the risk of branch stem and/or root failure.
    • Raise lower branches to improve clearance over play and grassy areas, buildings, and courtyard deck.
    • Install supplemental support cables in the two large cottonwood trees located in the south parking lots.
    • Excavate soil from the lower stem of four pecan trees to expose the root collar to reduce the risk of insect and disease infestations and promote tree health. Total needed: $21,900.
  2.  Air conditioning. Did you know…the church uses almost 50 AC units (170+ tons) plus the Sanctuary’s chiller (160 tons) and its 14 air handlers to keep our facilities cool and comfortable in the sultry Texas heat? In the past fifteen months, we implemented a formal preventive maintenance program and have replaced several AC units but still have older equipment that is in need of repair and/or replacement. Summer is just around to the corner with the hottest months of the year ahead of us. Total needed: $19,500. Here are the specifics:
    1. Replacement of a chiller temperature sensor and refrigerant to achieve optimal chiller performance.
    2. Collection of chiller oil samples for testing and evaluation to maintain desired performance and reliability.
    3. Replacement and installation of an HVAC system for the other half of the Front Office Lobby and staff offices.
    4. Replacement of the evaporator coil and drier for the HVAC unit serving the nursery and a multi-functional classroom in the Adkins Education Center.
    5. Replacement of the condenser fan motor and capacitor to the HVAC system cooling the facilities used by the Crafters and Quilters weekly.
    6. Addition of a new condensate float switch to the HVAC system used to cool the facilities occupied by the Crafters and Quilters weekly.
    7. Replacement and installation of an HVAC system and duct work for the church’s materials and equipment storage facilities and reconstruction of the HVAC decking.
    8. Update HVAC duct work and replacement of Payne Cottage deteriorating and dated AC system with an HVAC system for efficient cooling and heating.
    9. Replacement of a pressure gage to the sanctuary’s boiler water outlet.
  3. Security. Our campus regularly hosts a variety of church and community-related events, seven days a week, during both daytime and evening hours. Periodically, we also host some events that occur overnight. With several different buildings, including a preschool, on campus with many entrances, it is imperative to provide a safe, healthy, and secure campus for our staff, our volunteers, our children, and our visitors, as well as to provide oversight of our special campus. Our staff and trustees are working with a group of professionals with expertise in emergency preparations, security, and church operations to evaluate our security needs. Indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, programmable access cards for building entry, security management software, and notification systems for security breaches are some of the things being considered. Additional exterior lighting, signage, and fencing are also being explored.
    Total needed: $65,300. 
So let’s give! Starting on May 7, there will be 500 envelopes in three locations, each one labeled with an amount from $1 to $500. They will be located in the foyer of the Sanctuary, the foyer of the FLC and in Building 5. All you need to do is simply choose your amount, take an envelope, fill it and return the envelope!
Get creative on how you will fill your envelope. Think outside of your own wallet. Can your child have a lemonade stand to fill theirs? Can you sell your comic book collection? Can your Sunday school class get together for dinner and collect funds to fill an envelope? Can your group have a garage sale? Accept the challenge to take more than one envelope! Take one for a group in which you are involved (Bible studies, choir, fellowship groups, etc.) and encourage a group gift.
The envelopes are not the only way to give.
  • Give online: You can give online through your myFirstChurch account. Choose First Match as the fund to which you want to give. If you want to specify that your gift goes to a particular area, just write Trees, AC or Security in the Optional Description box.
  • Give online: If you don’t have a myFirstChurch account, you can click here to give. Choose First Match as the fund to which you want to give. If you want to specify that your gift goes to a particular area, just write Trees, AC or Security in the Optional Description box.
  • Text to Give: Text FUMCRR FirstMatch (specify amount) to 73256. If you want to specify your text gift go to a particular area, please send those instructions by email to
Join us on Sunday to hear more about the First Match campaign and to pick up an envelope, or two. Give Joyfully! Give Abundantly! Give Often!