Extension Ministry

Serving those beyond our walls*

Vision: Every member understands “I am a missionary,” and their mission field is “wherever I am.” 

Mission: To bring people to Jesus through tangible expressions of love and compassion.

Impact Statement: Rebuilding, restoring, and renewing individual lives, buildings, and communities.

Where is God calling you to serve? In your home, in your church, in your workplace, on the mission is different for each of us, but we are all called to serve. 

Scroll down this page to learn about various ways and opportunities for serving others outside our church walls, locally and globally. Check them out! But don't let this list limit you. This is just a starting point; you may discover another place where God is calling you to serve Him. Let Him show you His plan for You!

You can see some of our mission field in pictures here or on "The Extension" facebook page. roundedfacebook

*Note: The green arrows on the map above point to the countries where we help support mission work.

What Can I Do?

Review the local and global missions opportunities below and get involved yourself or engage by supporting those who have been called to missions.


Pray for our missionaries and mission outreaches listed below on a regular basis. To sign up for missionary newsletters, contact the church office.


Encourage the missionaries through notes, letters, or care packages. Contact information is available through the church office.  

Get Involved

Watch the church bulletin and newsletter for opportunities to participate in a local outreach ministry or join a traveling mission work team from First Church. Our current plans include an annual mission trip in the spring to the Red Bird Mission area in Kentucky.


You can support a missionary with financial donations directly or through the church. To give to the church mission's budget, click here.

Fundraising Events 

Such events as our dessert auctions or bar-b-ques are also wonderful times to connect with others at First Church and be a part of our mission outreach.

Reaching Out in Our Community

The vision of our local outreach ministry is to share the love of God by serving Lancaster County through various service projects. We connect with local ministries to combat needs in our community such as poverty, homelessness, addictions, and abortion. If you would like to get involved or for more information, please contact the church office or contact person listed below for ways that you can be involved.

Hands-On Work Projects: This church team participates in ‘mission’ projects wherever there is a need from locally to the far reaches of the world. This may include Habitat for Humanity, LUMINA, Ephrata Project, and others, or simply a family in need. These individuals serve others using construction skills, food prep, teaching, serving, and administration skills.

Boy Scouts: Local Boy Scout troop 73 and Cub Scout Pack 73 are sponsored by First Church and meet at the church.

Church Contact: Keith Weiss

Good Samaritan Services: A Christian ministry that provides safe, comfortable housing and supportive services to men, women, and women with children experiencing homelessness in Chester and Lancaster counties.; 717-733-3395

Church Contact: Karen Heffner

Align Life Ministries (formerly Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services-SVPS): Exists to align with God to champion the gospel of Jesus Christ and the sacredness of human life through pregnancy services, strategic partnerships and equipping resources. The annual baby bottle boomerang collection goes to support this ministry.; 717-274-5128

Ephrata Area Social Services (EASS): Supports people in need throughout the Ephrata and Cocalico Regions of Northern Lancaster County. They run many different programs that feed and clothe thousands of people in our community. They also provide transportation services for senior citizens. First Church participates in ongoing food collection as well as the Ephrata Parade Night Food Collection for EASS. They sponsor Meals on Wheels where individuals assist in cooking and delivering meals. A shopping cart at church is always ready to receive food donations.;   717-733-0345

Church Contacts: Merv Witmer

Stockings for Soldiers: Provides cards, prayer squares, and Christmas stockings for military families. Learn more here.

Church Contact: Dennis & Louise Headington

Kentucky Mission Trip: First Church sponsors and leads a work trip to Red Bird Henderson Settlement in Kentucky each year, usually in the spring. View video and slide shows of previous trips here.

Contact: Norm Strenger

Community Dinners: A free dinner is served every Thursday evening in Ephrata for all who come. Our church is the serving location every third month. Since many churches in the area take turns providing and serving the meal, we serve and provide the meal just 3-4 times a year. This has been on hold due to COVID, but is resuming part time in 2022.

Church Contact: Elaine Blakeslee

City Gate Ephrata: Exists to release the Kingdom of God through prayer, serving and training - to make disciples, equip believers, and serve the community with prayer and justice. First Church participates with prayer times, serving free lunches, and other needs as they arise.. 100 E. Main Street, Ephrata, PA

Church Contact: Wilma Lee, Barb Foster

Vacation Bible School (VBS): We reach out to children in the community through our children's ministry.

Special Olympics: Our youth ministry takes a group to serve in this annual outreach.

The Giving Tree: In December and January, donations are received for a number of needs beyond the church walls.

Things We Collect for Missions: Redner's Save-A-Tape receipts for mission outreach, tabs from aluminum cans, and aluminum cans themselves can all be dropped off at the church to help others. Please place aluminum cans in the containers provided at the parking lot entranceway and the other items in designated containers in the Info Center at the rear of the sanctuary.

& more as needs and opportunities present themselves.

Missionaries supported by First Church

in addition to general mission support through the UMC

June Hartranft School for Girls in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, West Africa

This school for young girls was named in honor of missionary June Hartranft, a lifetime missionary from our church who served there from 1945 until her premature passing in 1965. The school enrolls over 500 girls from the area and is a boarding school for a number of them, providing room and board as well as an education. Scroll down this page to see pictures.

Matt and Jenn Irvine, Malachi, Arielle, Luke

London, England

Matt and Jenn Irvine have been involved in cross-cultural church planting in multi-cultural, multi-faith British South Asian neighborhoods for 20+ years. At present, in partnership with local leaders, they are seeking to grow a local community of Jesus-followers in north west London (Harrow-Brent). They desire to help grow a community that lives out and spreads the Good News of Jesus in ways that are meaningful in the local British South Asian context. Scroll down this page to see  their picture.  For more info, visit:

Denny & Dolly Bowerman

Home base: Manheim, PA

In ministry to native Americans, in particular the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Arizona, & Colorado, working with the Navajo people on the reservations, including a Navajo Code Talker who is 93 years old. They make regular extended visits to the area to participate in activities and outreach there.

Charles & Chris Hanak

Home base: Grand Rapids, MI

In ministry to the nations through Ambassadors for Christ International (AFCI).

Charlie - Regional Director for the Americas

Chris - Focus on the Heart, Women's Ministry Coordinator, leading Focus on the Heart courses for women in third world countries, including such countries as Peru and India.