Mount Carmel Free Methodist Church
Address: 412 Poplar Street Mt. Carmel, IL
Early in 1888 Rev. D.S. Moore of Lawrenceville, Illinois, held a church service in a Mt. Carmel home. As a result, a group of pilgrims were organized as a chapel with five members. Pastor G.W. Gilkinson of West Salem, Illinois held a productive revival series in the Court House early in 1889. The Mount Carmel Free Methodist Church was then officially organized in 1889 by Rev. H.J. McKinnell and attached to the Belmont Circuit, which also included churches in Belmont and Keensburg. The first church building was built in 1891 at 410 Poplar Street. In 1907, the original church was moved to the present church location (412 Poplar Street) and a new parsonage was built. Pastor C.J. Burnett was the first pastor to occupy the new parsonage. A new building was dedicated June 6, 1915 and still stands today at the corner of 4th and Poplar Street.
The Mount Carmel Free Methodist Church is a gathering of multigenerational families – young, old and in between – allowing God to take the broken pieces of their lives and make a beautiful mosaic! As a multigenerational gathering they want each generation to enrich the lives of all they encounter. Mount Carmel Free Methodist Church serves the community through a food pantry (open 10-12 Monday through Friday) and a monthly free lunch give away (2nd Friday of each month), plus regular church services. The church maintains a box (Kay’s Box) located in the front of the church where anyone in the community can find food and other items like.
The Mount Carmel Free Methodist church has been a faithful pillar in the community for over 130 years providing for people’s physical and spiritual needs. As trends change the mission of the church (helping people experience a real life transforming relationship with God) will never change.
They are often asked what is a “Free Methodist?” The Free Methodist Church was born in 1860 when Benjamin Titus Roberts, a pastor in the Methodist Episcopal Church, could no longer serve in harmony with their practices. B.T. Roberts believed that a church should not support slaveholding, excluding poor people from church by the practice of renting pews and other practices that he felt were excessive or immoral. Therefore, he promoted freedom for all people from slavery, free seats in every house of worship, and freedom for women to serve in all roles in the church including pastoral ministry. Interested parties can read more here: https://fmcusa.org/history
Pastor Mike and his family moved from Northern California where they pastored a small church in a gold mining community. Not wanting to move to a large urban area they began looking for an opportunity to pastor a church in a small community. The Mount Carmel Free Methodist church kept coming up on their radar and here they are! Pastor Mike takes seriously that God can make beautiful things out of brokenness through God’s radical love and grace. Pastor Mike and his wife Judene believe that by giving people the opportunity to know God for themselves they too can find hope, meaning, purpose, and healing. The message of God’s love is what drives Pastor Mike and Judene.
Pastor Mike has a master’s degree in theology from Liberty University. He has completed 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). The Thompson’s pastored a church as well as planted a church in Northern California. Pastor Mike has also served as a Hospice & Hospital Chaplain. But really, he made a real mess of his life and God had to fix him up.
God taking the broken pieces of our lives and making a beautiful mosaic.