• Welcome
  • Worship times
  • Directions
  • What to Expect
  • For Kids
  • Welcome to First Church

    We are glad you are here!  First Church is a place of dynamic community.  A place where people grow closer to God and grow closer to each other.  We welcome new members into our community every week.  Please join us on Sunday mornings at 8 am, 9:30 am, and 11 am.  There are many easy ways for you to plug into our community. If you have further questions please contact us via email or phone 954-752-0333 

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    Every week we offer five unique Sunday services in our sanctuary.  Come join us this Sunday at...

    8 am Traditional Service with communion and hymn singing

    9:30 am Contemporary Service with a Praise Band

    11 am Traditional Service with a choir and hymn singing


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    Visit us at 8650 West Sample Road, Coral Springs, Florida 33065

    We are located on the south side of Sample road just west of Riverside Drive and just east of University Drive.  For Directions click here

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    What to Expect

    When you come to First Church expect to be welcomed into a dynamic Christian community.  Expect to interact with people who love God and each other.  Expect people who aren't afraid to acknowledge they don't have it all figured out and are asking relevant questions as they seek to live more fulfilled lives.  We offer a variety of worship services, small groups, serving opportunities, and events all aimed at meeting the specific needs of people in our church and local community. For more information please contact our office via email or phone 954-752-0333 


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    for kids

    The Children’s and Youth Ministry Teams at First Church are dedicated to loving and encouraging children on their journey as they discover God’s truths in relevant, age-appropriate ways. Our goal is that children and youth will learn how the Scriptures apply to their lives, laying the foundation for embracing God’s story and understanding how their story fits into His.  For more information on Children's Ministry contact Lisa Gonzales.  For more information on Youth Ministry contact Chris Linderman.


New Here

Pastors and Staff


Vance Rains

Senior Pastor

Pastor Vance Rains, is first and foremost a husband to Kelly Rains and a dad to Malinda and John. Born and raised in Orlando, FL, Vance attended the University of Central Florida, majoring in Communications and Public Speaking. After graduating from college, Vance and Kelly joined the First United Methodist Church of Orlando, where he first sensed his call to ministry, and later served as the Director of Youth Ministry. Vance went to Duke Divinity School, earning a Masters of Divinity, and then earned a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Church Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary. Vance was ordained by the Florida Annual Conference as a Deacon in 1993 and an Elder in 1996. Vance has served as Senior Pastor of Ortega UMC, Jacksonville, Pastor of the Wesley Foundation at Florida State University, Executive Director of Higher Education and Campus Ministry for the Florida Annual Conference, Founding Pastor of a new United Methodist congregation called The Grapevine in Port St. Lucie, and as the Minister of Program and Administration at First UMC of Winter Park. Vance's passions and interests include preaching and teaching, leadership, creative programming, and mission work in Guatemala. In his free time, he enjoys reading, travel, riding his Harley, and tending to his collection of bonsai trees.



Bernie Peterman

Business Manager

In June of 2005, God called me out of my job in the crazy construction industry to work here at First Church as the Business Administrator. I have never regretted that calling. I enjoy working in the crazy church life. Each day is different. Between all the accounting, property management and office administration work, I also get to help people by working with the Family Crisis ministry. A pastor friend told me once “working in a church is a 24/7 job”. She was right. But she also said to remember to take time for family and rest. To that end, my husband Don and I love to camp, either in canvas tents reenacting 1860 or modern tents with my family. When it’s too hot to camp in Florida, we like to spend weekend in Naples at the beach. My Life verse is Phil 4:6-7. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. If all just worried less and prayed more our lives would be Christ centered.



Lisa Gonzales

Director of Children's Ministry

My name is Lisa Gonzales and I have attended First Church for over 12 years. I attend with my husband, Tony, and our three children, Joey, Mikey, and Bella. I grew up in Boca Raton, FL and was born and raised in a Methodist home. Church has always played a very important part of my life. I have a degree in Elementary Education from UCF and taught 1st grade for many years. I continue to keep my teaching license updated and have since added a certification in Prekindergarten/Primary and Preschool. Teaching has always been my passion and was honored to be asked to lead the Children's Ministry here at First Church. What a joy to be in a position that blends three things I love very much - Jesus, my children, and teaching. God never ceases to amaze me with His plans and I look forward to what the future holds!



Monica Hidalgo

Traditional Worship Leader

Mezzo-soprano, received an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and a Masters of Arts degree with a concentration in Choral Conducting and Vocal Pedagogy at Florida Atlantic University under the tutelage of Dr. Patricia P. Fleitas. In 2008 she was the first place recipient of the Michael and Madelyn Saverick Competition, she presented an Honor's recital at the President's Mansion at FAU, then President and Mrs. Brogan's residence, and was a recipient of the Department of Music Graduate Honors Scholarship for two consecutive years. Currently, she is Music Director for the traditional services at First Church of Coral Springs, FL, adjunct voice faculty at FAU, Artist in Residence with the Delray Beach Chorale, and a member of the Palm Beach Opera Chorus. Ms. Hidalgo served as Operations Manager of the Palm Beach Symphony for four years from 2009-2014 while maintaining an active singing career.



Annje Hutchinson

Administrative Assistant/Membership Secretary

Annje was called to the Administrative Assistant position at First Church in February 2017 after careers in education and accounting. Annje grew up in the United Methodist church out west where she volunteered her time with youth. She continues to volunteer with youth through the Chrysalis ministry. She loves her position at First Church and says it’s the best job she’s ever had! On her free time she and her husband enjoy camping in their tear-drop camper, line dancing, and enjoying trips to see their grandchild.



Chris Linderman

Director of Youth Ministry



Monique Meyer

Director of Communications



Will Newton

Worship Leader

Will Newton is a recent FSU alum with his Bachelor's Degree in English and Religious Studies. He first started playing cello in his middle school orchestra and soon branched out to the guitar and mandolin. Throughout high school, he was shaped and matured by his opportunities to lead worship at his home church in Sarasota, Fl. In college, he continued to grow as he learned about and led worship at the FSU Wesley Foundation. Will is passionate about leading musical worship that reflects and informs how we worship God in our daily lives. He seeks to be inclusive, authentic, and devoted to bringing our gifts and lives as offerings to a living and resurrected God. Will also has a love for the people and country of Nicaragua. He also loves live music, home improvement projects, and playing any team sports!



Karla Walker

Preschool Director

Karla has worked at First United Methodist Church Preschool since 1995 when she began as a substitute teacher. She was a Pre-K teacher for eleven years and became the Assistant Director in 2006. Karla has served as Preschool Director since June, 2012. Karla was born and raised in Kentucky and graduated from Western Kentucky University. She and her husband Richard relocated to South Florida in 1990 and settled in Margate where they have raised their two college-age daughters, Rachel and Megan, both of whom attended First Church Preschool.



Ray Wehrenberg

Congregational Care Pastor

Ray joins us at First Church after serving at Edgewater Pointe, a senior living facility in Boca Raton, for twenty-seven years as the senior chaplain. Before coming to Coral Springs in 1987, Ray served as a pastor in New Jersey for ten years and a missionary in Kenya for three years. He and his wife Margaret have three children and thirteen grandchildren. His passion is to love and serve people and journey with them on the path of life. His desire at First Church is to demonstrate the love of Jesus in every way especially through the Congregational Care Ministry. His life verse is Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”