• Kurt Fedewa

Portland United Methodist Church


The United Methodist Church has had an important presence in Portland since the year 1838. The present building on Bridge Street dates from 1914, with the educational wing added in 1964.


The Rev. Letisha “Tish” Bowman presently serves the church as pastor. She has been in ministry for seventeen years and pastor of the church in Portland since 2015.


“The most satisfying aspect of my ministry is that of talking to new believers and introducing them to our faith,” said Pastor Tish. “I also enjoy talking to long-term members and helping them to deepen their faith. Having these conversations is very important to me. My ministry is about connecting people in order to build-up the Christian community. I do this as a minister and we do this together as a congregation.”


The congregation of the Portland UMC presently numbers about 200 people. There are three services on Sunday morning. The traditional service begins at 9 AM. It features traditional hymns and liturgy. At 10 AM there is an online prerecorded contemporary service with a more current emphasis and with contemporary praise music.


“The message of our church is meant to help people live out their faith in a way that is relevant to everyday life,” said the pastor.


The UMC of Portland also offers something new and special on Sunday. It is called “The Gathering.” It features “worship without walls” as Pastor Tish puts it.


“It’s for people to whom traditional church does not speak,” she said.


In the summer months, The Gathering service is held out-of-doors whenever possible. When the weather turns colder, the service will be held in the church building but not in the sanctuary—rather, it will be in a more relaxed setting, with beverages for everyone.


“’The Gathering’ is about people coming together to build-up our community,” said Pastor Tish. “It’s for people who wish to know one another better. We enter into a time of prayer and I share the Word of God with them; then I share a message through stories and through teaching, with opportunities for the participants to ask questions and have a discussion. It’s a very special time for everyone.”


Looking to the future, the UMC of Portland will search for new ways to reach people for whom the traditional church doesn’t work well. These new forms of worship will include opportunities like “The Gathering” and “Love Your Neighbor” events.


“I love meeting together to worship with others and to love God and neighbor in this way,” said Pastor Tish. “Being part of this community enriches my life in profound ways.”


Portland United Methodist Church

310 East Bridge Street

Portland, MI 48875


Sunday Services


Traditional Service: 9 AM in person

Contemporary Worship: 10 AM online at Facebook

The Gathering meets at 10 AM in person


Telephone: (517) 647-4649


portlandumc.org


Reach Pastor Tish Bowman at portlandmiumc@gmail.com


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