A United Methodist Community
Sunday - Outdoor Worship
We Welcome You to join us for our Outdoor Worship Service on the First UMC Campus Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Grand Ave and First continue to worship together outside in the courtyard at First UMC, 344 E Morton Ave. Bring your own lawn chair and face covering.
Wednesday Online Bible Study
Each Wednesday 10:00-11:00 a.m., Pastor Tom leads a Bible study via zoom. We are studying 1 Corinthians.
For a link to the zoom meeting, please email
Pastor Tom -
Online giving is available for Grand Ave UMC Offering. Click the donate button on this page for further instructions.
Stay connected. Pray for the churches and the Porterville community. The Messenger Newsletter for First and Grand Ave is published on this page.
Help Us Improve!
Please take our outdoor service survey CLICK HERE!
Tom Buratovich - Pastor
Ryan Ridenour - Director of Youth Ministries and Administrative Assistant
Judy Buratovich - Interim Worship Administrator
Rodel Lipumano - Treasurer
Outdoor and Online Worship
Sunday Worship Schedule:
10:00 a.m. - Outdoor Worship Service at First UMC for both Congregations (344 E Morton Ave)
Online Worship Service posted Sunday Evenings
Grand Avenue exists to invite all peoples
into a transforming relationship with Jesus
allowing them to serve God and our community.
What to Expect
When you visit a new place you may become nervous. We have tried to minimize this by providing visitor-marked parking, quality childcare, and smiling faces. Nervousness will also diminish with time -- time to discover and be discovered, to know and be known. That is the cry of every human heart.
It is our deepest desire for you to feel comfortable and welcomed. If anything does not make you feel welcome, feel free to use your tear-off Connection Card on your bulletin to give us your valued feedback. We would love the input!
Sunday Worship - (Fall 2020 we meet at 10:00 a.m. in the Courtyard at First UMC Porterville)
Our worship service is casual, combining the best elements of traditional and contemporary worship styles. We meet in the Sanctuary with a prayer time beforehand in the Pastor's Study and a Coffee/Fellowship Time afterwards. The service include time for worship, prayer, offering, and teaching, averaging an hour and fifteen minutes in length. Child care is available for infants to five years of age at the beginning of each service. Children, kindergarten through sixth grade, have Children's Church which starts in the service and excuses the kids at the offering time. Similarly the youth, seventh through twelfth grade, have Sunday School which starts in the service and excuses the kids at the offering time. We serve communion, typically, on the first Sunday of the month.
Wednesday Evening - 5:45 p.m. (September - May) - On Hold for 2020
If you attend a Wednesday evening Bible study, it starts with a family dinner -- potluck on the first Wednesday of the month and individual signups on the other evenings -- from 5:45-6:30 p.m. Children, youth, and adult activities follow. The feel is relational and the emphasis is on smaller groups that seek to experience life together as we learn about integrating our lives into the Kingdom of God.
Middle school and high school youth hold their own programs at 6:30 in the Youth Room upstairs in the Fellowship Hall. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, contact Ryan Ridenour here.
We hope you will join us for one of these events!
Grand Avenue Ministries
Grand Avenue United Methodist Youth
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young...1 Tim 4:12
At Grand Avenue, we strive to provide a Christ-centered atmosphere combined with excitement and energy for our youth. We have a Wednesday night program which focuses on the Love of God and the fun sports He has blessed us with. Each Sunday we explore God’s word through entertaining and challenging Bible lessons. Everyone is treated as equals and all are welcome. We look forward to seeing you.
Monday Nights & Sunday School - On Hold for Now
7th grade & up – 12th grade
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday School 9:30 a.m. - starts in Sanctuary, ends in Youth Room
GRAND AVENUE UNITED METHODIST CHILDREN'S MINISTRY
Train a child in the way he should go . . . Proverbs 22:6
Welcome to Grand Avenue Children's Ministries. As believers, we are called to care for the little ones in our midst. One way we do this is to train them using God’s word. We are passionate and committed in helping our youngest members experience the message and love of Jesus Christ. We provide fun bible based curriculum, games, and service events to foster their future as disciples and as positive role models in our community.
KINDERGARTEN THRU 6TH GRADE KINDERGARTEN THRU 6TH GRADE
Sundays 10:00 a.m. (DISMISSED DURING WORSHIP SERVICE)
Through the power of Christ, one shoe-box gift lovingly packed by a family or an individual and delivered to a child overseas can inspire pastors, multiply congregations, plant new churches and inspire children to share the Gospel with family and friends. For more information concerning Operation Christmas Child, please email us by clicking here.
Teach One to Lead One is a community mentoring program that teaches universal principles to lead at-risk kids into a life of purpose and potential. These principles are respect, integrity, self-control, courage, humility, excellence, compassion, enthusiasm, teamwork, and honor. Contact the church office for more information. For program information go to
The Parent Project
Parent Project Senior
“Changing Destructive Adolescent Behavior” is an award winning intervention model addressing the most destructive of adolescent behaviors. We know of no other program that addresses it all: truancy, drugs, runaways, media, early teen sex, violence, gangs . . . Parent Project Senior promises concrete answers for every parent question asked. For more information go to www.parentproject.com.
Loving Solutions is a parent-training program specifically designed for parents raising difficult younger children, ages 5-10 years. With special application to ADD / ADHD issues, Loving Solutions employs a behavioral model to help parents both motivate children to do constructive tasks and manage unwanted behaviors. The programs “Steps of Success” (S.O.S.) home practice assignments help create a solid foundation for change. We typically run these programs twice a year in the fall in the spring.
Grand Avenue has a rich history that goes back all the way to June 19, 1899 when the congregation was organized as the Emanuel Church of the Evangelical Association. The Evangelical Association was founded in 1800, by the Rev. Jacob Albright, a German-speaking Christian native of Pennsylvania, influenced by John Wesley and the Methodist movement. The original congregation held services in German in Porterville.
In 1946, the Evangelical Church merged with the United Brethren in Christ to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. This body, in turn, united with The Methodist Church (US) in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church.
Due to denominational mergers the name of the church changed several times until 1968 the church took on its current name Grand Avenue United Methodist Church.
The church continues to hold fast to the dreams and purposes of its founders that Jesus Christ is the head of the church and the foundation upon which it stands.
While history and heritage is important and gives us a rootedness it does not restrain us from our desire to be relevant to current society, to boldly proclaim the Gospel to the lost and to be a place of healing for those who need a special touch of grace.
Have a wonderful day and, again, thank you for your visit.