Church Relations

Church Relations


Celebrating the Connection

Florida Southern College, founded by the Florida Conference of the Methodist Church in 1885, is proud of its heritage with and connection to the United Methodist Church of today.

The Office of Church Relations was established in order to enhance and strengthen the relationship between Florida Southern College and the members of the United Methodist Church, particularly in the Florida Annual Conference. The office serves as a liaison between the College and the Church by providing programs for United Methodists of all ages both on campus and in the individual churches; by assisting and encouraging United Methodist young people in becoming students at Florida Southern; and, by serving as a resource center for the Conference.

Bishop in Residence

Bishop FanninBishop Robert E. Fannin, a 1958 FSC graduate and former senior minister of First United Methodist Church of Lakeland is the Bishop in Residence of Florida Southern College.

Following completion of his master's and doctoral studies at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Fannin served in the Florida Annual Conference of UMC in Lake Alfred, Gainesville, Stuart, Lakeland and Miami, where he was district superintendent of the Miami district. He was involved there as a member of the Hispanic Social Services board of directors; trustee of the South Florida Center for Theological Studies and the Haitian Advisory Council; and member of the coalition of Religious Leaders in Miami. To honor his work, Metropolitan Dade County declared June 9, 1991 Dr. Robert E. Fannin Day. Upon election to the Episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in July 1992, Fannin was assigned to the Birmingham area.

Fannin was a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conference in 1984, 1988 and 1992, and to the World Methodist Conference in 1986, 1992, 1997 and 2002. He serves as vice-chair of World Evangelism of the World Methodist Council; he has previously served as vice-chair of General Council on Finance and Administration; vice-chair of Emory University Board of Trustees; and president of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Court of Appeals. He has served as a board member of several national boards and agencies of UMC including the General Council on Ministries and Board of Higher Education and Ministry; as a member of the board of trustees of Birmingham-Southern College, Bethune-Cookman College and Huntingdon College. He is a past president of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Administrative Council.

Photo inside chapel


Advancing the Flame Matching Scholarship

The Advancing the Flame Matching Scholarship is an award to help encourage United Methodist youth to receive an outstanding education at Florida Southern College. Florida Southern College will match dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $1,000 for undergraduate students. Funds must come directly from the Church, scholarship committee, or groups or individuals within the congregation. (Funds received from family or relatives designated for the scholarship recipient may not be claimed as a charitable contribution deduction as per IRS regulations.) Please fill out the application for immediate consideration. For more information contact the FSC Church Relations Department at: 863.680.6211 or

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, Nashville, Tenn., offers a number of scholarships including the “Dollars for Scholars” matching fund. Check out the Foundations’ website for complete details and an application. If your home church sends $1000 for you to the UMHEF and you are chosen in the lottery, they will match that and send us $2000 for you, FSC will match $1000 of that gift, this will mean $3,000 total! Your church does not have to send FSC a separate $1,000 but we must know that the church sent the money in order for it to qualify for Advancing-the-Flame. Have your church send a letter to the Church Relations Office about their participation in “Dollars for Scholars.”

Minister’s Child Awards

$2,000 per year for children of a United Methodist minister

Contact Financial Aid Office 800.205.1600

Pre-Ministerial Awards

$5,000 per year to United Methodist Candidates in the Fla. Conference

$3,000 to all other United Methodist Candidates

Full-time Christian Service Awards

$2,000 per year for students preparing for careers in Christian education, music, ministry, youth ministry and missionary service

Contact Chaplain’s Office 863.680.4297

Christmas Gala

In order to “Celebrate our Connection,” United Methodist Churches from across the Conference are invited to bring groups to the annual Church Christmas Gala on Saturday, December 9. The collective instrumental and vocal talents of students and faculty in the FSC Department of Music are showcased in a spectacular Christmas program. The Gala and lunch are a great way for church groups to begin to celebrate Christmas!

Please call the Chaplain’s Office for tickets at 863.680.4297 or email Adrienne Eason at for additional information.

We are also offering an optional buffet lunch served from noon until 1:30 PM in the Thrift Alumni Room for $10 per person.