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Eastpoint UMC welcomes lay pastor, plans open house

David Adlerstein
The Apalach Times

The First United Methodist Church of Eastpoint is inviting everyone to come and have fun at its first, and slated to be annual, Open House on Saturday, July 25 from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

“We are wanting to partner with churches, businesses, and members of our community to share Jesus Christ peace and hope to every life we encounter and know that God has a plan for your life!” said Dee Allen, the church’s new pastor, succeeding the retiring Brian Brightly.

“We are moving forward in faith in hopes of having this event. We will ask everyone to please practice the safety guidelines so we can all have a wonderful time getting to know one another. We are going to have a lot of fun activities, door prizes, and free food,” she said.

The event will feature live music, corn hole games, a cupcake walk, dunking tank, ducky pond and more.

Musical guests will include the Team Redeem rap band, Allie and Sallie of “The Affirmed,” and Dan McClellan, the new Cub-Scoutmaster, who is busy regrouping Franklin County Cub Scout Pack 22 for a start at the end of August.

Allen, who has been appointed as a lay supply pastor by the UMC, is the daughter of Eastpoint’s Joyce Estes. After she moved here while still in middle school, she was baptized in the church she now serves, and later became a proud 1981 graduate of Apalachicola High School. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

After meeting Rod Allen while at FSU, the two were married 34 years ago in the Apalachicola UMC chapel. The couple has raised three daughters “who all love the Lord and are pursuing their passions in life,” said mom.

While the Allens continue to live in Tallahassee, Dee Allen spends a lot of time in Eastpoint with her mom.

In describing herself, she said she “has been extensively studying and practicing biblical prayer and fasting for the last 25 years.

“I love event planning and have coordinated everything from weddings to birthday parties to work-related events since I was allowed to work,” said Allen. “I live by my life values of forgiveness, faithfulness, grace, and honesty which I have instilled in our daughters.”

Ever the neighborhood “mom” for children, she loves animals, especially dogs, “but has even put up with gerbils in her house because she loves her daughter.”

Allen said she is excited to help with hosting themed recreational activities, such as the open house, for the youth, as well as Bible study offerings.

While the church does not currently offer Sunday worship services, they are looking forward to programs on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning at the end of August.

The schedule for the Christian youth center will soon be announced, and will feature Bible studies for middle and high schoolers, recreational and fun events.

The church’s Twice Blessed thrift store is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “We love donations dropped off during open hours,” said Allen. “It is a great place to shop.”

The revitalized Cub Scout pack is now seeking girls and boys from the first through fifth grades, along with families looking to have fun and fellowship together as they teach young ones about citizenship, God, and country.

“We are looking for leaders and volunteers as well,” said Allen.

For more info contact Dan McClellan at or 850-566-8975.

The church also sponsors the county’s Nest after-school program. Plans for that will be rolled out in conjunction with the start of the 2020-21 school years.