Southwest UMC

About Us

Get Involved


Southwest UMC is a United Methodist congregation located in Gainesville, FL. Our church was organized in 1966 and has moved locations several times before coming to rest in its current home just south of the University of Florida. Our congregation is the backbone of our ministry- working to know Christ’s love and make Christ’s love known.

We strive to offer opportunities to worship, serve, grow, and fellowship as a community. While being a member is important, we are also dedicated to being involved in our local community, sharing the love of Christ by ministering to our neighbors and standing proudly as a beacon of hope.

Our Pastor: Myra Monroe Carr

Pastor Mrya Monroe Carr

Myra is serving her first appointment as Pastor here at Southwest. She is a lifelong resident of Gainesville. Myra has been married to her husband Rob since 1995, together they have two children, Monroe and Marianna.
Myra is a familiar face in North Central Florida, having anchored the news for local stations for two decades before turning her focus to sharing the Good News. Myra has a Bachelor’s degree from UF, where she also served as an adjunct professor in Journalism. She is currently pursuing her Mastor’s degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Myra feels God has especially used the experience of motherhood to call her to ministry. During her second pregnancy, she learned she was having a baby girl with Down Syndrome. God used Mary’s words from Luke 1:38 to help her embrace His special plan: “I am the Lord’s Servant, may it be to me as you have said.” Making worship inclusive to everyone is very close to Myra’s heart.
Welcome to Southwest! You will feel the Lord’s presence the minute you walk into our beautiful, historic church. Our ministry extends far beyond these white walls. For fifty years our members have exhibited the hands and feet of Christ by helping those in need and sharing the Good News in our community and beyond. At Southwest, tradition intersects a modern busy world in a way that reminds us to focus on what’s most important in life…loving God and loving our neighbor. Step inside and worship with us.

Pastor Myra Monroe Carr
You can email Pastor Mrya at

Our Music Director:

Vickie Crane

As the daughter of two performers, Vicki has always had a passion for music. She is a native to Gainesville where she grew up learning the performing arts- which led to earning a degree in Music Education from Florida State University. She has been a member of Southwest for years, where she coordinates all services in addition to serving as director of the choir.

Music Director Vickie Crane

Our Instrumentalist:

Melody Diehl

Melody was born and raised in Gainesville, and was homeschooled through high school. She graduated from the Baptist College of Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, and later obtained a Master’s in Business Administration in 2017. Melody started playing the piano since when she was 4 years old and was always involved at her home church, Westside Baptist Church, in some musical capacity. When she isn’t found creating music or running, she loves spending time with her dogs, reading, being outdoors, the beach, and traveling.

The United Methodist Church

The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our history begins in the mid-1700s with the ministry of two brothers in England, John and Charles Wesley. Their perspective on faith and approach to discipleship attracted followers, especially in the “new world” of America. Eventually, the group in America grew so large that they organized themselves December 1784. The current church organization came into being in 1968 when The Methodist Church and The United Brethren merged.

John and Charles Wesley

John and his brother Charles experienced a spiritual transformation in May 1738 and began to lead a renewal in the Church of England. The Methodist movement soon spread to America. John was a “practical theologian.” Instead of faith being purely an intellectual experience, he was adamant that our understanding of faith must influence our actions in the real world. Charles was a musician who told the story of faith through over 6,000 hymns! Some of his most well-known as popular Christmas carols. For more on the Wesleys’ distinctive theological influence, please visit this page on the UMC site.

The Message of Grace

The Wesleys and the denomination that came about due to their leadership is known most for its understanding of grace. We believe that grace is both God’s unmerited love for us as well as God’s work in and through our lives. We believe that all persons are of sacred worth and value and that God has tasked us with joining God in making sure that all people know of the salvation that can be found in Jesus. For more information on United Methodist beliefs, please visit this page on the UMC site.