Welcome to Oak Hill United Methodist Church—where everyone is a minister. We believe that all of us are called to ministry—to be the hands and feet of Christ in a world that desperately needs encouragement and help. We’re all about doing for Jesus. Whether the work involves pots and pans, hammers and nails, paint and brushes, needle and thread, shovels and rakes—we are ready to put our gifts and graces to work honoring God by serving his people.
We find ourselves walking side by side with the homeless and the poor, those that need a friend and those who are eager to be a friend. We love to pour out God’s love on our brothers and sisters in Christ whether they live in Oak Hill, in other areas of Austin, somewhere in Texas, in Haiti, or beyond—anywhere God’s people could use a hand, a smile, a voice of hope.
Director of Service & Connections
OAK HILL COMMUNITY ALLIANCE
The Oak Hill Community Alliance is a coalition of 20 churches and the Travis County Constable’s Office which works to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the Oak Hill area.
COLD WEATHER SHELTER
On freeze nights, the alliance operates a cold weather shelter in our Fellowship Hall for people experiencing homelessness and forced to camp in the southern and southwestern parts of town. We run this outreach initiative in partnership with The Other Ones Foundation.
Compass Network Oak Hill is designed to permit area churches that are members of the Oak Hill Community Alliance an opportunity to expand relationship building and service to neighbors experiencing homelessness.
The program, an outreach ministry led by Sunrise Church, offers weekly, free meals to homeless guests from 1-3 p.m. each Sunday at the intersection of William Cannon and Hwy 290 W.
Participating churches provide a meal, clothing, hygiene kits, and relationship building to guests. In addition, agencies that serve the homeless, including Sunrise Church and The Other Ones Foundation, have agreed to be available to help guests enter or navigate the process toward housing.
If you are interested in participating in this ministry, contact Jon Nelson or visit the Connection Station to sign up.
Foundation Communities provides people with an affordable, attractive place to call home, as well as opportunities right at their doorstep to transform their lives. Throughout the year we partner with Foundation Communities for various projects and initiatives. Below is just a sampling.
EASTER EGG HUNT
Each year, the Oak Hill UMC Community Ministries Team sponsors an Easter egg hunt and party for the families at the Foundation Communities. We hear ever the Easter bunny shows up for this event!
SPONSORING FAMILIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
During the holiday season we welcome people to extend Christ’s love by sponsoring a Foundation Communities family and helping to fulfill the wish lists of children and parents.
Several of the families live just down Texas Highway 71 at Live Oak Trails and Southwest Trails, two affordable family complexes that Oak Hill UMC has partnered with for various events and projects.
TRAVIS COUNTY COMMUNITY CENTER
Each year we love to share a little Christmas cheer with Oak Hill area neighbors awaiting arrival of Brown Santa to the Travis County Community Center at Oak Hill. Event includes breakfast for all, crafts, storytelling in English and Spanish, and more fun than you can imagine.
BRING A TEDDY BEAR TO CHURCH
In early December we start collecting new teddy bears or other new stuffed animal to be given to a wonderful child in our neighborhood at the annual Travis County Community Center at Oak Hill Christmas party. The teddy bears even get to sit with us in worship on Teddy Bear Sunday!
BROWN SANTA CHRISTMAS PARTY
Our church hosts a Brown Santa Christmas party complete with holiday snacks, craft activities, a story-time center, holiday music, etc. The centerpiece of the event is Santa who welcomes the children with hugs and a teddy bear of their very own to love.
SPONTANEOUS SHORT TERM MINISTRIES
Sometimes a need arises quickly in our community and we try to use the gifts and talents God has given all of us to meet that need. For instance, when the COVID-19 crisis hit, we quickly got together a team of volunteers to start sewing homemade face masks for distribution to local hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etc.
Watch the Spectrum News story: "Amid Shortage, Church Group Sews Medical Masks to Meet Demand."
FLOOD BUCKET MINISTRY
After a storm strikes, we often put together "flood buckets" with cleaning supplies to help people begin the overwhelming job of cleaning up after a flood or hurricane. Flood buckets are one way you can serve your brothers and sisters in a useful way without physically being in a disaster-affected area.
Below is a sampling of how we serve the Oak Hill and greater Austin region.
AUSTIN RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS
The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) serves as the first point of entry into the homeless service system for many of Austin's adults experiencing homelessness for the first time, as well as those who have been living on the streets for years. The ARCH is designed to assess client needs, provide information on how and where to access services, and meet the basic emergency needs of homeless adults, as well as provide a place for homeless people to rest and get out of the elements during the day. Approximately 10,000 homeless men and women use the ARCH, including an average of approximately 600 individuals each day. Oak Hill UMC serves ARCH through blanket and towel drives throughout the year and by serving evening meals.
For more information, email Bob Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE ARE BLOOD
You can give blood several times a year when the blood donation bus visits the Oak Hill UMC campus. Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment will help us know how many people to expect.
Please contact Jennifer Freel at email@example.com for more information and to set an appointment.
THE BURKE CENTER FOR YOUTH
The mission of the agency is to stop the cycle of abuse and neglect of children in Texas by providing residential care services to infants, children, and adolescents in a facility and in licensed therapeutic and basic foster homes in central and south Texas. The Burke Center for Youth provides treatment in the areas of familial, educational, physical, social, recreational, and behavioral growth of clients.
Please contact Alison Talbert at alison.I.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK
A leader in the fight against hunger for nearly 35 years, the mission of the Central Texas Food Bank is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. It is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas.
Volunteer opportunities include helping prepare food donations for distribution, delivering food at mobile food pantries, and lending a hand in their kitchen or garden.
Please contact Vicki Matustik at email@example.com for more information.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Every two years, congregations from Methodist churches throughout Austin join with Austin Habitat to make the dream of home ownership a reality for some of our communities' most deserving families. By raising money, Methodist congregations provide the materials needed to build a home. By providing volunteer labor, they provide the sweat, love, and examples of the values needed to change the world. Come build with us!
For more information about Oak Hill UMC and Habitat for Humanity, email Ernie Rebuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONTOPOLIS FRIENDSHIP CENTER
Montopolis Friendship Community Center is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation formed as a United Methodist Women's response to help meet some of the needs in the Montopolis community of Austin.
Contact Ashley Fryer at email@example.com.
REGIONAL & GLOBAL MINISTRIES
HANDS ON HOUSING - INTERFAITH ACTION OF CENTRAL TEXAS (iACT)
Under the direction of Wally Vog, Phil Parker, and others, we work to be the hands and feet of our neighbors via regional and local mission outreach. Work includes, but is not limited to, painting and minor repairs for homeowners who are elderly, ill, handicapped, or otherwise unable to make the repairs themselves.
In Austin, we often partner with Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) for home repairs and painting.
Contact Matt Bales at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When disaster strikes our area, whether by fire, flood, or some other life-altering weather situation, Oak Hill UMC responds with supplies, money, and manpower. Want to join our list of responders? Contact Ron Kettler at email@example.com or Vicki Matustik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rio Texas Conference has a website for disaster response. ERT training is available. For more information, contact Adam Matustik at email@example.com.
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE
Each spring we gather money to help fight hunger throughout the world. Oak Hill UMC also sends a delegation of “walkers” to participate in the annual CWS Crop Walk. While the money is directed to alleviate hunger, the walkers serve as a physical representation that those who face hunger daily are not forgotten. Contact Rae Barho at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to get involved with CROP.
WELLS IN AFRICA
Water is a basic necessity that we take for granted, but many people still don’t have clean, accessible drinking water. Please help us change that one well at a time. Can you imagine trudging more than five miles every day just to get water? How about carrying that water the five-plus miles back? Or worse yet, having to give that murky brown water to your child. The Seven Class began collecting funds for a well in Africa when two classmates made a trip to Africa. The class decided to ask for funds for an Africa well instead of gifts. Other people in the church have joined the effort over the years. Nearly 500 people in Ethiopia now have clean water because Oak Hill UMC cared enough to sponsor wells in Africa. Two wells have been built, and a third will be built this year. Funds have been raised for a fourth well. If the class raises $15,000, a well and wastewater system for a school will be provided. To support the effort, please write a check to Oak Hill UMC and note “African Well Project,” or donate at the Water To Thrive website.