“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
— Matthew 6:21
What a pleasure it was, getting to sit down with Larry, after knowing him for almost his entire tenure here serving as FUMCFW’s Business Administrator. If you know Larry, or any business or numbers-oriented folks for that matter, you’ll know that they can be tough nuts to crack. Fortunately for me, however, Larry was more than willing to share his thoughts – as well as a few real nuggets of wisdom.
After Larry graduated with his master’s degree, he entered into the world of oil and gas. While this job provided income, there seemed to be something…missing. His father was a minister, so church was always a place he always felt at home and welcome. With the serious oil and gas downturn during the mid-1980’s, he lost his job and turned to his own minister for some choice advice. His minister suggested that he combine his skills and knowledge on the business side of life with his love and admiration of church. He commented that churches, especially churches with large congregations, are always in need of Business Administrators. Thus, his life in the church began.
He served at FUMC in Richardson for five years followed by Lover’s Lane UMC for seven years. The opportunity to serve FUMCFW presented itself in 2004, and he never looked back. He played an instrumental role in the great Organ reconstruction in 2014 and in helping to develop our Next90 Building Expansion project and its soon-to-launch Capital Campaign almost six years ago.
When asked what his favorite thing about working here at First Church has been, Larry said without hesitation, “The people!” He made it clear that everything he has done here could not have been accomplished without the help from members of our congregation who have shared both their knowledge and expertise with him. He mentioned names like Jim Whitton, Susan Barley, Jerry Colwell, and Bill Scott just to name a few. Larry shared that not only did he develop wonderful working relationships with many of these members, but he also forged lifelong friendships — friendships that he will hold dear long after his retirement festivities.
More than anything, it seems that Larry wants our congregation to realize what an anomaly our Downtown church truly is. Not only are we thriving with our current membership, but we are actually growing. We are growing in numbers and in finances, and that, my friends, is something to celebrate.
While the idea of retiring before the groundbreaking actually begins is somewhat bittersweet, Larry emphasized the importance of the physical manifestation of the growth of our congregation. We are growing in numbers now, but soon we will be physically growing our facilities. “Once that ground breaks,” he said, “it will not only invigorate our congregation, but the rest of Fort Worth will see our expansion and get excited as well.” He continued, “People want to be a part of something that is growing and changing.” After all, it’s not every day that a ninety-year-old, downtown, Methodist church is able to exist, much less expand.
You might be wondering what Larry will be up to after his retirement is in full swing. After a bit of rest followed by a three-month trek, April through June, along the Appalachian Trail, starting in Virginia and ending up in Maine, Larry says that he will be taking a page out of Jesus’ own book and will begin honing his craft and his love of woodworking and carpentry. Thank you, Larry Ammerman, for your commitment to us, and your service to First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. You will be missed.
Emily McDermott serves as staff writer and production manager for FUMCFW Communications.