Carlson Memorial UMC is the oldest church in Hendry Counry, beginning as Methodist Church, South in 1892.  The congregants began meeting in a one-room palmetto thatched schoolhouse near the river, at the corner of what is now Fraser Avenue & Riverview Drive.  Our first pastor was Robert M. Evans, a circuit rider who was responsible for all Methodist work between Fort Myers and Lake Okeechobee.  The first building was a Sunday School constructed in 1893 and a steeple was added in 1913.  In 1895 a small church was built on the present LaBelle Middle School property, on land donated by Captain Francis Asbury Hendry, for whom the county is named.  Around 1910, the growing congregation began meeting at the schoolhouse next door and eventually traded properties with the school.  In 1915 the school and church moved across the street to the southeast corner of Main Street & Fort Thompson Avenue.  The school became the church and the first parsonage was added to the property.  In June 1925, the church bought property at our current location.  The new sanctuary was dedicated in 1927.   In the 50‘s and 60’s the church was remodeled.  In the late 70’s, the interior of the church was remodeled.  In 1990, the sanctuary which was deemed structurally unsound was razed.  The congregation welcomed the new building in November, 1992.  which also added a 
new fellowship hall and kitchen.  In 2017, the fellowship hall was 
remodeled and the children’s wing hallway, which had been outdoors, was closed in.
The Carlsons

The Carlsons on their wedding day December 20, 1931

The Rev. Swen Robert Emmanuel Carlson was appointed to our church in 1930.  In 1931 he married Miss Maud Magill.  In 1935 they moved to their new assignment in Islamorado on Matecumbe Key.  When the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 came, the Carlsons could have escaped but felt that their place was with their people who were staying to ride out the storm.  He helped board up buildings and secure things down as the storm came in.  Matecumbe was completely destroyed and the parsonage swept off its foundation.  The hurricane took the lives of both Rev. Carlson and his wife.  The church was renamed after the Carlsons in 1937.
Our church directory is now online.  If you need a username and password, please call the church office.
You can also download the app for your Apple or Android phone.  Take the church directory with you everywhere you go!  Search CTRN in the app store.  Call the office for the mobile privacy code.
Click the logo to access Carlson’s directory online.


Our leadership team recognizes the authority of God, and realizes that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ.
Click to see church leadership for 2019
Church Council Chairman                              

Finance Chairman


Financial Secretary

Lay Member to Annual Conference


Lay Leader

Recording Secretary

Membership Secretary

Campus Ministry Representative

Camps and Retreats Representative

UM Men President

Pastor-Parish Relations Chairman

Trustees Chairman

Nominations & Leadership Dev. Chair.

Interpreter of Connectional Giving

Children’s Home Representative


Assimilation Team

Big Brothers/Big Sisters

Choir/Traditional Service

Coffee Bar

Disaster Recovery


Kitchen Angels

Mary & Martha Ministry


Operation Backpack

Parish Nurse Ministry

Praise Team/Contemporary Service

Prayer Advocacy

Scout Liaison

Sewing Angels

Stephen Ministers


UM Men

Website & Social Media


Worship in Motion Dance Team

Coordinator of Children’s Ministries

Coordinator of Nursery Ministries

Coordinator of Youth Ministries

Coordinator of Adult Ministries

Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries

Coordinator of Persons w/ Disabilities

Coordinator of Small Groups

Mark Lapp

Linda McClanahan  (interim)

Linda McClanahan

Joan Basquin

Joan Basquin

Joy Bridwell

Jim Sloan

Kelli Perkins

Kelli Perkins

Jimmy Williams

David Weber

Eric Baker

Rob Atchley

Merlin Briner

Pastor David Mullins

Linda McClanahan

Amanda Baker


Patty Gruhn

Mark Lapp

Hannah Mary Perry

Linda O’Ferrell

Margaret England / Rowdy Howard

Mark Lapp

Julie Burke

Amber Vojak-Spencer

Phil Keyes

Linda O’Ferrell

Nikki Yeager

Jesse Kroll

Joyce Salzmann

Eric Baker

Kathy Heidenreich / Amanda Baker

Margaret England

Linda McClanahan

Eric Baker

Margaret England

Diane Moss

Judy Lapp

Stephanie Williams

Richelle Battams

Jimmy Williams


Kathy Sloan

Joyce Conner

Patty Gruhn