Planning a visit and have questions? Please feel free to contact us.
9:30 AM – Sunday Study
10:30 AM – Worship Service
6:30 PM – FMY/Youth Group
6:45 PM – Christian Life Club
7:00 PM – Prayer group
A variety of small groups, Bible studies, English Conversation classes and volunteer opportunities. Check the calendar for details.
1913 S. Mattis Avenue / Champaign / 61821
Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church is located in southwest Champaign, IL, across the street from the Carle South Mattis Clinic.
By bus: The church is on the 10 Gold (weekday) and 180 Lime (weekend) bus lines.
From I-57: Take exit 237A toward University. Merge onto I-72. Turn right onto S. Mattis Avenue.
From I-74: Take exit 179A to merge onto I-57 S toward Memphis. Take exit 235A toward University. Merge onto I-72 E. Turn right onto S. Mattis Avenue.
The “free” in Free Methodist stands for freedom—freedom in worship style, freedom for the poor to worship with the wealthy, and freedom from slavery for all people. These are the reasons why, in 1860, a group of Methodist lay people and pastors joined together to form a new denomination and called it Free Methodist. We encourage you to learn more about the Free Methodist denomination, and read the Free Methodist Statement of Doctrine.
Here are the core values of our local church:
This is His church. Through the priority of Prayer and careful attention to the Word of God, we endeavor to be led and empowered by His Spirit rather than the design and influence of people.
We intentionally preach and teach the Word of God in our worship services and apply it to our lives through small groups and our age-level Christian education ministries. The Bible’s instruction is relevant to every need of our day, providing clarity in a philosophically blurred society. We strive to equip our people to know what they believe and why through disciplined reading, study, meditation and memorization of the Word.
In worship, the church comes together to meet the holy God and to respond in obedience and love. Sincere followers of Christ reach out to God in praise, thanksgiving, dedication, confession, faith and service. Thorough preparation is necessary for quality corporate worship. The pastors, the worship team (musicians, song leaders, technicians, greeters, ushers, nursery and children’s workers) and individual worshipers should be ready in every way to give God the glory due Him. We encourage private and family worship as the lifestyle of every believer.
An environment of love provides a context in which people can respond to, and be changed by, the truth of Jesus Christ; it creates a platform to explain to others the love of God. Love in the church body is essential and is a primary concern of the church’s leadership. Growth in Christ requires readiness to mend relationships both with God and others, and taking responsibility to love others—all of whom are loved by God and made in His image.
We want every believer to be actively praying for and reaching out in love to individuals who have not yet come to salvation in Christ. Our church programming includes events specifically designed to cultivate friendships, present Christ in a positive way and invite people to follow Jesus. With Christ as our example, we endeavor to display God’s love in practical ways to our neighbors by becoming their servants. In response to the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations, we actively support missionaries abroad through prayer and generous financial support. We also organize and participate in short-term mission action teams.
We pursue holiness: loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. Just as God is powerful to forgive our sins, He also frees us from the power of sin so that, through His strength, we can live holy lives. We help people understand and experience the Spirit-filled life. We seek to keep ourselves free from addictions or compulsions. It is our desire to live simply in service to others, and to practice faithful stewardship of health, time, and other God-given resources.
God wants to use us to make a spiritual difference in the lives of others. We believe Christians will experience ministry that is fruitful and fulfilling when members of the Body are serving in ways consistent with their spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experience. Our staff pastors seek to invest themselves primarily in equipping God's people for ministry.
Scripture teaches believers to love one another, encourage one another, build up one another and a host of other "one another" commands. We believe that Biblically, historically and practically, this happens best in small groups. Our worship celebrations can accomodate any number of people. However, people are hesitant to talk about life's deepest needs to hundreds of mere acquaintances. True needs of people are met when the Body of Christ functions as it was designed—in the context of a community of people who understand and care. In our small groups, people help one another live life to the fullest, as Christ intended. Through the sharing of life, worship of God, application of Scripture and prayer for others, these groups enable us to disciple people toward Christlikeness regardless of their current level of maturity.
We believe that God ordained the family and the church. The fabric of society itself and the foundations of our culture are built upon the family. The family exists to provide a safe and secure context for generational nurture, characterized by truth and love. The church exists to minister to individuals and families by sharing the love of God. We are committed to preserving and strengthening marriages and providing support in the areas of Christian parenthood, family financial management and other strategic issues that will help build healthy families. We also seek to minister redemptively to those injured by fractured families and provide a safe place to belong for those separated from their physical families.
We share a mission with the worldwide Free Methodist Church. Among the benefits of belonging to a connectional church are Christian education resources, training and licensing of pastors, strategic deployment of missionaries, conference and denominational youth ministries, marriage encounter and camping ministries, colleges, seminaries and social ministries. The church on a conference and denominational level helps provide checks and balances and safeguards the local church from schism and extremism. It is a joy to support the church at large and pray for her success in the work of God's kingdom.
The church does not exist for the sake of the church. It exists for the sake of the world. We believe the church should be a force of irrestistible influence in its community. By building bridges of real spiritual integrity between itself and an increasingly skeptical society, we possess the power and authority to be a catalyst for change and an engine of influence for God. Jesus said the crowning work of authentic ministry is when the poor have the gospel brought to them. Hence, the destitute and disenfranchised of the world deserve our particular care.
Fundamental to our worship at Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church is the concept that we want to promote, enable and give every opportunity for the congregation to worship God in meaningful and expressive ways. This affects everything that we do! You’ll find that our musicians strive to be facilitators—encouraging the congregation to worship, and more specifically to sing! We give priority to hearing the word of God, with various congregational members reading Scriptures from the Old and New Testament each week, and either Pastor Herb or Pastor Jon teaching each Sunday. We pray together, celebrate communion together monthly, and as often as we can, share our faith stories with one another.
Expect a mix of musical styles. Expect to sing heartily. Expect songs and hymns chosen for the quality of text and music and meant to encourage the congregation to worship in ways consistent with the diverse traditions of music in the church.
Depending on the Sunday, you’ll hear drums and guitar, perhaps with some violin mixed in - or once a month, our orchestra! One Sunday we might sing some older hymns; another Sunday, something hot off the charts. We love to be a place where kids and parents and grandparents can sing and worship alongside each other!
Friendly! You'll meet people of different ages, life stages, and cultures.
Children of all ages are welcome in our worship services. We also have some great children’s programming options for your kids.
Parking is plentiful, including reserved spaces for visitors near the front. The church is handicap accessible throughout. Hearing amplification devices and large print Bibles are available.
Feel free to wear what’s comfortable for you. You’ll see everything from jeans and khakis to dresses and suits!
It sure is! Come early to services and enjoy complimentary, good quality coffee and tea in the foyer and visit with friends new and old.
Recordings of the message are posted on our website right after the service. In addition, emails and bulletins are sent out to folks who were unable to attend with all the latest news and programming information.
Pastor Herb is a gifted preacher and pastor. We appreciate his commitment to learning and preaching God's word, his love for others, and the wisdom that comes from years of faithful service to the Lord in the Church.
Rev. Herb W. Coates has been senior pastor of the Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church in Champaign, Illinois since July of 2006. Prior to that he served as senior pastor in Vincennes, Indiana (2001–2006), Springfield, Illinois (1986–2001) and Lincoln, Illinois (1983–1986). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Greenville College in 1979 and his Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1983. Herb was ordained a deacon in the Free Methodist Church in 1978 and ordained an elder in 1984. He and his wife, Sheryl, were married in 1979. They have three adult children: Greg, Kyle (married to Katrina), and Rachel. Herb loves the Lord, his family, and the people God has called him to serve. His favorite hobbies include reading, playing golf and being with his grandchildren. Herb has a heart for God and people. He loves to encourage people to follow Jesus. He has taught various seminars including Marriage Encounter and Enrichments, Theology, Inductive Bible Study, Small Group ministry, and “How We Got Our Bible.” He has been actively involved in Christian camping ministry and ministerial education and guidance for many years. He has also spoken at men’s conferences, youth and family camps, and many revival services.
Assistant Pastor, with Youth Emphasis
Pastor Jonathan has a passion to walk alongside people as they experience God's love and holiness and as they become mature followers of Jesus Christ. Jonathan serves the Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church in various teaching roles, in leadership of youth programs, and in supporting Pastor Herb Coates and staff.
Jonathan has been involved in the Free Methodist Church from childhood. He comes from a family filled with Free Methodist pastors. Senior Pastor Herb Coates is Jonathan’s uncle. Jonathan graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in April of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries. He began serving the Mattis Avenue church in May of 2014, and he is currently enrolled with Wesley Seminary (Marion, IN) in pursuit of his Masters of Divinity degree. His passion to serve as a youth pastor comes from transforming experiences of encountering God in his own teenage years as well as his service as a residence hall chaplain for freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Kate and Jonathan were married on January 30, 2016. Kate, who has a Masters in counseling psychology, supports and serves with him in ministry while working full-time. They enjoy hiking or walking, playing board games with friends, cheering on local sports teams, and finding interesting things to do in the Champaign-Urbana area.
Director of Family Ministries
Adrienne loves encouraging families to live out their faith at home, in big and small ways.
Adrienne has worshipped at Mattis Avenue for the last 20+ years. She is a graduate of Greenville College and worked in the financial planning industry for 10 years, most recently as a Certified Financial Planner. In 2010 she felt a new calling from the Lord and made a career shift to serving in ministry. She is wife to Chad, and mother of two grade schoolers. They keep her smiling and on her knees for wisdom! She really enjoys serving the Lord and our church family in new and creative ways.
Minister of Music and Worship
Carolyn is a talented and experienced musician who uses her gifts to draw us closer to the Lord during worship.
Carolyn has been involved in church music ministry for most of her adult life. She really enjoys planning inter-generational, God-honoring worship services! She directs both the choir and orchestra, and works with the praise and worship teams, along with the many volunteers who are part of worship ministries at MAFMC. It’s a special privilege for her to be able to sing and minister together with her husband, Larry. Carolyn has a degree in music education with an emphasis in both piano and voice, and has done further course work in piano pedagogy. She has taught piano in her private studio for many years, along with homeschooling her two daughters. In her spare time, Carolyn loves to curl up with a good book or best of all, spend time with her family.
Director of Christian Education
Donna works hard to ensure that people of all ages have the opportunity to learn more about Jesus through quality Christian education.
Donna is the Children’s Ministries director and chairs the Christian Education Ministry team. She graduated from Greenville College with a degree in biology and secondary education. She later earned a certificate in teaching English as a Second Language. She has taught all levels of students in the church setting and was a homeschool teacher for her three children who are now grown. She will be glad to tell anyone about her grandchildren! Donna is currently teaching English as a Second Language at Parkland College. She especially enjoys bike riding trips with her husband, Bob Yardy.
Administrative Assistant, Minister of Outreach
Helen loves to introduce people to Jesus.
Helen chairs the Outreach Ministry Team and assists Pastor Herb Coates in a variety of activities. She is organizer for the Alpha Course and Conversations in English for Internationals. Helen is a retired English instructor and Director of Study Abroad for Parkland College, Champaign. She is married to Dr. U. Milo Kaufmann.
Assistant for Chinese/International Ministry
Holly helps us reach the world from the prairie of Illinois.
Holly has a servant's heart, and is passionate about outreach to internationals. She specifically serves as liaison to Chinese students and residents, yet has a great interest in helping persons from all nationalities know Jesus Christ. She serves on the Outreach Ministry Team and assists with the Alpha Course. Holly teaches Chinese at a private school. She is the proud parent of a son and a daughter, and enjoys assisting with English Conversation class at the church and aiding her husband in his radio ministry.
Sheryl is a wonderful encourager whose love for the Lord shines through. She makes the church office a pleasant and efficient place.
Sheryl grew up in Indiana as the daughter of a Free Methodist pastor, and committed her life to Christ at a very young age. While attending Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois she met and married her husband, Herb, following her junior year. Sheryl graduated from Greenville College in 1980 with an Elementary Education degree. She’s taught kindergarten, and aided in various classrooms. She also worked for a printing company before coming to Champaign. Sheryl has enjoyed marriage and family ministries, with opportunities to speak on various occasions to women’s groups. However, her greatest joy is teaming with her husband in ministry. Sheryl loves being a pastor’s wife, mother to her three grown children, mother-in-law and grandmother!
The Board of Administration is the main governing body of the church. Its membership, elected by the society, includes delegates, treasurer, ministry team leaders, members-at-large and corporate executives of the Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church, incorporated under the civil laws of the State of Illinois. The Board of Administration serves as the trustees of Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church.