by Lynn McLarty, Chair of the Bicentennial Planning Committee
With the turn of the calendar into the long-awaited bicentennial year for Trinity United Methodist Church, we begin one aspect of our celebration on January 14, 2024. We welcome the Reverend Judith M. New as our first guest minister of the year in the pulpit on the second Sunday of each month during the year. As with others who will follow her in the coming months and have experienced this revered setting, this will be Judi’s first opportunity to stand in the shadows of so many renowned Florida Methodists clergy.
The Reverend New comes to our congregation appreciative of the history of Methodism in Tallahassee and its historical significance to the Florida Conference. Since the spring of 2019, Judi has been the Director and Archivist of the Florida United Methodist Heritage Center and Archives on the Florida Southern College campus in Lakeland. She is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Conference, with her Master of Divinity from Duke University. Additionally, she has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Southern and both her Certificate of Archival Studies and her Master of Library and Informational Sciences from Louisiana State University. She has prepared herself very well to follow in the footsteps of her renowned predecessor Nell Thrift, who was the daughter of Florida Southern President Charles T. Thrift, Jr., and Conference Archivist for 23 years. Judi has worked in many areas of church life as a senior minister, as an associate minister, and as a director of children’s ministries. Since high school her parallel interests have been in national and local politics. She is presently preparing to run for a Commission seat in Polk County.
Judi is married to Ed New, an ordained Florida Conference minister. After serving as Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church, Lakeland for three years, he then served as Director of Advancement at All Saint’s Academy in Winter Haven. He is now the President of the Florida United Methodist Foundation. They have three children: Riley (15), Bailey (11), and Shelby (almost 8), who attend public schools in Polk County.