The History of First United Methodist Church 
 
Drawing of the original Methodist Church built in Harrison

Drawing of the original Methodist Church built in Harrison.

 
     First United Methodist Church in Harrison can trace it’s roots all the way back to the Methodist Episcopal Churches started in the area around 1870. Due to a split in the Methodist Episcopal Church over the issue of slavery, two separate congregations were formed. The Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church South. Two buildings were constructed, one in 1876 by the Methodist Episcopal Church at the corner of Cherry and Central Ave. and the other in 1881 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South at the Corner of Pine and Stephenson Streets. Both of these churches rebuilt their original wood buildings with brick ones around 1913.
Methodist Episcopal Church South built in 1913.

Methodist Episcopal Church South built in 1913.

 Through the first 65 years of existence the  two churches held numerous services and events together. In 1939 three different branches of the Methodist church merged. Since two of these branches existed in Harrison, their merger was called for. Since more property was owned than needed, the newly merged Harrison Methodist Church met in the building occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Church South at the corner of Pine and Stephenson Streets. In 1959 a second Methodist congregation was formed in Harrison, called St. Paul’s. This required Harrison Methodist Church to be renamed First Methodist Church.
 
     On April 23, 1968 the United Methodist Church as we know it today was formed from the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
Cross and Steeple of our current campus at 1100 W. Bower

Cross and Steeple of our current campus at 1100 W. Bower

Likewise our name was changed to First United Methodist Church which we are still called today. 
On January 16, 1979 the church building at Pine and Stephenson was damaged beyond repair by an explosion that occurred at the telephone company across the street. Ground was broken on our current campus located at the end of West Bower Ave. in 1980. This new building included the sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices, and classroom space which is all still in use today.
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FUMC Family Life Center

In 2004 the Family Life Center was completed which added a full size gymnasium and additional classroom space. This space is used as worship center for our IGNITE Contemporary service as well as a space used by our children’s and student ministries.