First United Methodist Church of Gainesville
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
"A Proud Past..."
Since 1848, the organization and expansion of First United Methodist Church in Gainesville parallels that of the city itself. The first arrivals in Cooke County were largely of Methodist faith, so it seemed only natural that the first congregation formed would be Methodist. Early settlers requested the establishment of a Methodists church at a conference held at Basin Springs on May 22, 1852. This was the first time the church appeared in official records.The first church building, granted by the Commissioners Court on May 21, 1855, was used for worship, schooling, and as the Masonic Hall. For 24 years, the first floor was shared with the Cumberlands and Christians. On weekdays, the building was used as a school. The Masons used it at other times.
The current sanctuary site was given to the Methodists by Judge J. M. Lindsay, a prosperous early settler. In 1892, a resolution was passed to construct the current sanctuary for a total cost of $10,000. John Garrett served as designer and builder. The stained glass windows arrived in 1893, as
did the organ, which is still in operation today.
The education building was constructed in 1965 and renovated in 2006. Additional properties have been purchased for the continued expansion of the church’s mission and ministry. In 2002 a new Fellowship Center, with needed classroom space, was constructed on the property. The "Second Time Around" thrift shop is housed across the street from the church and has been in ministry since 1976. "The Learning Tree" preschool has been in operation since 1981, and is housed at First Church. In recent years, growth has expanded First Church’s educational ministries, children's and youth programs, Bible studies, and mission programs. Future building programs, facilities' expansion, spirituality growth groups, and expanded mission efforts within Gainesville and Cooke County will maintain our focus as a church "on the grow".