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Historical Timeline

OUR STORY TIMELINE 

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH- PASADENA


Archives and History - A Ministry of Memory

 
 
Why do we remember?
  • We remember who we are.
  • We honor those who went before us.
  • We learn from our history.
  • History and memory is a church ministry.
  • We tell how God in Jesus Christ has been and continues to be a work in our world and in our lives.
 
 Rev. Peter Nicholson 1896-1898
 
Early settlers in Deepwater and Pasadena formed a Methodist congregation, meeting in homes.
 
 
 Rev. Samuel W. Warner 1898-1900
 
 Six families began meeting in the new school building in Pasadena and seven were officially  received  by their minister, S. W. Warner on June 14, 1898 into the Methodist Episcopal Church South,
Pasadena, Texas. Rev. O.T.Hotchkiss was presiding elder.
 
 
Rev.John Jefferson Creed    1900
Rev.L. L. Hursey 1901-03 
 Rev. J. W. Kelley 1903
                    
 
Rev. J. W. Eichwuzel 1904
 
First Sunday School of Pasadena Methodist is organized. J. W. Collins is the Sunday School Superintendent.
 
Also in 1904,W. B. Bailey, R. M. Guinn,  and F. McLain each paid $12.50 for one lot on Shaver Street at  Broadway in Pasadena and gave them to the church to be used for the construction of a house of worship. The lots were originally priced at $25.
 
 
Rev.Allen Tooke 1905
Rev.Alexander Methvin 1906
 
 
 Rev. Olin Zimmerman 1907
 
 Eleven years and six ministers later, in 1907, a first church building was erected and twenty members opened its doors.  Under the leadership of  Rev. O. F. Zimmerman, an L-shaped Gothic frame structure with tall steeple and bell was constructed– cost $2300.00.  Within the year the membership increased by 50%.
 
 
Rev.Horace Moreland Whaling, Jr. 1908
 
The first minister appointed by the Texas Conference to Pasadena Station arrived. Horace Moreland Whaling was also the first clergyman to administer the sacrament of  baptism in the new church.
 
 
 Rev. W. C. Bracewell, Jr. 1908
 
Rev.H. M. Timmons 1909
 
Rev. Fred E. Luker 1910 (student)

Rev.Frank Platt 1911 (student)
 
Rev A .L. Conner 1912-13 (student)

Rev.E. J. Harris 1914
 
Rev..O. O. Gaston 1915
 
  Rev.K. E. Barnhart 1916-17

Rev.J. L. Weatherby 1918-19
 
Rev.D. S. Hotchkiss 1919-20
 
Rev.H. W. Swallenberg 1921 (supply)
 
Rev.H. T. Morgan 1921

Rev.John W Wardlow 1922
 
Rev.W. F. Weeks 1923-24
 
 
Rev .E. C. Escoe 1924-26
 
First parsonage constructed.
 
 
Rev.W. A. Winkels 1926-27
 
Rev.E. J. Davis 1927-28 (Student)

Rev.John W. Mills, Jr. 1928-30
 
Rev.H. B. Smith 1930-34

 
Rev.George J. Evans 1934-36
 
Original church building demolished to make way for new church on original site.
 
Original frame construction educational building erected in 1935.
 
 
Rev. Marvin Vance 1936-40
 
W. S. C. S. ladies began serving  Rotary noon luncheon meetings in 1936 at church.
 
Brick veneer sanctuary erected  on the corner of Shaver and Broadway, facing Broadway.
Parsonage was in rear. The year was 1938.
 
 
Rev.R. S. Marshall 1940-44
 
Rev. Dallas D. McGaughey 1944-52
 
1938 sanctuary facing Broadway was moved from its location on Broadway and Shaver  
and  shifted north  to face on Shaver Street in 1948. Brick was removed and the building was renovated,
stone covered and air conditioned.
 
 Educational building expanded to include classrooms on upper floor and fellowship hall with kitchen facilities on lower floor in 1948.
 
A residence previously owned by the J. C. Thomas family, located on east corner of Munger and Broadway Streets, was purchased in 1950 to be used as nursery facilities.
 
 
Rev Nace Crawford 1952-56
 
In 1953,due to increase in membership, four worship services were begun: 9 A.M., 10 A.M., 11:00 A.M. and 7 P.M.
 
The Couples Class sponsored a fund raiser to raise $1,000.00 for the Building Fund in 1953
 
A Mortgage burning celebration including a church wide dinner was held on church grounds in 1954
 
In 1954, the Cornerstone was laid for new sanctuary.
 
New air conditioned Austin stone sanctuary built and occupied in 1955. Cost $750,000.
This new sanctuary was on the corner lot, facing Shaver. The 1938 Sanctuary was moved to the north side of the new sanctuary , facing Shaver also.
 
 
Rev. T. Walter Moore 1956-59
 
Membership reached 1,981 in 1956.
 
 
Rev. Thomas M. Price 1959-72
 
The 1938 Sanctuary was renovated and re-named Wesley Chapel in 1963.
 
Also in 1963, a two story stone and brick educational building was built for $340,000. It  included a large mall for receptions, nursery, youth and primary division classrooms and a church parlor doubling as adult classrooms
 
A  $65,000.00  pipe organ was  installed in the Sanctuary in 1967 and the cost was mostly donated by members. This was a great source of pride for the whole community.
 
In 1968 there was a merger between the United Brethren and Methodist Churches, creating a United Methodist Church.
 
A special birthday party was held for Mrs. Katie Weeks in 1968. She was a member of one of the founding families. The Katie Weeks Wesleyan Guild was named in her honor.
 
Our church celebrated its 75th anniversary from Nov. 21-25, 1971. Bishop Copeland was a speaker for the worship service, which was followed by a covered dish luncheon. Katie Weeks, the only charter member still in the church, was also honored. Activities included: Historical displays, a Pageant presentation, a worship service featuring banners from classes, and an old fashioned box supper. The final event was a Thanksgiving service on Nov. 25th
.
 
 Dr. Harold Fagan 1972-77
 
In 1972, more than a hundred people gathered for lunch and went out to visit in the interest of the Church School. Allen Heath was the Superintendent of the Study Program.
 
 A Family Activity Building and new church parlor  were constructed in 1974-75. A Memorial Garden sponsored by the Historical Committee was designed and planted between the Wesley Chapel and the Sanctuary in 1978. Among the workers were members of the Youth Department. The $10,000.00 cost was donated by individuals and classes.
 
Our 80th Anniversary celebration was held in the Shaver Street facility in 1976. Members in period dress demonstrated early home making chores. Kerosene lamps and an old gramophone were among the displays. Some members in period dress were Bobbie Bain, Doris Miller, Maurine Roberts, Berdeen Peterson.
 
A Bicentennial Quilt was presented to the church by Mrs. Florence Kirk in 1976 on behalf of the Quilting Group. Virginia Wallace created the design and it was hung in the North Atrium after the Fairmont church was completed.
 
 
Rev. Walter L.. McPherson 1978-79
 
Memorial Garden sponsored by Historical Committee designed and planted, $10,000 donated
by individuals and classes.
 
 
Rev. Lloyd L. Giles 1979-90
 
In 1985 our Church facilities were sold to the Salvation Army in preparation for new Fairmont sanctuary construction.
Church services held in V. W. Miller School until Nov. 1986.
 
The Log Cabin was constructed by church members at rear of Fairmont site iin 1985. It was used for meetings, Boy Scouts, special events.
 
 In 1986, First United Methodist Church occupied its new 50,000 sq. ft. Sanctuary erected on Fairmont property. Members donated much of sanctuary furniture, altar rail, stained glass windows, etc.
 
Beautiful needle point altar cushions stitched and designed by members in 1986. Donations covered cost of materials. Sudie Ann Cornell was in charge of the project.
 
In 1987 Rev. Bud Miller, Rev. Lloyd Giles, and Betty Jackson taught the very first Disciples class.
 
First Methodist Pre School was founded under the leadership of Libby Wojasinki in 1987
It will be a community service ministry located in our new facility
 
In 1990 First Methodist Pre School became the first preschool to be accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. The enrollment and staff increased each year.
 
 
Rev. Kenneth M. Lambert 1990-92
 
Rev. Don Little 1992-94
 
St. Stephens Society was organized by Dr. Don Little, Bobby and Maurine Roberts, to furnish help for those in emergency situations who contact the church for various needs.   This program has continued 5 days a week since 1992. 
 
 
Dr. Jay Horton 1994-2001
 
Educational wing construction to be added on south side of church building was begun  in 1995
 
A July 4TH , 1995 program, written by Sam Hawkins, featured narratives and patriotic music.
 
Beverly Chatham and Kelly Sullivan organized the members who had always shown
special concern for the ill, shut-ins, nursing home residents, and others in need.
into a group called originally “The Loving and Caring Ministry”, later “The Hands of God” and
eventually into the Care Team. It has continued from 1996 to the present.
 
The 100th Anniversary of our church was celebrated in 1996 with special worship services, etc.
 
In 1997, The    former facilities on Shaver and Broadway were sold by The Salvation Army to
Pasadena Independent School District and were demolished in 1997 to provide
space for the growth of the Pasadena Ind. School District.
 
Church members salvaged stained glass windows, lighting fixtures, wooden pews etc. from former Wesley Chapel in 1997. They were stored in various storage units and the log cabin for a number of years.
 
Construction completed on Christian Life Center in 2001 It included gym, exercise & weight facilities,
youth department w/game room, youth and intermediate classrooms, extended day school/day care,
nursery facilities and office space for the Youth director, Recreation Director, and Preschool staff. 


Rev. Kip Gilts 2001-04
 
A woman to woman ministry “Celebration” was organized by Tammy Gilts in 2003.
 
In 2004 Julie McClung organized the Levites program , a group of dedicated and versatile men (or women) who volunteered to keep up the church using their special skills or expertise to repair, repaint, meet electrical needs, etc. depending upon the needed service. This group has saved the church many costly repairs since that date.
 
The Artifacts and Collections which were formerly in the old church and the items salvaged from the demolition of the Wesley Chapel finally got a permanent home in 2005  as the new Archives Room 221. Historical records, photos, newspapers, and artifacts are now available for anyone desiring information about the history of our church.
 
 
 Rev. Robert Stutes 2004-06
 
 The Historical  Committee introduced the newly organized Archives at an Open House in August 2005 attended by over 200 people.
 
 
Reverend Steve Woody 2006 – 2011
 
The 110th Anniversary of our church was celebrated with two major events: an Old Fashioned “Singin’ and Church Gathering” held on June 11, 2006 and an Old-Time worship service on October 29,  with guests  Rev. Lloyd Giles and Rev. Kelly Sullivan, plus the  speaker “Rev. Peter Nicholson, our first pastor “(portrayed by Cecil Ghormley).
 
First Annual Fall Festival held on church grounds in 2007.
 
In response to the “Preserving our Heritage” call in 2008 , church members raised over $300,000. for the church by holding special church and community wide fund raisers.
 
On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike caused major damage to our church plant. The roof was peeled away from the Sanctuary and all furnishings were destroyed. In addition, there was damage to many other parts of the building and church members rallied to rip up the carpet in the sanctuary and salvaged whatever they could .  A restoration team was secured through the church insurance and was on the premises right away, doing a remarkable job of putting the church back together. Church services were held in the Family Life Center until the sanctuary was completed.
 
A Fall Festival was held on October 20th, as scheduled before “Ike”,and enjoyed very much.
 
As the restoration team had promised we were able to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas 2008, in the beautifully refinished sanctuary. A few weeks later the Christian Life Center was opened again after restoration of that area. Three services were resumed again in January, 2009
 
A Sacred Harp Singing event was held in the Fellowship Hall on Sept. 19th ,2009 with great attendance including many from out of town. The Historical Society furnished lunch for those attending. It was a great success and plans were made to host this group again in 2010.
 
The Church held another Fall Festival on October 17th, 2009, which was a successful fund-raising event.
 
Another successful fund raiser in 2009 was obtaining sponsors for the new undesignated pews in the sanctuary which were installed in the aftermath of Hurricane “Ike”. All of the undesignated ones were purchased as memorials or in honor of designated persons or groups.
 
February 3rd, 2010, it was announced that the application submitted to the State Historical Commission by Anne Thomas for an historic marker for our church had been approved. Anne spoke before those attending the Wednesday night C.H.O.W. explaining the process and the research she had done for this project. A $1500 fee was required for the casting of the marker and those in attendance gave free will donations for the full amount.

In May, 2010, the Historical Society met with Pastor Steve Woody to begin planning for Celebration Sunday, September 18, 2011 when the Texas State Historical Commission Marker would
be dedicated by the members of the Harris County Historical Commission.

The Archives and History Ministry reclaimed the room next door to the Archives for
a workroom and archival room. Photos, books, ephemera, and church records
tell the church story since 1896,

In the summer of 2010, Joellen and Ed Cullison began preparing the application, photographs, and supporting documents for the Texas Annual Conference United Methodist Historic Site Medallion. Bill Hardt, the chair of the Texas Annual Conference General Commission on Archives and History, accepted the application at the August 16, 2010 Commission meeting in Jacksonville, Texas at FUMC Jacksonville.

The Texas State Historical Commission Marker arrived at the church
on October 12, 2010.

In May, at the Texas Annual Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the
church application for the Historic Site Medallion was approved. The General Conference in Madison, New Jersey, awarded our church Historic Site Medallion #458.

On our CELEBRATION SUNDAY,  September 18, 2011, friends, former members,
government officials, Texas Annual Conference representatives, guests, and our church family
enjoyed a CELEBRATION SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE led by Reverend B. T. Williamson, assistant to the Bishop. Special instrumental music was led by our Music Director, Stephen W. Jones; and the First Light Praise Team provided special music.

During the CELEBRATION SUNDAY WORSHIP, Bill Hardt and Reverend Steve Woody dedicated the United Methodist Historic Site Medallion.

The church audience then went outside where Janet Wagner, chair of the Harris County Historical Commission, led the dedication of the Texas State Historical Commission Marker. Lunch followed in the
Christian Life Center.

Reverend John Stephenson 2012

Our new Senior Pastor, John Stephenson, preached his first sermon on January 1, 2012. He and 
his wife Amy, and their young family - son Scott, and daughter Hannah - embraced our church family
and our entire community.

He wrote, "As I have gotten to know Pasadena First United Methodist Church,
I have discovered people who have one main goal. It is not to fill seats in the sanctuary, it 
is not to have the biggest budget, it is not to have the greatest facilities - all of which are admirable
and worthwhile goals. Their main goal is to do what they can so they can so that people can
fall in love with God."

"They teach by their words and their actions all about the good news of Jesus Christ. They
want people to know they are loved by God and that their life can be filled with joy when the Lord
is in their life. They do it for the love of God."

"I am so glad to be here. I am falling more deeply in love with God because of this church," wrote Pastor John. 

 
 

Services

Sunday Mornings
8:30 am & 11:00 am

Traditional Services
(Sanctuary)
9:45 am 
Contemporary Service
(Gymnasium)
9:45 am (3rd Sundays)
Contemplative Service
(Log Cabin)