A Summary Of Our History
Our church was organized in 1855, the oldest Protestant church in Wyandotte with a membership of 13. The first church building was erected on this corner and dedicated in 1861. In 1862 the Conference report showed 64 members, 24 probationers, and Sunday School reported 26 officers and teachers, with 145 "scholars". In 1890 the Epworth League (youth group) was organized. The cornerstone of the second church building (Old Round Church) was laid June 12, 1899. At that time a membership of 183 was recorded. The total cost of the church and parsonage was $18,000. An initial gift of $10, 000 from Capt. John B. Ford, plus the gifts from the congregation, made it possible to dedicate the new building on November 26, 1899 - free of debt! The church was enlarged and improved between 1912 - 1922. In 1929, consideration was given to the sale of the property, but by 1950, it was decided that Wyandotte First Methodist Church should remain a downtown church. To allow for expansion, the land along Oak St. was purchased under the leadership of Rev. Finch. The Alaethian class began in 1942, a group which had a large impact on fund raising and social activities. The Methodbees Class began in the early 1950s and they soon assisted the Alaethians in their many efforts. Rev. Dr. E. Bruce Wilson led in the ground breaking for the Educational unit on November 27, 1955, and that building was dedicated on May 31, 1964. Planning for a new sanctuary began in the late 1950s. The Round Church was condemned in the Spring of 1964; Easter Sunday was its last use. Plans for a new sanctuary were then accelerated. Membership in 1963 was 946, representing 528 family units, and Church School reached 488. Rev. Kearney Kirkby guided us during the construction of our current sanctuary; ground was broken on December 1, 1964, and the cornerstone was laid on April 11, 1965. Church services were held in the Educational building during construction. Financial crusades during the ministries of Rev. Childs, Rev. Timmons and Rev. Patterson culminated with the payment of all indebtedness, including the current parsonage (purchased in 1973) on June 1, 1979.
Many things have been woven into our "fabric" since that time: family camping retreats; UMW (women's group, now WIMS); First Methodist became First United Methodist (1968); Downriver Church Softball League; Quilters (1971); handbell choir - Jubilee Bells (1975); Up & Doing (1981); Bell Festival (1982); Endowment Fund (1982); Crop Walk; Street Fair/Pie Shoppe/Book Sale; Memorial Garden (1993); Mission Market (1993); Contempoary Service (1996); Emmaus Walks; Sandwich Projects; Coats for Cass; 150th Anniversary (2005); and much more.