A Church That Has
A Heart for God and a Heart for the City
First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, the oldest organized church in the city, is situated adjacent to downtown Jacksonville within the circle of five churches, and is surrounded by business and commercial activity. It occupies land which is only one block from land of the highest elevations in the city, and which is only a distance of three blocks from the geographical center of the city. City-dwellers occupy the near-by residences, town-homes and assisted-living quarters while the city's business drums a daily beat.
First Christian worship service, year 1823: The church is located only four blocks from the point of its founding in 1823 near the north bank of the St. Johns River where Methodist circuit rider, Reverend John Jerry, "set up shop" to conduct worship services on the second floor of a dry goods store.
Union Troops sanctuary during the Civil War: During a brief period near the end of the War Between the States, the Methodist Church at its present location served as a sanctuary for daily prayer and worship by the Union Troops.
Delegates chosen for Republican National Convention: After the war came to an end, a convention of Florida Unionists was held in the church to choose delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Authorization to organize state government: At a meeting held in the Methodist Church, a new executive committee for the State of Florida was delegated full power to take all necessary action and measures to organize a state government.
The great fire of 1901 was not kind to the Methodist Church. Only two brick walls of the sanctuary were standing after the fire. These two walls became part of the new sanctuary.
Through the years, the Methodist Church was at the center of the growing metropolis drawing parishioners from not only the nearby urban communities, but also from every suburb of the city. The church facilities provide plenty of space for expanding activites of the nursery, young children's ministries and Sunday School classes.
The Spirit Café provides ideal space for both entertainment and working meetings, both small and large, with it's fully-equipped kitchen, large seating accomodations, WiFi access and Power Point Facility. Large windows contribute to the wide open, airy feeling.
First Church considers its main purpose to be ministering to people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnic heritage from all of Jacksonville, giving it a cosmopolitan atmosphere where love and understanding of one another prevails.