A Brief History of First United Methodist Church of Graceville, Florida
The history of our church began November 5, 1879, when a small group of Methodists met in a school house and organized the first Methodist church in Graceville, naming it Marvin Chapel. On land which is now the city cemetery, they built a crude log building with split-rail benches. The first pastor was John Wesley, namesake of the founder of Methodism. Captain H.B. Grace was elected secretary of the new church (the town was named for him).
About 1901, the congregation had outgrown its first building, so a new church was erected in “Old Town” at about the junction of Brown and Cotton Streets, on the east side of the road. That building was moved to a new lot on Brown Street in 1917. The congregation had outgrown this building by 1926, and several of the Sunday School classes were meeting in members’ homes. So a new building committee was formed, and the plans for a building on Brown Street and Tenth Avenue were drawn up. A beautiful, 3-story building was finished in 1930.
On September 10th, 1993, members watched in disbelief as fire totally destroyed the First United Methodist Church building. The good people of Florida Baptist Theological College (now Baptist College of Florida) offered the congregation the use of their Chapel until we rebuilt. Dr. Lance Moore came to serve as pastor during this rebuilding time.
On Easter Sunday, April 7, 1996, the congregation held the first service in the new sanctuary. An Open House was held May 12, and the new building was happily dedicated with Dr. Lance Moore, Reverend Dick Wright, District Superintendent, and Bishop William Morris officiating.
In early 2013, the fellowship hall and Sunday School rooms were renovated with new paint, carpet, and furnishings. Two classrooms were combined to make a room for our growing youth ministry. The congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Graceville is very proud to have a home that should carry us far into the new millennium!