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FirstChurch: Yesterday and Today

Our roots can be traced to 1846, when Dallas just a village where Methodist preachers would stop for worship while riding the circuit. The congregation met at three previous locations in the then-small town before the Trinity Methodist and First Methodist congregations combined in 1916. That combined congregation benefited from Dallas’ rapid growth – now there was critical mass to establish a house of worship for the new, burgeoning city center. While WWI made fundraising challenging, the generosity of a membership more than 2,000 strong made it possible to lay the cornerstone on a new church at the corner of Harwood and Ross in October 1921.

The first service at First Methodist Church was held on February 7, 1926; while in those days churches referred to their worship area as a “main auditorium”, our beautiful place of worship was called a “sanctuary.” One can see why when visiting our historic sanctuary today.

In those early summer days, the open church windows would allow the magnificent sounds of music and worship to fill the streets of downtown. Those voices singing and bells ringing can still be heard as one nears the church, serving as a reminder that, after more than 90 years in the heart of downtown, that lives are still impacted, changed and influenced here.

In fact, it’s our sense of history and tradition that allows us to move fearlessly forward. We’re situated in the heart of our city for such a time as this, and we’re honored to work daily toward our own spiritual development and that of others, toward a thriving and inclusive Dallas, and toward a world free from poverty and hate. Our greatest charge is not just to believe in God, but to serve as living examples of God’s presence and grace in the world.

In 2018 and beyond, we exist to grow disciples, connect communities and serve the world.

Grow Disciples. We’re committed to connecting people with God and others so they can live the God-given call on their lives. We connect with God through traditional worship, and we develop spiritually through dynamic study and critical thinking.

Connect Communities. We love and learn within our walls, so we can serve and grow outside them. Our robust Sunday school and small groups allow us to thrive through connection, so that we can go and build community in Dallas and beyond.

Serve the World. Our faith calls us to love our neighbors, and we’re committed to breaking down structures that perpetuate poverty and hate in our world. Through ministries and partnerships locally, nationally, and globally, we work to open doors for a brighter and more inclusive future.

We want to unite people with God and with others – so everyone can fully live the life Christ has for them. Questions, fears and doubts are welcome here – this is a safe place where all are received as they are.

Here at FirstChurch, there’s a seat at the table for you. Come impact the world with us!

Want to know more?

We would love to meet you! From our Rotunda Theatre to the magnificent bell tower, we have lots of corners to show you and a great history to share. We look forward to answering your questions about our ministry, theology and outreach, and invite you to join us for a tour.

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