The responsibilities of the local church Committee on Records and History (Archives) is to provide for the preservation of all local church records and historical materials no longer in current use. Records and historical materials include all documents, minutes, journals, diaries, reports, letters, pamphlets, papers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, audiovisuals, sound recordings, and other documentary material in connection with the activities of a local United Methodist church or any of its constituent predecessors. First Church has had such a committee for more than thirty years.

The Archives Committee meets every Monday morning to work and assist persons who are doing research or study. Information requests are welcome.  Persons who are interested in working with the committee should contact us using the church web site or speak to a committee member personally.

The Archives are located on the lower level of our church. The room provides a wonderful space for working and preserving our church records.

The Archives Committee is also responsible for preparing displays for visiting groups and for the Rev. Robert H. Wright display case in the Gathering Place.

First Church has a long history of supporting missions abroad and at home. We have the distinction of sending the first Methodist Episcopal missionary, Rev. Henry G. Appenzeller, who was a member of First Church, to Korea in 1885. He is still revered there for his remarkable ministry. Groups of Korean folks often visit First Church to experience the area where Henry left with his bride Ella, to witness and work in a far off land. It is as if our guests are standing on hallowed ground!

First United Methodist Church is an official Historic Site (#435) of the denomination. Its rich history goes back to 1807. After a devastating fire in 1946 that destroyed the sanctuary the congregation resolved to rebuild. Today after more than 200 years of ministry, with many renovations and additions to thebuilding, we are able to provide a variety of worship experiences plus a wide-ranging use of the facility for outreach and programming.

John and Charles Wesley

Of the thousands of sermons John Wesley preached, he chose to publish only 151.  They contain the core of his understanding of the Christian faith including the seriousness of sin, prevenient (preparing) grace, salvation by faith, new birth, assurance of salvation, and holiness of heart and life (growing in the practice of one's faith).  Most of these sermons are available free on the website  According to John Wesley Christian faith includes the right use of reason (head), experience of the presence and empowering of God (heart), and reaching out in loving and caring ministry to the essential spiritual and physical needs of our neighbors (personal  and shared use of our resources). Charles Yrigoyen, Jr.

Have fun with a short quiz about John Wesley. "Are you smarter than the average United Methodist?" 

United Methodist Communications

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John Wesley

John Wesley (1703-1791), born in England, is considered the founder of the Methodist branch of what is now The United Methodist Church. A co-founder of this Methodism was John's brother Charles (1707-1788), the  outstanding hymn-writer.  Both brothers were missionaries to the American Georgia colony in the 1730s.  John was an energetic preacher, traveler, and organizer who delivered approximately 40,000 sermons in Britain and America during his lifetime.  His sermons, diaries, and other writings include 35 volumes.  Today's United Methodist Church has several million members in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe.  There are many other Christian denominations in the United States and around the world which trace their origins to the Wesley brothers.  Among them are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Church of the Nazarene, the Korean Methodist Church, Methodist Church of Mexico, Great Britain Methodist Church, Free Methodist Church, Wesleyan Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, and others.  The Wesleyan family of churches embraces more than 42,000,000 members.

Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley's hymns are not only sung by Methodists, but are found in the hymnals of a variety of Protestant churches as well as in Roman Catholicism.  Among them are such favorites as "O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing," "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing," and "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today."