College Park United Methodist Church is rich with history and remains a landmark in the College Park community serving the needs of many both physically and spiritually.  On November 7, 1943, the first service of College Park United Methodist Church was held in the Red Cross Center on Edgewater Drive. Rev. Harris DeWese led nineteen adults and children in worship at that meeting.

A building was soon needed to house the growing congregation. The founding church, now First United Methodist Church of Orlando, donated five lots at the corner of Princeton and Edgewater, at a cost of $5,000. In order to finance the construction costs, “Block Sundays” began September 10, 1944. Concrete blocks could be purchased for thirty cents each. Even the children brought their dimes in to help. Ground breaking was on October 7, 1944, and the new building was dedicated on December 31, 1944.

In 1946 a continually growing congregation called for a larger facility, and thus our current chapel was built from red brick. Completely funded from church donations, the campaign slogan was “Finish the Job – Keep out of Debt”. The new sanctuary opened on September 14, 1947 to 277 members.

On September 12, 1948, a weekday kindergarten was started. Enrollment was open to church member’s children first. The cost was $12.50 per month. In 1966, with 1,900 members on the roll and three morning worship services, a new sanctuary was needed. December 1, 1966 saw the opening of the new sanctuary, and the building still used today.

The College Park United Methodist Men was organized in 1947, with 35 active members, and the Woman’s Society for Christian Service had been started the year prior. When the first sanctuary opened, it was greeted with a large choir & director, organist and pianist. In 1976, a hand bell choir was established.

Today, the Word of God and the saving message of Jesus Christ is still changing lives. The Grace of God is ever moving our hearts into greater closeness with Him, as we strive to co-operate with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to fulfill the commandment to love God, love our neighbor as our self, and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  We are proud to say that though the methods have changed, the message of God’s grace and love still remains the same. It is our prayer that the saving and life changing message of the radical love and grace of God continue to be preached, and modeled in all of our lives, and that we reach out to the lost and hurting with the love of Christ, both in word and deed.

 

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