The United Methodist Church’s mission is “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Here at Sullivan First, we seek to do so by sharing the love and joy of Jesus that is within us.
The founders of the Methodist movement, John and Charles Wesley, were students at Oxford University. While there, they became dismayed that many who they encountered were not living out the faith that they proclaimed. As a way to grow closer to Christ and be more obedient in life, they began what they called “The Holy Club” with their fellow students that felt the same way. There was much opposition – many who intended to mock the Holy Club derisively referred to them as “Methodists” because of the way in which they ordered their meetings together. Needless to say, this name stuck, but not in the condescending manner in which it was originally intended! Through accountability groups and Bible Studies, this format of living into the faith grew rapidly. Soon, Methodists were all over England and, once in America, spread like wildfire!
The history of Methodism in Sullivan extends back to the 1800’s. The first Methodist church erected in the city of Sullivan was William’s Chapel, located on the west side of the main square in 1847. A few short years later, the membership of 25 people swelled, making it apparent that a new location and a larger meeting place was in order. In 1856, two vacant lots where Sullivan First United Methodist Church now stands were purchased, and in 1859 the first church building was constructed. Over the many years, the church has been added onto with the addition of the annex and Sunday School classrooms.
John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today. At Sullivan First UMC, we seek to put our faith and love into action in a myriad of ways. Beyond Sunday School, Youth Group and Children’s Church, we help provide for various ministries in our area, our United Methodist Men help those in need on mission trips, and more!
We invite everyone to come and attend Sunday service as we gather to praise God!