Over nearly two centuries, the leadership of First United Methodist Church has embraced its mission as an urban congregation. If Civil War, fire, and appropriation of property didn’t dislodge us from downtown Little Rock, nothing ever will. Eighth and Center is our stake in the ground. Our forerunners were travelers on the territorial frontier. Today, we travel into new frontiers of faith.
Over the years, circumstances that would have tested any congregation’s resolve have reinforced our understanding of who we are, whom we serve, and where we are rooted.
When tensions over slavery strained the church, the congregation remained unified despite bitter personal differences.
When Union forces appropriated the church building for use as a hospital, the itinerant membership met in a synagogue and a variety theater.
When the Conference sold the church property following the economic devastation of the Civil War, the women of the church sold jewelry and personal belongings and, with the proceeds, purchased the lot at our current location.
When fire destroyed the church in 1895, the leadership resolved the next day to rebuild on the very same property.
When suburban growth created opportunities in new, affluent neighborhoods, the church leadership recommitted to its urban location.
When working families needed quality child care downtown, the church responded by investing in an award-winning facility, the Gertrude Remmel Butler Child Development Center.
Over the years, First United Methodist Church has embraced its role in urban ministry. Our members come because they are attracted to our vitality, warmth, friendliness, and energy. They stay because we travel with them on their journey.
Our promise is to be with you on your journey.
Our purpose is to love God, love others, and change the world.
To be an inclusive downtown congregation that builds Christian community where people experience God’s transforming grace. We believe God calls us to be a vibrant worshipping community, to share the good news of Jesus Christ, to grow in our faith, to nurture spiritual friendships, and to passionately serve God throughout the world.