Our History and Vision
A good start for information about what "United Methodist" means can be found here.
It all started in Weslaco when...
The townsite of Weslaco was founded by "church-minded" people in December of 1919, and one person from any denomination was allowed to draw a free lot in the township for a church building. In this way, four churches got their locations: Presbyterian, Baptist, Christian, and Methodist.
On October 16, 1921, after a sermon presented by Rev. O. C. Crow of Donna, a movement to organize a Methodist Church began with fifty people presenting themselves for membership. The first appointed pastor for Weslaco's Methodist Church was Rev. W. P. Carmichael and the church grew to a membership of 254.
In 1955, a start was made to replace the brick church built in 1925. The new building was consecrated on January 12, 1958 and according to the Weslaco News, 2500 people attended the service and heard the Rev. Frank Charlton preach the first sermon in the new sanctuary (our current worship space).
The First United Methodist Church has been instrumental in creating several community services and institutions, including:
- Mid-Valley Community Hospital, with the Knapp Foundation contributing half of the funds. The name became Knapp Memorial Methodist Hospital, now Knapp Medical Center.
- Wesley Manor, a retirement home, was built on a site donated by two members of the Methodist Church. It is now under the name of John Knox Village.
- Camp Thicket, a retreat center
- In His Steps Shoe Bank, providing vouchers for new pairs of shoes for students of WISD through the Parental Involvement Office
- Hand-in-Hand Food Pantry, which serves clients every third Saturday of the month