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Gainesville Methodists -- A Brief Church History

Click Here for a detailed History 1854-1990 by Bloodworth (102 pages, 8.7Mb pdf file)

Click Here for a detailed History with pictures 1854-1957 by Limper  (87 pages, 10.5Mb pdf file)

Click Here for a List of United Methodist Heritage Sites to Visit (126 pages, 3.1Mb pdf file)


 Methodist Trustees purchase from the County Commission the North half of Block 4 Range 8 for $5.00


A small meeting house was built in 1859, but it was taken over by Federal troops and badly damaged during the Civil War, making it unfit for use. So, the Methodists met at various locations including the Courthouse, the School, and the Presbyterian Church. In 1871, the old church building was torn down and the lumber sold for $30.00.



A second wooden building was erected by the Gainesville Methodists at the corner of N.E. First Street and N.E 4th Avenue. After 1887, it was used temporarily by the youth and the W.C.T.U. Eventually it was sold and moved to the corner of N.E. 2nd Street and N.E. 3rd Avenue, and converted into a home.


East Florida Seminary built a red brick administration building just to the North of the church, which was used until 1905. It was then used by the University of Florida until the campus moved to the West of downtown. Our trustees purchased the property in 1911 and renamed it Epworth Hall. The building was remodeled in 1942 and again in 1973.


Methodists erected a red brick building and named it Kavanaugh Memorial Church in honor of their bishop. It had a bell tower, stained glass memorial windows and a pipe organ. This building was converted into Fellowship Hall and the Christian Worker's Chapel in 1942.


The current Gothic style sanctuary was built between Epworth Hall and Fellowship Hall, the buildings being connected by cloisters into one large unit.


A Scout Cabin was built on the South side of the property; renamed Burt Ames Cabin in 1955.


Two wooden houses North of Epworth Hall were used for Sunday School classes. The Susannah Hall building was given to Centenary Methodist Church and the Burkhim House was dismantled in 1955.


Joseph F. Bell Hall was consecrated. This building contains 17 classrooms, our preschool, library and the church offices.


North Hall was purchased by the church for additional office and meeting space. The former apartment building is believed to have been built around 1912.


North Hall was renovated and it was renamed Selle Hall.  Our Gainesville District Superintendent's office is in this building.


Sanctuary renovated.  Organ rebuilt and a new facade of pipes added.




Fellowship Hall renovated.




Fact Sheet for FUMC

  • 150th Anniversary in 2007, Established in 1857
  • Two Full-time ministers on staff
  • Music director on staff
  • Adult, Youth, and Children's choirs
  • Handbell choir
  • 600 church members
  • Two Sunday worship services
  • Monday Community worship service with communion
  • Growing youth programs
  • FourAdult Sunday School classes
  • Three Children/Youth Sunday School classes
  • Wednesday night programs with supper
  • Campus of  6 buildings
  • Preschool program
  • Cub, Brownie, Boy and Girl Scouts
  • Family Promise (IHN) local mission program
  • Helping Hands local mission program
  • Homeless local mission program
  • Cuba sister-church mission program
  • Sunday mission boxes
  • United Methodist Women


Methodist Church Built in 1874
Located approximately at what is now 405 NE First Street
The FUMC Fellowship Hall built in 1886 is on the left of the church
This picture is circa 1890


Same Site Today Contains
 the FUMC Sign

The FUMC Fellowship Hall built in 1886 is on the left of the sign and the Scout Hut is on the right


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  Last Updated: February 20, 2017