The oldest voluntary organization in Liberty County, First United Methodist Church finds its origin in a revival preached by Rev. Hugh Fields in the fall of 1840. At the first Methodist Conference held in the Republic of Texas, convened the same year on Christmas Day in Rutersville (Fayette County), Liberty was one of the 17 appointments designated for a clergyperson. The first pastor, Rev. John C Woolam, arrived in the spring of 1841. Methodism grew rapidly in Liberty as it did elsewhere across Texas and America during this time, bringing black and white Texans alike together for worship and ministry.
Liberty Methodists built their first house of worship in 1846, on a site granted by the town Trustees. A one-room log building was erected on the northeast corner of the "church square." When that building was destroyed by a storm in 1853, the Catholic bishop requested the site revert to their use.
So the Methodists came to our present site on Main Street in 1854, constructing a wooden-framed church where the present Sanctuary sits, and then a successor 50 years later. In 1930, a three-story building, including a second-floor worship space, was built on the corner with Cos Street in 1930. The current Sanctuary was constructed in 1953, and the prior building converted into offices and classrooms. The pulpit and bell used in the 1854 building are still in use today! A Fellowship Hall with kitchen was built, and a chapel was constructed in 1980 as a gift from Triphene S. Middleton. Several years ago a Music Building was completed for the use of choirs and music ministry.
The congregation's well-kept archives display letters, photographs, and numerous documents that reveal a lively Christian community over numerous generations. Ministries to families and young people, mission work alleviating human suffering, contributions to the good of the community, and a wealth of other gifts have all been an integral part of our story over almost 180 years now. It's more than just a legacy or a history, it's a promise to be renewed in this day and age: that God is still at work in our world, healing and rescuing in Jesus Christ through the people of First United Methodist Church and the Holy Spirit. Rev. Josh Hale is the 94th pastor appointed to serve the people called Methodist in Liberty, Texas. The next chapter of our story hasn't been written yet — come join in what God is doing in our neighborhood today!