In 1729 in England, a small group of Oxford students were ridiculed as "Bible Bigots," the "Holy Club" and "Methodists" because they spent so much time in methodical prayer and Bible reading. Led by John and Charles Wesley, the students held their ground against jeering crowds and went out to pray with the imprisoned, the impoverished, the sick and all who were considered the underbelly of English society.
The United Methodist Church was organized in 1968 with the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren. The Evangelical United Brethren church, in turn was organized with the merger of the Evangelical Church (organized in 1803) and the United Brethren in Christ Church (organized in 1800). The Methodist Church traces its roots in the United States prior the Revolutionary War and was formally organized on Christmas 1784 in Baltimore.
Because of the shortage of preachers classes were organized in communities led by lay people. The circuit riding preachers would make their rounds offering the sacraments, preaching, counseling and conducting the business meeting of the groups.
All three churches had a long history of emphasizing holiness and a personal relationship with God through Jesus, who is the Christ.
On September 27, 1900 two Methodist ministers arrived in a little fishing and mining village known as Ketchikan which was incorporated as a city that same year. Rev. V. Roy Bennett and Rev. J.J. Walters were the first clergy to reside in Ketchikan. Worship services were held in the dining room of the hotel, later in Red Men's Hall and then in the public school and reading room. On January 20, 1901 a Sunday School was organized. On July 31, 1901 Rev. Walters purchased a lot with a three room house which served as both the church and parsonage on the corner of Grant and Main Streets-our current location. Prior to the improvement in the roads there were 4 Methodist congregations on the island: Mountain Point, Clover Pass, West End Chapel, and downtown. The present facility, built in 1960, is the third church constructed on this site.
Believing that holiness involves service to others the members of Ketchikan First United Methodist have initiated many social projects. Ketchikan First United Methodist Church holds the charter for Boy Scout Troop # 1. It was the passion of a few Methodists that started the Ketchikan City Library. The Soup Kitchen was originally hosted by the United Methodists. In 1973 the Ketchikan Youth Hostel was started and is still housed in the church building. It was the vision and United Methodist funding that started W.I.S.H.. (Women in Safe Homes) and T.L.C. (Transitional Living Center).A person wishing to formally join the United Methodist Church promises to uphold the church with prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
We fulfill these promises in many ways such as serving in the soup kitchen, organizing the First City Homeless Services and participating in Love, INC.
We provide opportunities to support the local community and alleviate suffering in the world. Volunteer in Mission programs to areas struck by hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Methodist Committee on Relief is involved around the planet providing famine
relief and helping the defenseless seek justice.