First United Methodist Church of Huntsville has a rich history. Two historical markers can be found on the church grounds. A Texas Historical Commission Subject marker depicts the history of the church and a marker placed by the City of Huntsville indicates that a notable hostelry and stagecoach stop was established near this site in 1850. The first congregation of Methodists in this vicinity dates from the early 1830’s when Methodists gathered at what is now known as Martha’s Chapel located ten miles southwest of town. In 1842 at a meeting of the Texas Conference in Bastrop, Huntsville was listed as a new charge. Deed records from 1854 indicate the purchase of a lot on Jackson Street (the present location of First United Methodist Church). The first building was erected in 1857. This building was torn away and replaced by a larger one in 1888.
A fire destroyed additions to the building and did much damage to the sanctuary and the pipe organ. A new and larger building was constructed in its place and was completed in 1913. Six years later, on February 25, 1918, this building, along with the memorial windows, was destroyed by fire. In 1919, the present church was reconstructed largely as a duplicate of the one burned. The windows were replaced in the reconstructing of the church, and other memorial windows were added.
In 1954, an Educational Building was completed housing nursery – 5th grade. In 1972, a Social Hall was built, complete with kitchen and 10 classrooms. After extensive churchwide study of the needs of the church in the mid 1980’s, the new building was erected being completed in 1991. This structure added offices, classrooms, and an assembly room. Several beautiful stained glass windows add beauty to this section.
Many beautiful gifts have been presented to the church through the years. Among these are the magnificent stained glass memorial windows. The pulpit furniture and pipe organ were presented to the church in 1913. The church is blessed to have one of only a few sets of Deagan Tower Chimes left in Texas, installed in 1934.
While we have an impressive and historically significant facility with beautiful stained glass windows and a marvelous pipe organ, it is the spirit of service and ministry which springs from inside these walls that is truly our historic value.