First United Methodist Church.
Art & Culture

First United Methodist Church: 163 East Wheeling Street


Area Methodists have been meeting since 1799 when Edward Teal offered his cabin for services to the earliest settlers of Fairfield County. James Quinn, a traveling Methodist preacher, marked the first service in the cabin.

The first church was erected in 1817 on S. High St. It is unclear whether this was a frame or brick building. They soon outgrew the size of the building and rebuilt a new church in the same location in 1838. (The Masonic Temple is located there today.) By 1905 the congregation grew even larger, and a bigger church was needed. Land was purchased on the corner of Wheeling and High St. (present location).

Construction began early in the year 1905, and in October there was a cornerstone-laying ceremony. The new church was completed in 1907. The last service in the church on S. High Street was held on September 8, 1907. On the following Sunday, the dedication of the new church took place.

The church reflects the influence of noted American architect Stanford White and his liking for the Italian influence of Tuscany. Features include a tile roof, tower, and three round stained glass windows. The one to the east is known as the “Rose Window.”

The symbolism of the “Rose Window”: the three large windows are in the form of a circle which is emblematic of the everlasting love of God, with no beginning and no end. The sixteen spokes in each represent the eight Beatitudes.

Major renovations took place in 1950, including the construction of the education wing of the church in 1957.

The church was known as “First Church” until 1968 when the name changed to “First United Methodist Church.” A uniting conference of Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Church leaders had met in Dallas, Texas, and officially sanctioned a merger of the two denominations.

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