Brief History of FUMC of Madison, FL

 Brief History of the First United Methodist Church
of Madison, Florida

The First United Methodist Church of Madison, Florida has undergone many changes in

its long history. It has been located on at least two different sites and has been under the

jurisdiction of three different Annual Conferences. It has grown from a very humble

place of worship to the magnificent brick church and adjoining buildings which serve

approximately 500 members.

The First United Methodist Church of Madison was organized and the first building

erected for worship in A.D. 1830. Evidence in the archives of three Annual Conferences

show that Methodists met together periodically as early as 1820 in homes and were

ministered to by traveling “circuit riding” ministers who stopped here about once a year.

The first building erected by the Methodists occupied the site now occupied by the St.

Vincent DePaul Roman Catholic Church on Sumter Street in Madison.

The original congregation, known as the Madison Methodist Episcopal Church, used the

first building until 1856 when a second building was erected on the same site. This

building served the Methodist Church until A.D. 1901 when the property was sold to the

Roman Catholic Church. A new location was found and the erection of a third church

building was begun on the present location.

The new building was of red brick veneer with a spire in which the “sweet-toned” bell

from the old building was suspended. The bell was rung on Sunday mornings and

evenings to call the faithful to worship. This building served the congregation until

December of 1917 when it was destroyed by fire. The only remaining part of the old

church is a beautiful marble Baptismal Font presented by the “Orange Blossoms” in

1902.

Mr. Tommy Beggs restored the font as a gift to the church and it can be seen in the

narthex of the church today. The present church was begun in April of 1919 and by

December 6, 1920, had proceeded to the point that the cornerstone could be put into

place. The first worship service in this building was held on Sunday, May 15, 1921.

Sometime following his death at the beginning of World War II in 1941, the family of

Colin Kelly, Jr., donated the church’s pipe organ. Major renovations to the interior of the

church were done in 1998-99, which included modern heating and air conditioning to

replace the old system.

The history of the First United Methodist Church of Madison would not be complete

without noting that our congregation has existed under three separate Annual

Conferences: 1830-1834 South Carolina Annual Conference; 1834-1845 Georgia Annual

Conference; and 1845-present the Florida Annual Conference. The First United

Methodist Church of Madison has had four different names in its existence: 1830-1844

The Methodist Episcopal Church; 1844-1939 The Methodist Episcopal Church South;

1939-1968 The Methodist Church; and since merging with the Evangelical United

Brethren Church in 1968, we have been called the United Methodist Church.

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