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Grainy Surface

175th Anniversary of FUMC

Welcome to the 175th Anniversary Celebration of the First United Methodist Church Georgetown!

As we mark this significant milestone, we reflect on the profound compassionate impact our church and its people have had on our community throughout the years. Since our founding, we have been steadfast in our commitment to serving others with love, empathy, and generosity. From offering sanctuary and support to those in need, to spearheading initiatives that uplift the marginalized, our church has been a beacon of hope and kindness.  Join us this year as we honor our rich history of compassion and renew our dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of those around us.

Join us as we explore the rich history of our beloved Church and its people!

Grainy Surface

In addition to learning about the rich history of FUMC, join us as we celebrate the compassionate hearts within our church! We're shining a light on those whose leadership and generosity have made a significant impact on our community. These individuals embody the spirit of love and service, while spreading God's love everywhere they go. Let's honor their dedication and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Click on the images below to view a short interview highlighting FUMC's Faces of Compassion

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Faces of Compassion

History of Compassionate Impact at FUMC

1849-1874

Creation of Georgetown's First United Methodist Church began in La Grange on December 6, 1849, when the Annual Texas Conference assigned James W. Lloyd to organize Georgetown Mission Church (San Antonio District, Josiah W. Whipple, Presiding Elder) of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. By the time Reverend Lloyd reached Georgetown later in December 1849 or early 1850, he was about 36 years old. A native of Tennessee, he was in the household of John Gooch of Georgetown, a gunsmith, according to the 1850 census. Methodist missionaries had been in Texas about a decade. William B. Travis appealed in 1835 to Methodist officials to send preachers to "this benighted land," and the church responded in 1837 with three missionaries for all the inhabited areas of Texas. 

 

In 1848 Williamson County was formed. The county seat was established on uninhabited prairie land near the San Gabriel River and the town was named Georgetown. The Texas Conference of that era was watchful of Texas' rapidly expanding frontier and made it a practice to designate missions where strong communities were likely to develop. By late 1849 Georgetown was a tiny hamlet with only a handful of hastily-built log houses. No churches were erected there until in the early 1870s. Methodists, like other denominations, gathered in homes, joined with other religious groups for union services in public buildings, or met outdoors if the weather was mild. When the circuit riding pastor paid his occasional visit to Georgetown Mission or Circuit, he held formal religious services, baptized babies born since his last visit, married couples awaiting his arrival, and conducted memorial and funeral services. During his absence laymen or ministers of other denominations were sometimes called on to read the last rites of deceased Methodists. A traveling preacher generally ministered to congregations in two counties and as many as eighteen mission churches. 

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A Seed Planted in 1849

1849

1875-1899

Industrial Era Reaches Georgetown

A railroad "tap line" was completed late in 1878 from Georgetown to Round Rock, where it joined the I. & G. N. system and provided an important economic asset to the community. The University mentioned this new facility in its catalogs, and newspapers of that period indicate that people rode the tap line from Round Rock to Georgetown to attend the Methodist services in the chapel. However splendid the improvement of train travel was instead of riding a horse reported that “the train due Monday at 12 did not arrive until after dark. The engine ran short of water at Round Rock and had to wait until it could be supplied.” A month later two clergymen, G. W. Graves and W. F. Gillespie, had to wait several hours in Round Rock for the Georgetown-bound train. They finally despaired and chartered a hack to drive them to the county seat, but were overtaken by the train before they reached Georgetown.

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1875

1900-1924

Early Activities in the New Century

Sunday School continued to meet in the old Chapel until about 1917, while it also served as an unofficial public library. 'Well do I remember it," Wright reminisced. "It had a weekly patron-myself. And some of the books I read in my teens remain indelibly in mind .... Usually in Sunday School classes we wrote down our name and the title of the book we wished to read. Before the class dismissed, a kind of colporteur came with an armful of books and distributed them among those who had ordered. Well do I remember two fine Sunday School teachers who urged us to read good literature."

 

Georgetown hosted the 35th Annual Northwest Texas Methodist Conference, November 14-20, 1900. The Williamson County Sun carried a full report of its proceedings and declared that the Conference was the third largest in Southern Methodism. Capacity crowds filled the new church to hear able, eloquent, forceful "and more or less lively speeches" by prominent churchmen. Among those present and wellknown in Georgetown were Ors. W. L. Nelms, James Campbell, Horace Bishop, and Reverends John R. Nelson, Sam P. Wright and others. By 1902 the church had 750 members, a church valued at $25,000, a parsonage worth $3,000, it owed $680, and Sunday School enrollment totaled 764.

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A new Central Texas Conference was created late in 1909, and began functioning on January 1, 1910. Georgetown Methodist Church and the Georgetown District were automatically shifted into this new geographical division. Central Texas Conference held its annual meeting in Georgetown in 1917, most of the delegates arriving by train, including Drs. Nelms, Campbell, Bishop, and Reverends Wright and Nelson, who had been at the 1900 Conference. After World War: was over and while still in the Great Depression, the local church, in 1930, reported 736 members, a church valued at $100,000 and parsonage at $10,000; its indebtedness was $32,000. From 1930 until 1970, the church membership generally ranged in the 700 figures.

The Woman's Home Mission Society was asked by the minister in about 1900 to help carpet the church aisles in order to cut down on noise on Sundays as the congregation gathered. The ladies found thejob would require 100 yards of carpet at $1 a yard. On September 17, 1900, the Society informed the Board of Trustees that they wanted the parsonage sold and another provided, but by November the old one was being repaired. A new pastor's home was built, however, on the southeast corner of the block behind the sanctuary sometime between 1901 and 1904. It was a two-story, frame house, and the ladies were kept busy funding screening, a fence, furniture, a mattress, and a new stove for it. A bazaar and an ice cream supper on the parsonage lawn were held to pay for a stable/ barn, costing about $150, ''badly needed at the parsonage."

 

In 1904, the Society was putting aside a portion of its money for the organ fund.In addition to their historical value, the Home Mission records are spiced with occasional delightful surprises. One entry states that “Bro. Campbell had bought a new stove but need the pipe and a 'flew' “; another cautioned that the committee should collect delinquent "dews" from members, and a third item casually recorded for posterity that one purchase cost "ten dollars and something.”

1900
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