About Christ United Methodist Church

About Us

Here For Everyone

Christ United Methodist Church is about being together with each other and God and never having to be alone or lonely if you do not choose to be.  We try to live into being friends, family, and support for life.  Everyone finds someone or something to connect to while also being encouraged to have the best connection and relationship with God as we can. We live, love, rejoice, cry, pray, enjoy, and serve, not just each other and God, but our community as a whole.

All are welcome to Christ United Methodist Church! Now before you go about thinking that we here at Christ Church are just like any other church, let us try to change your mind. We here at Christ Church are striving to not simply exist in the downtown Saint Pete community, but we want to be THE Community Church. The place where anyone can come for rest, connection, learning, and both spiritual and personal growth. All are welcome here at Christ Church because we don’t make ourselves to be any different than anyone else. We are downtown Saint Pete. We are Christians. We are Christ United Methodist: THE Community Church.

Mission / Vision

Our Mission

The United Methodist Church, which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We do this with each of our members agreeing to give of their times, talents, gifts, service, and witness to the world.

Our Vision

Christ United Methodist Church will be a Beacon of Light in our Community, Breaking Down Barriers and Being a Force for Good in God’s World.

History

Our History

Christ Church, originally known as First Methodist Episcopal Church of St. Petersburg, opened its doors on February 17, 1892 with twenty members on the corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street at a cost of $500. The first full-time minister arrived in 1902. Our building grew from a 24 x 38 foot building (1892), to a “shell dash” church (1906) at our current location at First Avenue North and Fifth Street, to a “buff brick” church seating 1050 (1915), to our present sanctuary (1953) seating 1704.

1900
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1900

The Call of the Fishermen

The Call of the Fishermen… of St. Petersburg, FL

Three different buildings have been built on the property where the present church stands. Here is the history of it all.

1906
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1906

Rev. Alfred E. Drew, becomes the pastor

Tarpon Springs pastor, Rev. Alfred E. Drew, becomes the pastor of the Shell-Dash Church, which is built at the cost of $20,00 on the location of 5 th Street North and 1 st Av N, to become First Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church.

1915
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1915

Shell-Dash Church

The building of the Shell-Dash Church was replaced by the Buff Brick Church.

1924
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1924

Growths to Two Services

Growth at the church had led to two services every Sunday.

1930
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1930

Radio Broadcasts Begin

Radio broadcasts from the church begins and is heard from Key West to Southern Georgia and Alabama.

1930
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1930

United Methodist Church Formed

United Brethren Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church combine to form the present day
United Methodist Church.

1940
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1940

4 Story Church School House Erected

New four-story church schoolhouse was opened on Palm Sunday. Among other features, it housed a roller skating-rink on the 4th floor.

1949
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1949

First Woman Elected Chair of the Board

The first woman to be elected Chair of the Board, Ms. Mary I. Bainen, was voted into office.

1953
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1953

New Sanctuary Opened

The current sanctuary was opened, having cost $820,000. The sanctuary is an early Christian Romanesque design, constructed with Florida Key Stone and granite from Minnesota. The old sanctuary became the current chapel. Also the church changed its name to Christ United Methodist Church.

1955
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1955

Mortgage Paid

By December of that year, the mortgage on the new sanctuary had been paid and a celebration occurred with the burning of the mortgage.

1957
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1957

Admin and Sunday School Building Added

The three story Admin and Sunday School building, with a roof garden, was added to the campus.

1960
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1960

Stained Glass Windows Added

The 7 “Great Commission” stained glass windows were added to the balcony so to represent the risen Lord sending out the Apostles.

1968
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1968

Aeolian Skinner Pipe Organ & Piano Added

The Aeolian Skinner Pipe Organ and Steinway Grand Piano were added to the campus.

1975
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1975

Dr. Paul R. Hortin Retires

Dr. Paul R. Hortin retires. He had served the church for over 41 years.

1979
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1979

First woman Trustee Elected

First woman Trustee was elected, Ms. Ralph E. Buddin.