First United Methodist Church has been an important part of the Stamford community for over 200 years. Our history dates back to 1788 when circuit-riding preachers formed the society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Stamford and class meetings were held in private homes. In 1813, our first church home was built, a small frame house in what is now downtown Stamford. In 1858, a new church was built at the corner of Main and Washington Avenues, which boasted the largest auditorium in Connecticut. Our congregation worshipped there for the next hundred years, when it moved to its current location in 1961.
The bell at the entrance to our church is a visible link to our past: for 101 years, it rang out at the old church location, for weddings, special occasions, to alert the city to the burning of Town Hall, and to mark the end of the Civil War. Today, it stands as a reminder of our long history in this community.
Part of that long history has been serving the community's needs as they have changed and grown. Food drives, working for social justice, mentoring children, organizing interfaith initiatives to serve people with AIDS/HIV, donating land for affordable housing for the elderly -- in these ways and many more, First United Methodist Church continues to carry on 200 years of tradition in the Stamford community.