Methodist Church History

History of the Methodist Church

John Wesley was an ordained Anglican priest. At a prayer meeting in London on May 24, 1738, he had a powerful spiritual experience which inspired him to become the first teacher of “Methodism.”  After his experience, Wesley set out to form societies of “Methodists,” so called because the members followed a daily routine of religious observance and social work. Wesley never intended to break from the Church of England, and died an Anglican priest.

In America itinerant lay preachers spread the gospel and Wesley’s teachings to the settlers.  After the Revolution a separate church was formed, the Methodist Episcopal Church. Other Wesleyan denominations also formed. In l968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and Methodist Church joined to form the United Methodist Church—the country’s second largest Protestant denomination. 

History of the Paradise United Methodist Church

The first pastor, Rev. William Sanford, was appointed by the Northern California Conference to the Paradise United Methodist Church  in June of l955. The first worship service conducted by Rev. Sanford was held on July 31, 1955 in the west wing of Paradise Memorial Hall, Elliott at Skyway.

The Paradise United Methodist Church lays claim to many mission outreach ministries that continue to thrive in this day:  Help 4 People, Project Smiles, Paradise Center for Tolerance and Nonviolence, the annual Christmas Drive- Thru Nativity, Lunch With Us, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and more.

While the Church’s address on Clark Road has not changed, the buildings have shared a common history as hosts to Catalyst, P.E.N., Mountain Ridge middle School, Grandparents as Parents, L.O.E. (community) Quilters, 4H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League, Headstart, Paradise Pre-School and more. Today the Paradise United Methodist Church is a proud sponsor of the Paradise Community Chorus. The Chorus, involving over 100 community singers, provides two annual concerts to the growing joy of our community.