A Noble History
Among the thousands who entered the new land to settle in Guthrie on that historic Monday, April 22, 1889 was Rev. E.F. Hill, sent by church authorities to establish a Methodist organization. During the week that followed, Rev. Hill found many interested persons, a boarding tent located on the east side of Division street in which to meet, a young man to lead the singing and a saloon orchestra to furnish music. At 10:30 Sunday morning, April 28, 1889 the strains of “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” called people from all directions to worship in the new city. Rev. Hill preached the first sermon and organized a Methodist Society. Meetings were held regularly in the boarding tent and a little later in a white frame building located at 104 West Oklahoma until, during the summer of 1889, Rev. Hill purchased four lots at 221 N. Broad for twenty-one dollars to be used as a building site for the new congregation. The first building committee completed a permanent building in the spring of 1890. Its cost was approximately $4500.00. Over the next twenty years the membership grew to 348 with a Sunday School attendance of 300, making a larger home a necessity. The current building was completed at a final cost of $55,000.00 and dedicated on Sunday, March 6, 1910. (Excerpts from the Historical Records as kept by Miss Etta Hikes and edited by Ruby May Gaffney Tryon).
In 2010 we celebrated the centennial of our historic building. Our active congregation has worshiped and served in this large, beautiful and important structure for almost a century. Today it is a part of the Capital Townsite Historic District of Guthrie, Oklahoma, recognized by the Oklahoma State Office of Historic Preservation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Guthrie is a city that has, over the past two decades, become an important name in historic preservation, drawing many visitors every year to view streetscapes reminiscent of the turn of the 20th Century. Guthrie First United Methodist sits on Noble Avenue in the heart of “church row,” where its visibly special architectural style makes it a frequent stop for visitors on historic building tours. Our faithful congregation has maintained the building for over a century because it exemplifies aspects of turn-of-the century religious and political history through its priceless art, woodwork and architecture, and because it is our church family home.
A Bright Future!
Here at Guthrie First United Methodist Church we have hopes and dreams for a promising future. We have visions of people of all ages participating in a vast number of activities promoting fun, learning, spiritual growth, compassion, and service. We also see our worship celebrations continue to share progressive, inclusive messages, and build a sense of community and involvement, while incorporating the use of both contemporary and traditional music as well as other art forms.
We have a vision for increasing the number of members at Guthrie FUMC. We continue to find many ways to connect with each other and to express our openness, resulting in greater diversity across gender, ethnicity, age, ability, and economic classes.
We strive to be a real gathering place for the neighborhood and for people from across our region, hosting community events, services, and learning opportunities. We work closely with other United Methodists, as well as collaborate with others of all faiths.
Guthrie FUMC people find ways to share our experience and knowledge to help others; supporting and caring for those on the margins of life. We are blessed to be guardians of our beautiful historic building as well as witnesses to the gospel of Christ. As United Methodists, we are uniquely gifted to bring to the world the all encompassing love, grace, and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us for worship this Sunday. You will be blessed!