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History of St. John's United Methodist Church


Spreading the word of Jesus Christ has been the mission of the Methodist Church since the earliest days in Edwardsville. It has been a long steady process of building and rebuilding:


1793 Methodist circuit riders began preaching in Illinois.

1805 A log meeting house called Bethel Chapel was built in Glen Carbon. This was the first Methodist church in Illinois.

1827 The group that would become St. John’s United Methodist Church began, led by circuit riders John Hogan and Samuel Thompson. They gathered with members in a school building and later moved to the Court House located at the site of Lincoln School.

1829 The first church was built at the corner of St. Louis and Randle streets. It was all wood and measured 30 feet by 45 feet.

1853 The congregation grew and a larger brick church with a basement was built on the same site. It was called Thompson's Chapel.

1883 The church building was again too small, so a new brick building was built at the corner of St. Louis and 2nd Street. This building was called St. John’s Methodist Episcopal Church. The church had 225 members with 150 people attending Sunday school. The first choir was formed at this time.

1923 By the 1920’s the building was once again too small and the church building was razed to make way for a new building.

1924 The building that currently stands at 201 St. Louis Street was dedicated. It included a new organ and an adjacent education building.

1952 Membership topped the 1,000 mark.

1959 The chapel and library were built adjacent to the church on 2nd Street.

1961 Membership reached an all-time high at 1,159 people.

1985 The membership again topped the 1,000 mark and was celebrated with a photo of the congregation in front of the church.

1988 The congregation voted to relocate the downtown Edwardsville church.

2001 Twenty acres of land were purchased on Highway 143.

2002 An additional 3.7 adjacent acres were purchased.

2005 In September ground was broken and building began.

2006 In April the congregation moved into Phase One of the new building, followed in June by the sale of the downtown building to Newsong Fellowship Church. Construction on Phase Two, the Ministry Center, began in October of 2006.

2007 In April worship was held for the first time in the brand new Ministry Center on Easter Sunday.

Our current location will allow St. John’s room to grow into the future. Buildings may come and go, but the vision of St. John’s is to continue to be a beacon of faith and service, focusing our passions and gifts to reflect Christ’s love to the world.