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    Our Story  
       
   

History is important…by it we learn who we are, where we came from and, in some sense, where we are headed.  Our interest in history focuses not so much on our denomination, but on the spirit behind the Methodist movement.  The United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay is the result of the rich tradition known as Methodism, a movement founded in 1729 by English college students, most notably John and Charles Wesley.  Their desire was not to start a new branch of the church, but to experience genuine Christianity in their own lives – as revealed in the Bible.

 
  John Wesley, who became an Anglican priest in England, is known as the founder of Methodism. He had a religious experience where he felt his heart was “strangely warmed” in 1738. He then understood that each person may experience God’s love, forgiveness, and new life. He and his brother Charles formed societies which were called “Methodists” because they followed a daily routine of prayer, worship and social work.  
    The history of this church dates back to June of 1895, when Bishop Isaac Nicholson of the Episcopalian Church acquired a lot on Silver Spring Drive and built St. Clements, a white frame church with a steeple.  In 1902 the Methodist Episcopal Church bought St. Clements for $1600.  A fire from an overheated furnace in 1923 ruined the building and on July 1, 1924, the Whitefish Bay Community Church was organized.  The first congregation had at least 13 different denominations among its 50 or so members.  Over the next 40 years the church continued to grow and expand its facilities.  By 1968 membership exceeded 2000 and as a result of the merger of Methodists with the Evangelical United Brethren, our church became the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, a name that has held ever since.