WHAT TO EXPECT
WHAT ABOUT MY KIDS?
Welcome Home! Regardless of where you are on your life's journey,
we invite you to let First Church be your spiritual home. We are
an accepting, engaging church with many programs designed for your
Whether you are a longtime Christian looking for a church, a curious inquirer weighing organized religion, or someone who just wants to belong, First Church will welcome you with open hearts.
To see what people love about First Church, click here.
To learn more, please click here.
The two worship spaces each set the tone for worship at First Church. The Great Heritage traditional service is held in the sanctuary on the main floor of the building. The Chancel Choir and organ lead the music and congregational singing uses the hymnal. Often worship music is augmented by other groups such as bells, vocal or instrumental soloists, or liturgical dancers.
The Bridge contemporary service is held in the fellowship hall in the basement in an informal gathering with round tables. Snacks are provided. The music is lead by the praise band. Congregational singing uses a screen. The sermon is the same in both services. And there is a special children's time in both services.
First United Methodist Church
400 S Main St
Mt Pleasant, MI 48858
First Church is located downtown in Mt Pleasant, MI four blocks south of Broadway Street. It occupies the entire block between Main Street and Washington Street. Main Street is one way going north. Washington Street is one way going south. Parking access is available from both Main and Washington Streets. Look for the tall, bell tower! For a full map, click here. http://yhoo.it/1D5DojN
Children at First Church have several opportunities to learn about God and grow with other children. We have Sunday school for ages 3 through 6th grade. Youth group for 7th grade on up. And we have a nursery for infants though age three.
In addition to the opportunities on Sunday, during the week we operate a preschool whose page with more information can be accessed here. And during the year there are special events such as the Back to School Carnival, VBS, and the Easter Egg Hunt.
To learn more click here.
Join Us Sundays
Regular Worship Schedule
Starting after Labor Day
9:00 Traditional Worship Service
10:05 Adult Bible Study Classes
11:00 Contemporary Worship Service
11:00 Children's Sunday School
Child care available 8:50am to 12:15pm
Memorial Day through Labor Day
10:00 Combined Worship Service
As United Methodists we believe in God’s saving grace, our free will and the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ the divine Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We work at living our faith in ways that shape our daily life. We have a strong stance regarding social justice, believing in social holiness right alongside personal holiness. We care about ourselves, our families, and our neighbors – those that live right next door and those all around the world. As stewards of God’s creation, we believe we have a responsibility to maintaining a healthy planet.
Our Methodist faith is as old as our founder, John Wesley, with Anglican roots in England in the 1700’s – but as modern as what goes on in the busy and technological world we live in today. Scripture is foundational to us, but as seen through the lens of experience, tradition and reason.
To learn more about our official beliefs and social principles, visit the online Book of Discipline here.
Toggle to read more about Wesley and our faith.
The apostle Paul advised us to always be ready to give an answer when questioned about our faith. This church has as one of its goals that it become a teaching church. As we approach the scriptures we as United Methodists interpret them according to our understanding and that understanding is in a large degree shaped by the life and ministry of the brothers, John and Charles Wesley.
They were born in the early 1700’s to a rather learned Anglican rector and early educated in several languages. They both went to Oxford and while there formed a club whose members were dedicated to living a holy life. They advocated a methodical practice of the spiritual disciplines to foster spiritual growth but were ridiculed by other students who called them methodists, among other derogatory names. The name stuck. Foundational to the way the Wesleys understood spiritual growth, then, is through the practice of the spiritual disciplines--Bible study, prayer, fasting, meditation on scripture, charitable giving, etc.
It is notable that although living a strict life for God, both the Wesleys felt that something was lacking in their spiritual life. Both became missionaries to America for a short time, and both returned to England unfulfilled. However, on the voyage John’s ship encountered a severe storm. He thought with terror that he might die. But, on the vessel were a group of Moravians who seemed calm in the face of possible disaster. When questioned they expressed the assurance they had in their salvation through Christ alone. Why should they fear? They knew their ultimate reward.
John Wesley continued his association with the Moravians and with one Peter Bohler who encouraged him to preach faith until he had faith of his own and then he could preach faith from his experience. That led up to the crucial moment in his life--his so called Aldersgate experience which can no better be described than in his own words.
“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while the leader was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” May 24, 1738
Charles had had a similar experience just three days earlier. Their experiences of true faith in Christ alone propelled both to a life of service of others--John to preaching and writing, Charles to setting down theology in hymns, thousands of hymns. John preached to tiny groups and to masses anywhere where he could find a hearing. He realized that the needs of the common people were being ignored by the state church so he formed societies in each area where he traveled. Those societies consisted of smaller classes of about a dozen members. Each looked after the other. The leaders took note of who was ill, who was in need, who was hurting so that their needs might be met.
In an effort to make the gospel effective, Wesley saw the necessity of ministering to the whole person. He not only concerned himself with a person’s soul, but his mind, his health, his relationships. Wesley went into the prisons and ministered. He formed schools for the poor. He wrote a book of home remedies because the poor couldn’t afford doctors. He traveled an estimated 250,000 miles much of it on horseback preaching as we went from village to village. It is estimated that he preached 40,000 sermons. His message, a boon to the spiritually hungry listeners, was that God’s grace was “free for all and free in all”.
Wesley taught that God prepared our hearts to receive him (prevenient grace), that by accepting Christ as our savior we are made right with God (justifying grace), and that the God gives us the power to live a holy life (sanctifying grace). In this he combined the best of both the early church fathers and the Reformation. He personally made no attempt to start a new denomination but rather said that the meetings of the societies and classes should be held on weekdays so that the people could receive the sacraments on Sundays in their local church. Here, finally, was a living faith that the common people could relate to. It had power, not only because it was the truth, but because the preacher had a personal experience with that truth.
Although the term was attached later, Wesley’s ideas about faith were described as a quadrilateral. Scripture was primary, but reason, tradition and experience also informed faith.
The Wesleys have left a legacy of great hymns and a love of singing them. The Methodist Social Principles are a direct result Wesley’s care and concern for the poor, and our theology has its origin not only in the understanding handed down through the centuries of the Christian church but was tempered by the personal conversion experiences of both John and Charles Wesley.
To dig more deeply into understanding Wesley's theology, you may wish to read Pastor John Boley's paper "A Wesleyan Companion to The Purpose Driven Life" here.
To read more about the history of the United Methodist Church from its origins to the present we suggest you access the official United Methodist Church website here http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/history