Vision and History

Vision and History

Grand Ledge First United Methodist Church is a nurturing Christian community, helping people experience and live out the love of Christ in their lives and in the world.

Vision Statement
Celebrate the Faith, Engage the Community.

Our Priorities
Our priority is to be a caring church for our changing times.

Christian Youth Ministry
To provide opportunities for spiritual growth, fun and fellowship, and service that will help our youth discover their Christian identity and what it means in their lives in today's world.

Church History
In the pioneer's day Methodism seemed to arrive about the time the pioneer unloaded his wagon. If the circuit rider did not bring it, it was more than likely it would be brought along by the faith of a Methodist family. So it was with the Abram Smith family. When the saw mill was being built he brought his family to live in a log cabin located on the south bank of the river in 1849. He began to clear land and build a house which still stands and is now located at 801 W. Jefferson Street.

During May 1851, the first Methodist sermon was preached in this same house. This was given by John Clayton, a local preacher residing at Oneida who came to Abram Smith's to hold this service. A couple of weeks later the first Methodist Class Meeting was held and organized.

The first meetings of this newly formed Methodist Class were held in the just completed Red School building located on the north side of the river. When the Congregational Society was formed the two churches alternated Sunday by Sunday in the use of the school building. They also cooperated in the formation of a Union Sunday School which was part of the time under the supervision of the Methodist's and part of the time the supervision of the Congregationalists.

When the Congregationalists built their first-church building in 1864, the Methodists for a time continued to use their building every other Sunday. A gift of land on West Scott Street was received from Edmund Lamson. A Chapel erected there was used until 1874 when they built the Church Building. The Church stood for 37 years where the present Church now stands. It had a steeple and contained a town clock in the belfry which rang out the hours until something went wrong with the mechanism. The Portland Circuit was established in 1852 and the Grand Ledge appointment was on the Portland Circuit. The first church built in 1874 had 70 members. The second parsonage was built in 1887 on Scott Street next to the church.

During the period from 1851 to 1911 most of the preachers served Grand Ledge only one or two years, although a few served as long as four years. During those 60 years there were thirty four pastors. The decision to build a new church was made in 1910. During the spring of 1911 the old church was removed. The last service held in the old church was on Sunday evening March 12. 1911. there were 150 members of the church.

The cornerstone of the new church was laid June 12, 1912 - "the commodious and handsome new Methodist Episcopal Church edifice in Grand Ledge was thrown open to the public, Sunday, when it was dedicated to the purpose for which it was built." The Cornerstone of the Educational Unit was laid in 1960 and the building was ready for use in the spring of 1961. Many enhancements have been made over the years to our beautiful and historic church. But most importantly because of the dedication of our Pastors and members, The Grand Ledge First United Methodist Church continues in its' mission of spiritual growth and outreach.