St. Paul United Methodist Church, organized in 1909, has a colorful history. St. Paul has gone through three different denominational names: The Methodist Episcopal Church South, the Methodist Church, and its current denomination–The United Methodist Church.
The Church has had its struggles, particularly over building programs. The first location was on the west side of the 500 block of Beech Street. There was space only for the sanctuary; parking was on the street. Much later, in the early 1950’s a new education building and a new sanctuary were built on the east side of Beech, just across the street from the original location.
St. Paul has been called the mother church of McMurry University. From its earliest stages under Dr. J.W. Hunt’s leadership to the latest time under the direction of Dr. Harper, St. Paul has led the way in financial support and trustee membership.
Strong outreach ministries to the city of Abilene and beyond have been evident through St. Paul’s history. Sears Methodist Centers, Hope Haven, Abilene City Board of Missions, The Locust Center, Presbyterian Medical Center, Meals on Wheels, West Texas Rehabilitation Center, Habitat and others are some of the institutions that the church helps to support.
Sunday School classes, from the beginning of St. Paul have played an important role in the stability of the church. There are classes and activities for every age. Learning of eternal truths guides the youth and old, and gives aid in making right decisions. Strong leaders have gone out from its membership into every profession from St. Paul. The church named St. Paul draws people for worship, study, and fellowship, then sends them out to make a better world.
-Dr. Darris L. Egger
The United Methodist Church is an 11-million-strong global church that opens hearts, opens doors and opens minds through active engagement with our world. John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living and on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
We invite you to learn more about our rich theological heritage or to learn about our core beliefs.