FUMC Gulfport has been at the heart of our city for more than 110 years. The church was officially recognized in 1912, but much earlier than that the local newspaper reported that the "Methodists gathered on the pier" Sunday mornings to pray and sing hymns.
Initially, the congregation met in an old one-room school house called "Prop College," because it was so unstable that it had to be propped up to keep it from falling down. In 1913, a small wooden church was constructed on the corner of 28th Avenue and 53rd Street South. Just after World War II that building was moved across the street and is now home to the Gulfport Historical Society. Meanwhile, our first female pastor oversaw the construction of our current Sanctuary. A few years later, our Education Wing was added, and still later, our Social Hall was built.
In the late 1990s, the church secured the small building just north of the Education Building and converted it to our resale shop, "Sophie's Attic." The shop allows us to reach out into the community and make quality clothing and household goods available. In turn, the funds generated enable us to support the church's many other ministries. Volunteers add to this outreach... each as God inspires him or her.
Music is another important part of our church life. Our current Music Director, Annette Sims, has been an internationally recognized vocalist and musician. In 2018, Annette made a gift to the church of the pipe organ you see above the altar today.
But the heart of our church and its mission is the people. Throughout the years, our church has been truly blessed with people who have given, and continue to give of their prayers, their presence, and their service to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Today, our United Methodist Men and United Women of Faith meet monthly and participate in many of the Church's activities. In turn, our campus remains an active part of our community. Walden School, a private middle school, conducts regular classes here. Also, two AA groups, an NA group, and a small Reformed Catholic congregation meet here weekly. For these blessings, we give thanks to God for the strength and wisdom He so graciously provides, and for our ministry that has only just begun...