A firm foundation for a challenging and exciting future
Methodism began in what is now Wisconsin, when Colonel Samuel Ryan, a vigorous and enthusiastic man of Irish birth was assigned to Fort Howard in 1826. He led worship and cared for the spiritual needs of the small community until the first pastor, Rev. John Clark, was assigned from the New York Conference in 1832. Historical records indicate that in 1836, the Methodist Society was given a tract of land by John Jacob Astor, Ramsay and Emily Crooks, and Robert and Eliza Stewart. The grant of land brought the first church building. It was a plain and simple structure, about 34x38 feet in dimension. This was the first Protestant Church building in Green Bay, it was used for a number of years and then sold to the French Catholic congregation.
First United Methodist Church is now in its fifth building, which was dedicated on July 28, 1929. This building was necessary following a fire, which totally destroyed the fourth building, which was known as the Red Brick Church. The present educational wing was added in 1958, and the elevator addition and extensive remodeling were finished in 1988. “Project Access” made First Church a completely accessible building, as well as providing a narthex for congregational fellowship, and utilizing space more effectively for classrooms, offices and general purposes.
In the spring of 1994, the office building on the northeast corner of our block was purchased and renamed “The Paul D. Ziemer Building.” This acquisition will provide room for expansion of our growing ministry in future years. A major complement to our facilities and worship was completed in 1996 with the dedication of the Frederick and Patricia Baer Pipe Organ.
First United Methodist Church is a vital congregation today, involved in the community and ministering in many creative ways to the human and spiritual needs of people. We believe with John Wesley, the patriarch of our denomination, that “the world is our parish,” so our doors stretch open to all. First United Methodist Church has a splendid heritage, a vital living faith, active programs, beautiful facilities and an openness to newcomers and others who wish to join them in their faith journey.
The rich tradition and heritage of First Church provides a firm foundation for a challenging and exciting future. As a church family in mission to the world, we move forward with God's guidance and empowered by God's creative spirit.
You are invited to explore the pages of this website and taste a little of who we are today as First United Methodist Church of Green Bay.