First Methodist Church at its former site, 115 E. Dayton St., Fremont. Tabernacle building was built in 1874, then remodeled and enlarged in 1894, again in 1911, and the basement enlarged in 1922. Pipe organ was installed in 1946. The congregation moved to its current building at 351 Butterfield, Fremont, in 1956 and is known for its popular Ark Park play structure. Painting by Robert G. Woodring
By Sara Wolfsen
The roots of Fremont United Methodist Church were planted by Reverend William J. Swift during the warm summer of 1868. The Methodist movement began as part of the Hesperia circuit in the Brookside area (near the corner of 72nd and Green Street). Logs were rafted across Fremont Lake from the Darling Mill (now Branstrom Park) to establish a small church building. A few years later, as Fremont Center expanded, church leaders moved the congregation to town and erected a Tabernacle on Dayton Street (across from the current city offices). Several building additions were made to accommodate a growing congregation and, in October of 1956, the current church building on Butterfield Street was dedicated.
Over the years, the Methodists were known for their local service and global mission work, and its members were active in several community organizations including the Lions Club, Rotary and Young Life. And the church is proud to hold the Boy Scout Charter for the local troop. Our congregants have always held a strong emphasis on music, Christian education, mission and service. We delighted in hosting Chicken BBQ dinners during Old Fashioned Days, a Garden Tour each July, traditional Midnight Christmas Eve worship services, and, in 2014 erected an Ark Park area on church property for the community to bring a picnic and enjoy the playground and gaga pit.
We continue Rev. Swift's dream and God's work in the world today and will celebrate on Sunday, October 29th beginning at 9 a.m. with joyful worship and song through historic music, prayer, memories and special greetings from friends of the past. A collection of wedding photos will be on display during the day, and a tasty breakfast, prepared by our Men's Group, will be served following the worship service. If you were part of our past or would like to be part of our future, please join us Sunday, October 29 at 9 a.m. and stay for breakfast. To kindly RSVP for breakfast, contact the Church Office at (231) 924-0030.