About First United Methodist Church
In 1823 the First Methodist Church was founded. The first pastor arrived in 1828. In 1838 the first Ashland Methodist Church building was erected. Built of hewn stone, it was located on ground now occupied by the county courthouse. Born out of the strong heritage of committed servants like John Wesley, The First United Methodist Church has been a pillar in the Ashland Community for over 180 years. Located at the North Corridor entrance to the city, Ashland First has always been a strong visual presence in Ashland as well as spiritual influence to thousands.
A gracious, two-story brick structure, with a belfry and spire, built in 1847 at the southeast corner of the Church and Fourth Streets, was the second Methodist Church building. In 1862 membership was 209. Years later this church burned and a new “modern” church was built at the corner of Sandusky and Cottage Streets. It was dedicated in 1888 and was said not to be excelled by any other church in the conference.
Revival meetings were very popular a number of years ago. They were held in the winter season and lasted several weeks. The local minister preached every evening except on Saturday.
In 1929 the cornerstone was laid for a large education building to accommodate the increasing Sunday school attendance. The W.D. Stem Class was the number one chartered Sunday school class in the country.
In 1958 the 1888 sanctuary was demolished to make way for a new sanctuary structure to gather the growing congregation. It was completed in 1959 and serves as our worship space today.
A devastating fire in September 2002 swept through the educational wing causing irreparable damage. The structure was demolished to make way for the current facility which houses offices, welcoming/gathering space, the Chapel, Dauch Hall, and rooms for Christian formation groups.