We share our mission with that of all United Methodists: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” In this congregation, we at First UMC focus on fulfilling that mission using three simple words as our guide: Worship, Connect, and Serve. We believe that as we grow to be disciples we become connected to God through worship; to each other in small groups; and to the community and world through service. As a church we seek to help people move intentionally and easily from one area to the next by providing diverse opportunities to connect in all of those areas. We seek to help individuals come to know Jesus and to become a disciples who love, care, and serve like Jesus.
What is a United Methodist?
United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We are evangelical, but we are moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value the intellect and modern science, while at the same time looking to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion. Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith lived out in concrete ways in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that was lively, and small groups where people could grow in faith. Methodists have open hearts and open minds–and welcome anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith. If you would like to know more about what it means to follow Christ, please call 814-695-4411 and ask to speak to one of our pastors or email us.
Hollidaysburg is named after Irish immigrants: Adam and William Holliday. It is the county seat of Blair County. It is the home of “Slinky.” Methodist preaching was first reported at Hollidaysburg in 1785. The Methodist Episcopal Church in America was formed at the Christmas Conference in Baltimore on December 24, 1784. Hollidaysburg was among the first preaching points in what became the Central Pennsylvania Conference (now the Susquehanna conference: www.susumc.org). The first minister was Thomas Thornton, a circuit rider. In 1830 (some records indicate 1831) First Methodist Episcopal Church became the first church in the borough limits. Until the first building was built, First Church met in homes and in a school house on walnut street. The first building was built on the corner of Walnut and Front Streets in 1832. It was a wooden structure. That building served until it was replaced with a brick structure in 1852. The congregation moved to Allegheny and Wayne Streets in 1883. The following is a timeline of dates in our building history:
1785 First Preaching
1833-1851 First Structure (building)
1851-1882 Second Structure
1882-1981 Third structure
1981-Present Current Structure
In 1852 a brick building replaced the wooden one, and the stained glass window above our front doors was first installed in this building. The building was remodeled in 1873 at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars. In 1879 two blocks of Hollidaysburg were destroyed by fire. In 1881 the Methodist congregation decided to move “uptown” to one of the burned out lots. The church at the corner of Allegheny and Wayne Streets was dedicated in 1883. In 1959 the Dean property at the corner of Allegheny and Jones Streets was purchased as the site for a new church. The Victorian mansion was torn down and a parsonage (now the Campbell House youth center) erected in 1965. On November 30, 1980, the cornerstone of our new building was laid. The building was completed in 1981, incorporating thirty four stained glass windows from previous buildings. 2013 is the 30th anniversary of the consecration of this new building and the 180th anniversary of the congregation.