Founding History

History of the Community United Methodist Church of Williams, Arizona

The devotion of earlier peoples continues to live as we remember the rich legacy, the noble tradition they have established for us. From some of the official church records we read about the earliest beginnings of the Community United Methodist Church:

"In July 1883, the Rev. Nathan D. Guthrie was appointed to the Williams and Flagstaff circuit and preached at Williams a few times during the summer. After that there was only occasional preaching until January 1891."

"On January 23, 1891, Rev. N. F. Norton, who was appointed to the Flagstaff charge, came and preached that day and every two weeks on Friday evening until April 5th, when he preached each Sunday morning and evening."

"On Easter Sunday 1891, twelve Christians organized the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Williams. The cornerstone was laid with appropriate services on July 3, by Rev. N. F. Norton, assisted by Rev. C. F. Spray, the pastor of the Methodist Church in Prescott. On Wednesday, October 7, 1891 the curch was formally dedicated in services conducted by Bishop W. L. Mullalieu."

"The church organization had already been incorporated on May 29, 1891 as the "First Methodist Episcopal Church of Williams, Arizona". Although denominational mergers have changed the name to the Community Methodist Church and finally to Community United Methodist Church, the people of the church have continued to be Methodist by connection and community oriented in spirit."

Several additions to the original building have been made. The east wing was added in 1923 for Sunday School rooms. The community hall, now the nursery, and the gymnasium were added in 1929. In 1938 plans were formulated for the present community hall, kitchen and other Sunday School rooms. This project was brought to completion under the ministry of the Rev. K. Morgan Edwads in 1939-40. Twenty years later the Community Hall was upgraded and refurbished. During the more than twenty years this hall has been in use, it has been the scene of some of the most important social gatherings in this town.

The Community United Methodist Church has had a long history in Williams and has played an important part in the cultural and spiritual development of the town. As we look to the future, we do so with hope and determination that "the best is yet to be". With God's guidance and help we pledge ourselves to an increasing and more vital Christian service and witness in this community.