About Us

The History of the First United Methodist Church of Park Hills, MO
In the later part of 1990, the Elvins United Methodist Church and the Taylor Avenue United Methodist Church of Flat River held separate meetings and after much consideration decided to merge.  Thus, the First United Methodist Church was formed, effective January 1, 1991, with all services to be held at the Flat River facilities on Taylor Avenue.   

History of Taylor Avenue United Methodist Church

In the month of February, 1900, a group of Methodist people, under the direction of Rev. A. R. Williams, then pastor of Desloge Circuit, met in the home of A. J. Norwine and organized the Taylor Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with thirty members. Plans for building were discussed, a building committee was appointed consisting of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Covington, Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Evans and Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Dollar, and in a few months a $2500 frame building was erected, the lot having been donated by the Doe Run Lead Company.

On the day of the dedication of the new building, June 3, 1901, a Sunday School was organized with 100 members. Henry S. Evans was elected superintendent and J. W. Covington, secretary.

Plans for the building were started by Rev. H. L. Taylor in 1913 and the building was completed during the ministry of Rev. A. S. J. Baldridge in 1914.

The church made rapid growth from the
beginning. In six years after the church was organized it became a station with 167 members, Rev. L. F. Aspley serving as the preacher-in-charge. At the end of his pastorate (1903-1907) the membership totaled 350. In 1936 the church had a membership of 725, a nice stone building valued at $10,000, and a spacious comfortable parsonage valued at $2,000. The parsonage, which is largely the work of the Woman's Missionary Society, was erected in 1906, remodeled in 1911 and was well kept by the Society through the years.
The Missionary Society of the church was organized in June 1902 and has been active through all the years. During the five years of depression (1930-1934 inclusive) the society raised $2160.04.

To meet the needs of a growing congregation, a new church building was erected in 1914, made of concrete blocks. Beautiful memorial windows were installed by Dr. Barber, Dr. Reaves, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Thomasson, W. P. Hovis, Mrs. H. W. Buckley, Phillis Perkins and sister, Mrs. Bran and Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Trauernicht.

During the 28 years of its existence more than 1,200 members were received into its communion. The membership then was approximately 700.

From old records several interesting facts may be gleaned. The first wedding was performed by Rev. A. R. Williams in Dec. 6, 1900, the happy couple were John Murry and Miss Iris Taylor. The first adult to be baptized and received by vows was Dr. M. B. Barber and his daughter, Jessie L. Barber, was the first infant baptized. This was recorded as taking place March 24, 1901.

In September, 1964, the old rock church was torn down to make ready for a new structure to be erected on the same site.  Thereafter, all church services were held in the Fellowship Hall which had been constructed earlier and dedicated in 1961.

Sketches and plans for the new sanctuary having been submitted by the architects, and studied, corrected, and accepted by the building committee, with the help of the Division of Church Architecture of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church, and the District Committee on Church Building and Location, the contract was let for the new sanctuary to Walter Brockmiller of Farmington, Missouri, for $156,000, on October 1, 1964.   Construction began at once.

In September, 1965, the Board of Trustees, after having used the funds on hand, borrowed from three local cooperating banks, the sum of $140,000 to complete the building program of the church.

Throughout this building program, many, many members and friends of Taylor Avenue Methodist Church gave unstintingly of their time, talents and their monies.  There has endured a wonderful "closeness of fellowship," and a fine feeling of "having a part of oneself in it,"- a spirit which has become a permanent one at Taylor Avenue.  A cornerstone laying service for the new sanctuary was held October 24, 1965.    


History of Elvins United Methodist Church (aka Hampton Methodist Church)

In April, 1895, Rev. L. D. Nichol organized the first Methodist Church of Elvins with seven members. Church records show these members to have been J. T. Evans, Cordelia Simpson, Cora Suhrs, Mrs. Osbeck, Emma E. Elvins, Clara Lucas and Belle Olsen.  In the years 1896 and 1897 the church edifice was erected and since that time three additions have been built, bring the church property to an estimated value of $10,000. The church seated about 400 and consisted of eight class rooms and an auditorium.  First baptism in the church was Belle Olsen and the first infant baptisms were of Lela Viola Suhre and Marvin Dewey McFarland in August, 1898.  Pastors who have served the church since its organization are: Revs. L. D. Nichol,
A. R. Williams, W. J. Velvick, J. A. Collins, A. N. Walker, Thomas Lord, Elmer Pearl, M. H. Markley, J. L. Gray, S. A. Bennett, W. H. Doss (later pastor at Desloge), J. A. Brown, C. P. Kirkendall, M. A. Meyers, W. E. Hill, Thomas Levi Bess, H. M. Fikes, J. A. Bertram, and Rev. J. C. Reid.