St. John's United Methodist Church was founded in 1856. In the beginning, St. John's parishioners gathered in a small white chapel in the middle of the block on Richland Avenue between Chesterfield and Newberry Street. Before long, a need arose for a larger space to worship, and the congregation raised $245 to purchase the remainder of the block. The classic Greek revival building that served as St. John's first sanctuary was completed in 1859. Some of the furniture purchased for that sanctuary is still in use today at St. John's, reminding us of our rich history and humble beginnings.
This small white sanctuary alone served St. John's congregation until 1956 when the church built an educational building and fellowship hall so Sunday school classes and church gatherings could be held at the church. Attendance at St. John's was booming and it was clear by the late 1950's that the beautiful old white sanctuary that had served St. John's for over 100 years was no longer able to manage the growth the church was seeing.
Plans for a brand new sanctuary featuring a Williamsburg style exterior with a pseudo Gothic interior containing exposed arches and natural brick walls were drawn up and in September of 1964, the new sanctuary was open for worship.
In 1991, the Long Range Planning Committee determined there would soon be a need for more staff and additional facilities. Construction was begun on the Ebenezer Center, which would house the Mother's Day Out and Preschool programs as well as additional classrooms, a full-size gym with bleacher seating and a new state of the art kitchen, in 1999. This building was consecrated on August 27, 2000.
In 2014, the congregation approved the building of a new worship center to house the contemporary 9:02 worship service, and provide more room for the growing youth program, church events, and classrooms. This building was completed in May, 2015 and has proved to be a wonderful addition.