The East Naples United Methodist Church is known to have a congregation of friendly, loving, and caring people from different demographics. The church was started in 1963 by Reverend Walter Jessup with a class of 20 members who met in the Public Health Building on the Collier County courthouse grounds.
Today Reverend Jessup's legacy lives on as we continue to live out the teachings of Jesus. The church is a member of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church and serves the East Naples community with worship services in English and Spanish, Christian education and Bible studies, an Early Childhood Development Center, a youth group, and a thrift store which was the first in Naples.
Connecting Christ to People Through Love.
The vision for the church incorporates such things as growing and active children and youth programs (the foundation for growth in the membership); active involvement of parents and families; increased diversity and inclusiveness; continued outreach programs to help the community; and an engaged congregation beyond just Sunday service.
1961 – The Sarasota District purchased the property at 2701 Airport Road. Rev. Walter Jessup, minister at First Methodist has a dream for an East Naples United Methodist Church and set to make the dream a reality.
1963 – Sept. 8 Church school classes were held in the Public Health Building on the Court House grounds by a group of 20 members. Mrs. Sidney (Mary) Griffin was the superintendent and organizer of the church school.
1965 – In January the first service was conducted by Rev. Robert Foxworthy, a lay pastor from Ft. Myers. The church was officially chartered with 44 members in June. Services continued at the Public Health Center. Property was purchased for the nominal fee of $6100.
1966 – Oct. 23 The first sanctuary was consecrated by Dr. Lewis N. Head, District Superintendent of the Sarasota District. This included a Chapel-Fellowship Hall (now Elsey Hall).
1972 - The Education Building was constructed to house the Sunday School classes and later a Learning Center was organized to serve the community.
1974 – The Bargain Nook started as the first thrift shop in Naples located on the second floor of the Education Building.
1976 – Day Care Center opens with the encouragement of Pastor Harold Brown. This later becomes The Learning Center we have today.
1978 – March 26 - Easter Sunday, the first service in the new sanctuary
was led by Harold Brown.
1980 – The Hispanic Ministry began
1986 – The Bargain Nook moved from the Education Building into a special room that was added to Elsey Hall.
1987 – Chapel, offices and choir room were added to the existing sanctuary.
1998 – The gazebo was built to house fellowship in between services. It is now a part of the Memorial Garden.
1999 – Playground dedicated.
2000 – The new Fellowship Hall was built with Pastor David Woerner serving as the contractor. Elsey Hall was renovated to include three classrooms, an office and the Bargain Nook.
2001 – Jan. 28 New Fellowship Hall was dedicated.
2002 – Nov. 17 Dedication concert for new Allen Renaissance Organ.
2003 – Jan. 26 David and Margaret Woerner Memorial Garden was dedicated.
2007 – Exterior and interior renovations began.
2010 – New carpet and pews, completed renovations.
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