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In February of 1916, a charter from the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church was granted to start a new church in Hopewell. Services began in the old "B" village school with 89 members. By Fall, a wood frame structure covered with tarpaper was built at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway. This "Tarpaper Church" was used for fourteen years until being demolished in 1930. The church met for worship in the Hopewell City Courtroom while a new church was being constructed. In April 1931, the cornerstone of the new sanctuary building was laid. The image above is the “Program of Services” which included the first service held in Hopewell’s First Methodist Church on Sunday, October 8th, 1916 in what later became known as the “Tarpaper Church.” Fifteen years later, a new brick Sanctuary was completed in which thousands of services have been held, and God’s love has been shared throughout the City and the surrounding community.

From that beginning, the sanctuary was completed, with the later addition of the Education wing. In 1937, the Trinity Methodist Church of City Point was destroyed by fire, so its members united with First Methodist. In the mid-1960’s, the Sanctuary underwent major renovation, expanding the Choir Loft and adding the second pulpit. In 1983, after a tremendous fund-raising effort with an “acute awareness of the importance of music and a good musical instrument,” a new Moller pipe organ was installed in the Sanctuary.






In the mid 1970’s, a new A-roof and steeple were added to the Sanctuary building, and an elevator to provide access to the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall levels was installed in a new tower that would also house the bell from the former Trinity Methodist Church of City Point. A “Major Needs” Program was implemented in the mid 1990’s to remodel and improve various areas of the church, including the kitchen, Fellowship Hall, and restrooms. In the late nineties, adjacent properties were purchased to provide additional parking space. In its ninety years, First United Methodist Church was served by wonderful ministers and, with the dedicated service of its faithful members, contributed greatly to the enrichment of the lives of the citizens of Hopewell.







Copyright ©  2015 First United Methodist Church, Hopewell, VA


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