Present story. History. It's all here.
Beginning July 2016, First UMC Costa Mesa began construction on our campus, removing outlining buildings to make room for a new site vision. The same is happening within our community. Our ministries and worship services are lead by Rev. Sarah Heath and her team. Leading our church's re-start, the team is endeavoring to give this vision form by making old and new communities one. It looks like a gathering of diverse people from varying walks of life. Some have been a part of the community since the early ’40s, and for others, it's their first Sunday. We are a place where deconstructionists lead worship alongside charismatics, LGBTQ parishioners embrace long time members, and dedicated Methodists share space with people who swore they would never again set foot in church.
Place to be - that's what we are trying to curate in this space. Many find themselves desiring to learn about ancient, salvific stories found in the Christian tradition and how they could apply to their own faith journey, but do not feel welcomed to explore the sacred. We are dedicating all our resources, time, and energy into to making First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa a place for you to come and be - free to encounter the Christ as a holy embodied, whole person.
If you find yourself excited by this process of imagining and creating something new, you know now where to find us. Every Sunday. 10:00am.
Space to be.
On April 7, 1912, the Harper Methodist Episcopal Church was chartered during the Easter morning worship service with Rev. Roy Mealy as minister and Rev. James B. DeBord officiating. The eight charter members met in the two-room schoolhouse on the southwest corner of Orange Ave. and 17th St., later moving to Center St. and Newport Blvd. where the Harper Church was dedicated in March of 1915.
As the city, which had changed its name to Costa Mesa, was growing and prospering, so did the Methodist Church. The church moved to its present location and built the sanctuary that stands today. The sanctuary was dedicated on July 30, 1928 by Bishop Charles Wesley. Even though the church was under the purview of the Methodist Conference, it was known as the community church for all of the protestants who worshiped in the area.
The church was an avenue for many community activities. During the Great Depression, the church helped people of the area with food and clothing needs. Following WWII, the Thompson Hall was built along with the educational wing of the church, mostly by members of the church.
For its early years, the church was known as the Community Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, but with the formation of Mesa Verde Methodist Church, the name was changed to be the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa. Then the name was changed again when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church joined together and it became the First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, which it remains to this day.
This church continues to be a place where people can come and worship God and find grace and wholeness through our worship and service.