Our History Our History
Spreading the Love of Christ since 1880!
First United Methodist Church is proud to be the oldest Protestant Church in Albuquerque. In 1880, the railroad arrived in Albuquerque and First UMC was planted to meet the needs of railroad employees from the east and midwest who were looking for a Protestant church home. The church’s very first hymnal was a gift from a railroad worker. The original church structure was a small adobe building, which was completed in 1881. Prior to that, Sunday services were held in a saloon, where beer barrels were used as seats for the church members. By the early 1900s, the little church’s congregation had far outgrown the original building and the members began a fundraising campaign to build a new church. Built in 1904, the building still stands today and is now used as our Fellowship Hall. The current sanctuary was built in 1955. Because of its long history and the accumulation of a century’s worth of records, a History and Archives Team was established in the late 1990s. This dedicated group serves as the institutional memory of the church, maintaining records, organizing materials and researching historical questions. They have also hosted many fundraising events for projects such as the restoration of Dr. Thomas Harwood's grave in the Historical Fairview Cemetery and the restoration of the historic stained glass windows, which were damaged in 2013. Although consisting primarily of First UMC members, this committee has attracted other members who share a love of local history. First UMC