The History of First United Methodist Church Coppell
In September of 1879, a few families in the area built the first permanent place of Christian worship in Coppell on an acre of land owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Stringfellow, known as the corner of Bethel Road and Coppell Road. The first pastor to shepherd the young Methodist congregation was Rev. J. B. Bennett.
As the only place of worship in the area, the building was shared with area Baptist for several years. In keeping with the Methodist tradition of commitment to aiding the community, the church also served as the first school in Coppell for ten years.
By the late 1930s, it was determined that the old church was beyond repair and a new building was needed. In time, the members were able to raise the $700 necessary to construct a new building on the original deeded property. Consecrated in May 1939, the building became home to the 88 members of First United Methodist Church of Coppell.
In 1978 the members of the church recognized a need for a brand new church building. Five acres of land were purchased at the intersection of Bethel School Road and Heartz Road. With direction from planning and building committees and donations from various capital fund drives, a new church home was completed in September 1984. The stained glass window from the original church was placed in the Narthex of the new church. On November 4, 1984, the church was dedicated at a special service led by Rev. David Carr.
The church’s new home featured a 200-seat sanctuary, six classrooms, a kitchen, nursery, and office. It was the first phase in a three-phase master plan for the church. In June 1986, a new building committee was formed to start phase two. An additional education building was added in 1988, providing a fellowship space that was later dedicated as B.J. Smartt Hall, and 18 classrooms were added.
On March 5, 2000, under the leadership of Rev. John Rosenburg, services were held in the new 1,000-seat sanctuary. The new addition included 20 new classrooms, an office complex, a large nursery and commissary, as well as a large new gathering area named Wesley Hall. The original stained glass window was moved to its present home in The Rosenburg Prayer Chapel.
A new Ministry Center, located at Heartz and Van Bebber, was dedicated on December 7, 2014. The center’s auditorium hosts Elevate, the weekly modern worship service, as well as community events. The center also houses Student Ministries.
First United Methodist Church has a rich history. Our future is strong as we continue to make disciples for Jesus Christ.