Founded in 1881, Anniston First United Methodist Church watches over the downtown and surrounding areas, constantly striving to ensure a community transformed by offering the life-changing grace of Jesus Christ. Anniston First seeks to extend our ministries by opening our hearts, minds, and doors to all ages, cultures, and races.
Steeped in a long history, the first church service was held on December 4, 1881, and the first church building was located on Noble Street, between 12th and 13th Streets. This simple structure was destroyed by fire in 1891. Thereafter, a red brick structure with a double vestibule and large rose windows was rebuilt on our present location of 14th and Noble. This structure stood for 62 years before it was razed in 1955. In 1957, the present sanctuary opened its doors on Palm Sunday. Other additions include the following: Acker Memorial Chapel (1936), Scout Hall/presently meeting site of AA (1944), Asbury Hall (1953), Camp Lee (1957), Wesley Hall (1969), Epworth Hall (1975). In 2007, The Bridge, a worship and recreation building, was completed for recreation, contemporary services, outreach to the community, and other community needs.
Ministry offerings include The Children’s Place, an award-winning daycare which is located in Wesley Hall. Shepherd’s Table and the Basketball Ministry are housed in The Bridge. Shepherd’s Table provides to seniors, singles, and anyone in need a hearty breakfast on Sunday mornings. The Basketball Ministry invites young people from the community to participate two evenings per week in a time of fellowship, prayer, and sport. Several outreach services of the community are also located on our campus. Interfaith Ministries, a nonprofit established in 1975 by local churches and Temple Beth El, provides assistance and advocates for individuals and families in crisis. Others include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama, Alcoholics Anonymous, Children’s Services, and pastoral counseling service. Additionally, another off-campus non-profit Anniston First has supported for over forty years is the Community Enabler (104 East F Street), which provides emergency food, clothing, household items, school supplies, and Christmas.
Furthermore, Anniston First offers a large campus with an off-site camp. Located in scenic Choccolocco/Calhoun County, Camp Lee can accommodate over 300 campers who can participate in various water activities, rock climbing, zip line, modern facilities where they can relax, recreate, and worship in God’s creation. Under construction is the Martha S. Vandervoort Memorial Chapel, which will provide an idyllic setting for worship, weddings, and other religious gatherings.
What is more, there is no shortage of missions here. Members can participate in our Day of Service, where we join other churches and mission partners by providing community clean-up projects, free health screenings, UMCOR health kits, free potatoes, and many others. We also offer a world-class music program with choirs for all ages, a P.A.W.S Ministry—Pets are Wholesome Servants, MYF for youth, and scholarship funding for undergraduate and seminary students. The Banner Ministry and the recently formed Altar Guild assist in beautifying the sanctuary. Furthermore, women can serve in the United Methodist Women (UMW), who provide monthly fellowship and Bible study in Circles and service at the local, national, and international levels. One important local mission of the UMW in conjunction with Interfaith Ministries is the Christmas Clearinghouse, a seasonal ministry that provides needy families with gift certificates for food, clothing, and toys. Men can participate in weekly Bible study meetings in members’ homes and at Camp Lee, and other service projects offered by United Methodist Men (UMM).
In short, Anniston First is striving to provide a community transformed, offering the life-changing grace of Jesus Christ, which is Christ-centered and faith-driven in excellence, hospitality, acceptance, and Christian service.