Our Mission and Purpose: To be and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Our Vision: Our church united in love, fulfilling this mission.
Our core values: Faith, Hope, Love, Peace, Joy, Kindness, Commitment, Fidelity, Equality, Charity, Honesty, Discipleship, Mission.
Our foundational beliefs:
We believe that God is Love.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the human incarnation of God’s love, and through Him lives can be transformed and souls can be renewed;
We believe that God’s Holy Spirit empowers us to embody God’s love and share it with others;
We believe that the church is an inclusive community of faith, called to receive and spread the Good News of God’s love, for the transformation of the world;
We believe that serving the cause of Christ is the highest thing we can do and is the path to fully authentic personhood;
And, we believe that while the Gospel of God in Christ never changes, our ways of embodying and sharing it are constantly being adapted and shaped for the world and the time in which we live.
Our Heritage and Our Future
As a fire exists in burning, so the church exists in Mission.
The Wilmington United Methodist church began its life as a group of seven people, meeting in each others homes in 1813. The founder and leader of the class was Rev. William Austin, a circuit rider from the Lebanon area. Within a year the class had grown enough to be designated a congregation and the Wilmington Methodist Episcopal Church became the first church to be organized in the Wilmington area.
The congregation moved into their first church building in 1818, a former mill which sat in what is now the front yard of the church. WUMC has met, in one building or another, on its current site for its entire 200 year history. The church continued to meet in the old mill until 1833 when the frame structure was torn down and replaced with a brick church building. In 1865 the small brick building was torn down and replaced by a 2-story brick church with a tall steeple. The steeple was destroyed by a tornado in 1893 and was never replaced. In 1929 the brick building was razed for the construction of a new church and children in the community were paid to clean the bricks so they could be reused in the new building. These bricks currently make up most of the east wall of the sanctuary.
The Education Wing of the church was added in 1972 and in 2001-08 the sanctuary, parlor, and fellowship hall underwent significant remodeling and renovations.
The history of our church is more than bricks and mortar, however.
Throughout its history, the Wilmington United Methodist Church has been a mission-oriented body. Led by the Ladies Aid Society, the Women's Home and Foreign Mission Societies, and the Epworth league in it early years, and then the Women's Society and the United Methodist Youth today, the church has reached out to the community and the world. In a history of the church written for its centennial celebration in 1918 it was noted that: "There is no great Christian enterprise on earth, to which Wilmington Methodism does not contribute its prayers and means."
That same spirit of charity, outreach, and mission continues to drive The Wilmington United Methodist Church in the 21st century. Our Ministry on Main building houses the Wilmington Benefit Bank which aids the poor of our community. Our members served on the boards and as volunteers for virtually every charity and public service agency in the county. We help to fund more than a dozen helping agencies in Wilmington and Clinton County and we provide more than $ 2000 in financial aid directly to persons in need of emergency help every year.
Our ministry does not end in our own community. We send youth and adult mission teams throughout our own country and the world each year. Volunteers from our church have served in hurricane, flood, and earthquake recovery efforts around the world and we provide regular support to missions in Appalachia and Latin America.
At The Wilmington United Methodist Church we believe and live the truth of the axiom, "As a fire exists in burning, so the church exists in mission."
Dean Feldmeyer, Pastor