The history of Fishersville United Methodist Church begins in the early 1800’s when Methodist preachers arrived to the area and began early Augusta County appointments. In these early days, preachers would serve the entire area instead of a specific church. While the earliest found land deed for FUMC was found dated 1857, an obituary of a gentleman who passed in 1886 says that he was a member of FUMC for “over 35 years.” This means that even before the church was officially christened, that there was most likely a community of Fishersville Methodists that would regularly meet in homes, stores, and any other building that would suit.
The next couple of decades were a period of extreme growth and organization for the local Methodist churches. Many separate and small conferences would join together to form the first Augusta Circuit Charge, which would boast almost 600 total members and 6 churches by the late 1800’s. During this time, there were many building improvements and changes, but the first brick building for FUMC (technically the third church building for FUMC) was designed and constructed in 1922. The construction of this building (which provides the structural framework for the current location of FUMC) was completed on May 13th, 1923 for a total cost $11,000.
As time went on, there were small changes that were signs of growth, for instance in 1942 FUMC had it’s first morning Worship Service. Prior to this time, services were small enough to be held in the afternoon or evening. Soon after this change, the first electric organ was given to the church, which would begin to provide the natural sounds that still fill the rooms of FUMC.
The 1950’s were a booming time for FUMC and the US economy alike, as FUMC purchase their first parsonage building, enlarge and renovated the basement area, purchase a new organ, and renovated the main facilities rooms for the church as well. This process did not slow down as the administrative board for FUMC approved the purchase of additional neighboring land and expanding the church. This project seemed to snowball as the years went on as the initial purchase was completed in 1962, but by 1971 the congregation had voted to move into the “third and final phase of the building program,” which would leave the building nearly as it is seen today, which includes an additional fellowship hall, kitchen and education wing.
After all of these improvements and buildings were completed, the entire debt that the church had incurred by 1974 was a total of $74,854.00. This did not slow down the congregation as they voted to approve a new parsonage to be built in 1976, bringing the total building and renovations debt at that time up to $109,352.00. The next few years were filled with ministries and fundraisers allowing for FUMC to nearly paying off their entire debt by 1984!
The next two decades brought on much of the same with Fishersville United Methodist Church. There were periods of more growth and improvements and also times of normal ministry, where many ministries you still see happening today, like the Nellie Myers Circle, XYZ, and the Links, were started during this time!
By 2001, there was a bit of an organizational and spiritual revival occurring in the congregation that led to a first “Consecration Service.” At this service, the church voted and declared that they would be “A Church for All God’s Children.” This passion and re-centering led to even more renovations to the building and technology as the staff saw fit, but specifically in 2004 a spark led to the creation of a new committee at FUMC that was tasked with the job of researching what it would take to have a fully functioning preschool in the building of FUMC. By September 1st 2005, Noah’s Ark Preschool had it’s grand opening, allowing for FUMC to be a direct ministry to all children and parents in the area despite their religious beliefs.
In 2018, Fishersville celebrated their 160 year anniversary as a church that has so effectively reached every possible nook and cranny in the local community.
From that point, FUMC has attempted to continue that legacy while also trying to reach a new and different audience in our ever changing world. One way FUMC has done that is in 2021 we wrote and published our first Daily Devotional book that can be used as a consistent and long-lasting benefit to our local community as the book is freely given as a gift to many to be used as a tool to cultivate a stronger relationship with the Lord. Please pick up a copy of your own today by clicking here!
FUMC is so blessed by God every day and our history is the greatest example of that.