History of First Rowlett UMC

The First United Methodist Church of Rowlett dates back more than a hundred years when the first congregation meetings were held in the Big A school house near the Big A Cemetery. It is believed this first group was non-denominational, but in 1895 the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Rowlett was built at the present church site. Mr. Dan Hausley, a gin operator in the agricultural community of Rowlett, donated a small tract of land. With donations from Methodists, the community and other denominations, a building was built the same year. For several year both Methodists and Baptists met in this small building, with Baptist and Methodist pastors serving at various times until 1920.

In 1921, the original building was demolished and a white frame building was erected. During the Thirties, the Church experienced a bleak period. With many people moving away, the Church could not meet its obligations, the doors were closed.

In 1940 the Conference once more took over and with the help of devout leaders such as Mr. J.E. Coyle and Mr. Joy Richards the doors of the First Methodist Church of Rowlett were again open. The Church still did not have a full-time pastor with pastors having to travel many miles to serve this tiny congregation. However, the Church continued to grow and many dreams were realized when in 1962 a sanctuary was built on three acres of land donated by Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Coyle, Sr. The Rev. Kermit Van Zandt was pastor at that time. In 1966 the Church received Rev. Ralph Burke as the first pastor to serve this church full-time. The Church continued to grow, and in 1969 the Fellowship Hall was built and the white frame building was donated to the congregation in Rockwall. Mrs. Mattie Mae Taylor donated the office addition in 1976. The wing that houses the nurseries was built in 1980. Dr. John Allen began his service as pastor in June of 1986.

With God's love and the dedication of our congregation, an education and activity building was completed in 1990. This addition helped make possible an expanded program for children and youth. Within a few months of moving into this facility attendance in our Sunday School doubled. In 1996, the current sanctuary was completed as well as new choir facilities, a youth room and 20 classrooms.

The congregation continues to move forward in mission and ministry. No longer a small church, the First Rowlett United Methodist Church can provide a variety of ministries to every age and situation. The church community continues to be the warm and friendly place where names are important and people come first.


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