The First United Methodist Church of Castle Rock has been serving this community since Sunday, May 17, 1874. On that morning, the first sermon was preached in a local carpenter’s shop.
By July 11, 1874, the Castle Rock circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed. In those days, pastors generally served an area for only one to two years, where a number of Methodist societies were located, or could be started. The pastors would visit the people in their homes and preach at designated locations, usually arriving on horseback. That is how the name of “circuit rider” came into being for Methodist Episcopal Church pastors.
During the first year of the Castle Rock circuit, a Certificate of Incorporation was obtained for the church. The first pastor, C.A. Brooks, bought a lot and built the first small parsonage. By 1887, a plan was developed for the first church on lots facing the old Courthouse Square, (today’s 3rd and Wilcox Street). The church was erected at a cost of $2,000.00, dedicated free of debt and supplied with an excellent Estey organ. In 1892, an Epworth League was begun for the Christian youth fellowship who came to town to board while attending school. By 1904, the Sunday School program was organized. The circuit was now limited to the Castle Rock, Sedalia, and Franktown areas, enabling the pastor to dedicate more time to the emerging congregation of 55 members.
As the church began to grow, it was decided that a new site was necessary. A deal was made with the 1st National Bank of Douglas County to move the church structure to the 3rd and Perry Street location. This was done in March, 1904 at a cost of $245.00. By then, the Sunday school enrollment had reached 200. The old parsonage was sold and a new one was built and occupied the same year.
In 1921, plans were begun for a new church. The old church building would be sold and moved to 4th and Perry Street, where it would be remodeled and converted into apartments. Construction on the new church at 3rd and Perry Street began in 1922. This would be a basement church for 25 years. It seated between 75 and 90 people and all the seats were usually filled. Eventually the church would be completed in 1948. By 1958, a Sunday School wing had been added to the church. The addition was paid for within one year. Records show the membership was 258 at the time. In 1960, the house at 212 Perry was purchased and the rent used to make payments until it was sold, with proceeds being applied to the purchase of a new parsonage in 1967.
By 1972, lots were purchased on South Street with thoughts of a new and larger building in the future. In 1977, the present structure at 1200 South Street was erected. Over time, strong programs have been developed for children, youth, and adults. The Little Blessings Parent’s Day Out Program has become a leader in the Castle Rock Community in early childhood development. The Center for performing arts, a ministry of the Church, offers musical instrument lessons to folks in our community. A small group and dinner for eight ministry continues to connect our members. Youth and adults are involved in mission work with our neighbors and on short-term mission trips, including group work camps and Habitat for Humanity. Indeed we have a great legacy with a bright future. We go forward in the name of Christ.