It is our pleasure to welcome you to Faith United Methodist Church. Located two blocks south of Kirby on Prospect Avenue in Champaign, Illinois.
Faith United Methodist Church identifies itself as an active congregation that celebrates its mission and vision of being in ministry to all the world regardless of age, race, gender, nationality, or situation.
We strive as a core value to welcome all in our fellowship, invite all to our worship, teach all in our education ministry, and involve all in a variety of service opportunities.
Our Journey of Faith
In 1958 Rev. Robert S. White was assigned to Champaign to organize a new church. He made pastoral calls during the summer on families who had responded to an interest survey and his very first contact, Alex Sowers, became a charter member. More than 60 commitments to charter were secured that summer.
On Sunday evening, July 12, 1959, ten couples who had been working to spread the word about a new church were invited to the District parsonage to get things started. As they discussed possible names for the new church, the idea was stressed that this church really was a step of faith. As one might expect, the pastor was reminded of a story about a little girl who asked her father, “What is faith, Daddy?” He answered that he did not know but that he would show her sometime. Later he was working in the yard down a manhole opening. The little girl perched on the edge and asked if she could join him down there. He said, “Yes dear. Jump! I’ll catch you.” She said, “But Daddy, I can’t see you.” “You believe I’m here and will catch you, don’t you?” asked Daddy. “Yes,” she said. “then jump” he said. “Okay! Here I come, Daddy.” And with this she jumped down into his arms. “Now, honey,” he said as he put her down, “that’s faith.” Later a vote was taken to name the new church, and Faith United Methodist Church was the overwhelming choice.
The first worship services were held at Bottenfield Elementary School, as 130 worshippers gathered on September 3, 1959 to begin the journey of Faith. The congregation was officially constituted during worship on November 22, 1959, as Faith followers shared communion together for the first time. It was a sacred and reverent time, when people sought God’s guidance as they embarked on this Faith adventure together.
Less than a year later (November 6, 1960) ground was broken for a church building. This first building project for Faith included a sanctuary/multi-purpose room, a few classrooms, an office and a kitchen. The congregation later added an education wing and Fellowship Hall. The addition of more classrooms and the beautiful north sanctuary was completed in 1985.
Ours is indeed a journey of Faith, during which we continue to grow and add new ministries. We offer our facilities to the community as an act of ministry and Christian love. But the story continues. Following a ten-year planning process, construction began in 2005 on a building project which would double the size of the church and provide much needed space for our growing programs and ministries. In September, 2006, Bishop Christopher dedicated the new Education Wing, Worship and Life Center, and Gathering Area. Within the project a new kitchen facility was also constructed and the existing church was extensively remodeled. The new facility is a LEED certified “Green” building. It is the first Green Building project completed in the area and the first church in Illinois to be so designated. With these new facilities, we can be an even greater example of Faith for future generations and a beacon that shines to the community.
Today our ministry reaches persons of all ages, with several styles of vital worship. We are committed to missions locally and globally and offer mission trips and hands-on involvement for youth and adults. Our key focus on youth and children is centered around dynamic Wednesday after-school and Sunday afternoon and evening ministries. As we've built for the future, we have expanded our offerings of additional small group learning communities, Faithful Friends Preschool, even greater mission involvement particularly in our own community with our involvement in the leadership of the Men's Emergency Winter Shelter and a growing sports and recreation ministry. We believe our future will see many great things accomplished because we are FAITH United Methodist Church. Our name is “FAITH” and it says a lot about us.
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