About Us

First United Methodist Church is located in the heart of downtown Gastonia, North Carolina. We are a part of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and are one of the largest United Methodist Churches in the Catawba Valley District. First United Methodist Church, Gastonia can trace its roots to Shiloh Methodist Church founded in 1870. The Main Street Methodist Church was established in 1900 on our current site. We became First Methodist Church in 1956 and First United Methodist Church in 1968.

Regardless of the name, our church has always been dedicated to providing a place of worship, fellowship, and outreach to the people of our congregation and our community. We have always been a caring church that is mission minded and shares the love of Christ with our neighbors, both in our community and throughout the world.

Our Vision

To fully embody the mind and spirit of Christ and to follow Jesus' commandments to love God and one another such that God's love and grace is woven throughout all of God's Creation. 

Our Mission

The Mission of First United Methodist Church is to see Christ in every person we ENCOUNTER and DEMONSTRATE to them the love of God and the TEACHings of Jesus.

Living Our Mission


Encountering ministries are those areas where we worship Christ with on another. These worship ministries are: 

  • 8:45am 162 East (contemporary service) that is located in our Theatre.
  • 8:45am Sanctuary (informal traditional service)
  • 11:00am Sanctuary (formal traditional service) 
  • 6:30pm Chapel
  • Special worship opportunities throughout the year.  


Demonstrating ministries are ways for each individual to engage in hand on ministry. Each Sunday we list in our bulletin opportunities to serve somewhere in our church or community.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Cooking at the Salvation Army
  • Hosting Interfaith families at our church
  • Being greeters at our conference and civic events
  • Tutoring at-risk children in our community
  • Mission Trips

Each year we offer over 200 different ways for an individual to demonstrate their faith. 


Teaching ministries consist of classes and small groups ranging from interest groups to deep bible studies. Some examples of this are:

  • Children's Ministry
  • Youth Ministry
  • Adult Ministry
  • Craft classes
  • Disciple bible study
  • Golf small group
  • Women's bible studies
  • Breakfast studies at local restaurants