Brief History of the

Woodland United Methodist Church

 

During the Gold Rush, Methodists reached out to California.  In 1851, the Cache Creek Circuit was organized and the next year the Rev. Henry Sheldon was assigned to travel the upper portion of the Sacramento Valley west of the Sacramento River.

He was followed by the Rev. John Bennam who lost his life trying to ford a swollen

Cache Creek. By 1862 Woodland had become the headquarters for the circuit and the local congregation began to flourish.

 

In 1864, the congregation purchased a building on First Street as a place of worship.

Soon that was sold and a lot acquired on Elm Street for the construction of a brick church building.  In the 1880s land was acquired at the corner of Second and North

and a two-story wooden high steeple church was constructed along with a parsonage. This church was in use until 1924 when the current church building was constructed on the same site.

 

In 1939, there was a merger of two Methodist Congregations. The United Methodist Church, South and the Methodist Episcopal Church were joined to form the Methodist Church which met in the building of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Second and North.

 

Over the many years of this congregation's existence, it has been served by more than fifty pastors.  In the early years pastoral assignments were for only a year or two.

Recently, pastorates have been much longer in duration.

 

The congregation began with a sense of mission as the church reached out to those brought west by the Gold Rush and settled in this area. It continues in mission as it tries to live out its call "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

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