In 1896, 161 years after Methodism's founder, John
Wesley walked on American soil, the first members
of what would become Highlands United Methodist
Church began meeting. Once a month a Methodist
minister, the Rev. Robert Summer would come to
preach and during the rest of the month, the Baptist congregation and the Methodist congregation
worshipped together. At this time the states were still recovering from the Civil War.
The year 1896 was a rough year for our conference.
The Methodist archives show that in 1896 a hurricane hit the state, destroyed some churches and damaged others. Florida was rapidly growing as people moved into the state. That same year, Tampa's First Methodist passed the 500 mark in membership. This was the first Florida church to accomplish this and its membership soared to 622 members.
Our church was first organized as part of the Haskell-Midway Charge. It was a community church where people from all denominations worshiped outdoors, weather permitting. The Methodist congregation later started meeting in the school house on Seward Lake. In 1918 the congregation started meeting in a grove across from where the church would soon be built on 717 Lime Ave. in the middle of the community known as Haskell, later named Highland City. The property was donated by Mrs. Eunice Trask.
Churches usually organize several years before they
are chartered. The Haskell Methodist Episcopal church
was chartered in 1922. In 1966 the sanctuary was moved from the center of Highland City (Lime Ave. location) to its present location on Strickland and Clubhouse Road, nestled on 5 acres of land. After the church was moved, a fellowship hall, kitchen, study and classrooms were added. To do this the church took out a loan of $24,000.00.
In 1968, The Highland City Methodist Church became the Highlands United Methodist Church. In the early 1990's stainded glass windows honoring some of the saints and depicting the life and ministry of Jesus were added to the sanctuary.
Highlands United Methodist Church takes the mission and minitry of Jesus Christ very seriously. Our mission is to be intentional about meaking disciples for Jesus Christ, to nurture believers in the knowledge of God's kingdom and to be the image of Christ in the Highlands community through acts of mercy, rooted in love. Our goal is to grow in faith and love in Jesus Christ, to reach our to the community around us and to transform lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.