History of Woodstock First United Methodist Church

The First United Methodist Church of Woodstock is more than a building and the people who presently occupy it. Its foundations are anchored in the bedrock of theological beliefs that can be traced back for centuries. The events and lives of those who have come before us are the brick and mortar from which the walls are built. It is important to take time and remember the history of our church.

Early History

In 1850 Rev Moorhouse organized the Woodstock Methodist Episcopal Society.  They met at a schoolhouse and were served by circuit pastors until 1863 when a church home was purchased. In 1870 a larger, white frame church was built at the corner of West South Street and Throop.  The congregation quickly outgrew that church, but WW1 began and plans were abandoned until 1923. Plans abruptly changed on February 4, 1923 when a fire broke out and burned the building to the ground-with only the church bell surviving.  The determined congregation began construction of the new brick building May of 1923!

Later Years

The name was changed to the First Methodist Church of Woodstock in 1940 and further changed to First United Methodist Church of Woodstock in 1968.   In 1957 a new pipe organ was added and the present Education Wing was completed in 1964.

The Present

The Preschool was established, licensed and DCFS approved in 1995. They have a fenced in playground.  Recent updates have included a digital sign, remodeled kitchen & English Room, AV aids and large screen TVs in the Sanctuary as well as classrooms. An open lot is now available for outdoor activities and the Parsonage has been completely renovated. FUMC is primed for growth!

The Cross and Flame

History and Significance

The history and significance of the Cross and Flame emblem are as rich and diverse as The United Methodist Church. The insignia’s birth quickly followed the union of two denominations in 1968: The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Following more than two dozen conceptualizations, a traditional symbol—the cross—was linked with a single flame with dual tongues of fire. The resulting insignia is rich in meaning. It relates The United Methodist church to God through Christ (cross) and the Holy Spirit (flame). The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw “tongues, as of fire” (Acts 2:3).

The elements of the emblem also remind us of a transforming moment in the life of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, when he sensed God’s presence and felt his heart “strangely warmed.” 

 The two tongues of a single flame may also be understood to represent the union of two denominations.

The insignia, one with lettering and one without, was formally adopted by the General Conference in 1968 and registered in 1971 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Since 1996, the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist church has supervised the emblem’s use.

Woostock First United Methodist Church


If you would like to learn more about First United Methodist Church of Woodstock and how we got to be who we are today, you can download a document with covers our entire church history.

Contact Information
201 W South Street
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 336-3310

Office Hours
M-TH 9:00 - 3:00 pm
F  9:00 - 1:00 pm