St. John’s United Methodist Church: A Beacon of Inspiration and Faith


St. John’s Methodist Church.

Man has worshiped God for thousands of years. Adoration brings comfort and solace, and without it, our society would be lost. The church unites people through worship and singing praise. St. John’s Methodist Church is one of the most distinctive architectural buildings in Richmond, and for over 180 years, it continues to inspire and ignite the spirit of love and faith.

In 1839, Reverend Jesse Hord came to Richmond and preached to a congregation of people with considerable interest and good feelings. He organized a group of six people who formed the first Methodist organization in Richmond. The congregation has occupied the property since 1910. The original 4,788 square foot classic late Gothic Revival style building was designed by architect Carl L. Nelson and has red brick with white terra cotta trim. It has breathtaking monumental paired towers, lancet windows, Tudor arched openings and 32 stained glass windows. As the congregation grew, buildings were added, keeping with the fundamental design and quality of the historic components of the church complex.

Ruth Warner was instrumental in getting the historical marker that appears on the front of the sanctuary.

Equal to the beauty of the church is the heart of its people. For over 50 years, St. John’s has continued to enlighten communities from Richmond and Fort Bend County. Every day, members of St. John’s gather to give praise, uphold Christian values and offer a variety of engaging activities for worship and ministry.

The greatest expression of love and faith a community can give is to celebrate the most anticipated time of the year together – the holiday season. On the first Sunday in December, a very talented group of colleagues perform the legendary Bells of Christmas concert in the sanctuary. Not only do the adults ring their bells, but the Ringing Saints in middle school and high school play their bells as well, and the Cheerful Chimers in elementary school play their chimes. The children’s choir, which consists of elementary school children, goes to a local nursing home each Christmas to sing Christmas carols to the residents. In the last few years, members of the church have made flannel blankets and the children have given, along with handmade Christmas ornaments, to the residents.

For the past 10 years, church members have performed a live nativity scene on the corner of 4th and Morton Street during the Miracle on Morton Street celebration. During the holiday season, the church receives the names of children in the area who have a parent in prison. Their first names and ages are put on paper angels and placed on a Christmas tree near the church office. Members of the church pick an angel off the tree, buy a gift for that child and bring it to the church. The gifts are delivered to the children by the church staff. Christmas gift boxes are also sent overseas to military personnel that include food, reading material, games and more. Last year, the church received a note from an officer who said he had no family, and the box was his only Christmas gift.

The church has also adopted Smith Elementary School.  At Christmas, the church organizes a Christmas Shop with small gifts that the children can purchase for family members by using coupons they earn for good grades. In some cases, this is the only way they can buy Christmas gifts for their families.

With so much devotion to the Fort Bend Community, St. John’s Methodist Church will continue to inspire the spirit and love of the holiday season for another 180 years and beyond.