Thomson First United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
To make disciples of Jesus Christ through active, Christ-centered ministries of love
Thomson First United Methodist Church began in the 1840s as Bethany Church. It was first located about one mile North of the present city limits on Washington Road. Around 1853 the church was relocated to the present site at the corner of Main Street and Tom Watson Way. The main building, which includes the current sanctuary was built in 1902.
 
 
The relationship between Thomson Methodist Episcopal Church South and the formal education system in the community is a separate story, however, between 1873 and 1909 the school buildings and land changed hands many times between the church and school trustees, later known as the Board of Education.
 
The church which had approximately 250 members, was made a station during the Annual Conference of 1896. In 1902, the present brick building was erected with the financial and material help of Mr. John E. Smith. The building was remodeled and a Sunday School Department was added in 1920.
 
In 1947, the building was remodeled again. The Knox Chapel was built and dedicated on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948 to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Seymour Knox, Sr. and Miss Hattie Emily Knox.
 
Parts of Mt. Gilliard Church (including the interior paneling) were moved from the Briar Creek area and reconstructed on the second floor of the main bullding.  Later the furnishings which include the pump organ, pulpit, chancel rail and pews were moved to the first floor, where stain glass windows and other furnishing were added. The Alathean Class used this room through the 1990s, and it became known as "The Little Country Church."  That class has mostly completed their journey, and the room is now used on Wednesday evening for a women's worship service of prayer, song and silence.
TFUMC is known in the community as "the church with the stained glass windows."   Three large palladium windows occupy most of three of the four main sanctuary walls.  One of these windows is in honor of Mr. J. E. Smith and his wife; one is of Jesus as The Good Shepherd, and the third is of geometric and floral design. The stained glass windows of the sanctuary were complete with the final ten small stained glass windows added in 1951.
 
Additions and renovations to the Sunday School area, fellowship hall, kitchen and offices were made and completed in 1974.
 
What is now known as the Youth Building was given in 1978 to the church in Memory of Mr. Wyck Knox, Sr. Prior to being given to the church, this building had been used as a grocery store. As the church continued to grow, more remodeling took place in 1980-81 in the fellowship hall and four children's Sunday School rooms were added. In addition, a new eighteen rank Schantz pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary.

The Mosely property on Neal Street was purchased in 1991 and is currently being used by the church sponsored Scouting programs. Our Family Life Center was consecrated in 1993. This facility stands on the site of the former Laura Jones School building. It houses a large meeting hall with stage, a large kitchen, a small gym, and ten large classrooms used for Sunday school, preschool and day care.
 
The Youth Building, now known as the Drop Zone, received another "face lift" in 2009 with a new roof, new floors, wall coverings and paint, and fantastic furniture, as well as updates on the worship electronics.
 
 
For more information on our history or to provide additional information or artifacts, contact our church historian, Lewis Smith.