We would love for you to join us at Saint Paul, to worship God and to learn how to follow him. Our worship times are Sunday mornings at 8:45am and 11am. Our first service is a little more contemporary and scaled back than our second service. We have coffee and donuts as well as nursery care for small children available for both services. No need to dress up. Even our pastor wears jeans most of the time.
The birth and growth of Saint Paul United Methodist Church is an exciting story of God's faithfulness and Christian obedience!
Members of Grace UMC had worshiped in their cherished church building on Moore Street in Searcy since the 1950's. Many could remember when they were the newest United Methodist Church in town. But, by the 1990's, Grace UMC had become landlocked, and found itself on a plateau.
The church received a challenge from the UMC North Arkansas Annual Conference - start a new church, with a new identity, on the west side of Searcy where the potential for growth was much greater. After much prayer and discussion, the church decided overwhelmingly to accept the challenge. This would require selling their beloved church building, buying land they weren't sure they could afford, and worshiping in a senior citizens center until the new church facility could be built.
In an incredible act of faith, Grace United Methodist Church closed, and its members started a new church. On Pentecost Sunday in 1996, Saint Paul United Methodist Church was born.
For nearly four years, the church worshiped at the Lightle Center, setting up and breaking down chairs, room dividers, and sound systems every Sunday. Co-pastors, Rev. Dee Edwards and Rev. Jan Edwards, helped provide the vision of what SPUMC could become.
The first major act as a new church was to buy land on Beebe-Capps Expressway. Although the Annual Conference provided some financial help, the members of the congregation dug deep into their pockets to accomplish the purchase and construction of our current buildings.
Leading us in completing construction of our new church facility was Dr. Luke Conway in 1999. On Easter Sunday of 2000, we began our journey of worship in the new church building!
In the spring of 2002, there was another milestone. Through the generous gift of Iva Light, an education wing was constructed, becoming the home of the children's Christian Education Department and the Little Saints Child Development Center.
In June 2002, Rev. Tom Letchworth was appointed as pastor.
On February 26, 2006, which was Transfiguration Sunday, the congregation witnessed the 'burning of the mortgage' and on the same day, broke ground for a new 11,000 square foot Christian Education Building. The new building serves as a multi generational, multipurpose discipleship center. An important feature of the new building includes the Jonathan's Child Sunday School classroom, which accommodates the special needs of families and children with autism, Charge Syndrome, Downs Syndrome and other challenges. Rotation Sunday School is enjoyed by children of all ages in a setting that includes the Saint Paul Cinema (movie theater), One Way Cafe (kitchen & restaurant-style dining), Majestic Theatre (acting and performing area), Construction Zone (craft area) and a computer room. And, Dr. Rockey Starnes was appointed as pastor in November 2007.
Rev. Mary Susan Hilliard, was appointed to Saint Paul UMC in June 2009.
Rev. Don Hall came to Saint Paul UMC in July 2012 and served until his retirement in June 2014. The church celebrated the "Burning Of The Mortgage" in June 2014 when the loan on the Christian Education Building was paid in full! The church continues to have a heart for mission, with adult, youth and children all involved in various projects.
Rev. Matthew Johnson was appointed to Saint Paul UMC in June 2014.
The goal of Saint Paul UMC is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Our vision is to be a church that has a heart for God and people. By God's grace, this vision and goal are coming to pass! One long time member recently made the observation that new members and visitors at Saint Paul now outnumber the former Grace UMC members at least four to one. We invite you to join us for worship as we fulfill the Great Commission - to make disciples, by being disciples.