Knoxville First UMC

3316 Kingston Pike
Knoxville TN  37919

Phone: (865) 525-0435

Knoxville First UMC

Our Vision
First United Methodist Church in Knoxville will be known as a community of bonded by love and compassion as modeled by Jesus Christ, where people of all ages are welcomed to worship God through prayer, learning, fellowship, and service to one another, the community, and the world.

Key Strategies
Missions & Service – Local, Regional, and International
Strong Relationships – Family like, Caring, One-on-One, Mentoring, and Small Groups
Focus on Next Generation – Children, Youth, and College/Young Adults
Recruitment – Programs that reach the community and become more visible to people outside the church

Our History
One year after the close of the Civil War, The Reverend J.B. Ford and thirty members organized the First Methodist Epicopal Church. They held their first service on July 8, 1866 in the Circuit Courtroom of the old Knoxville Courthouse. It was the first Methodist Episcopal Church to be organized south of the Mason- Dixon Line.

The first church building was on the southwest corner of Clinch and Market Streets. The Masons conducted laying of cornerstone in the spring of 1868. The Reverend John W. Mann dedicated the Church on May 9, 1869. After 24 years, the community and church growth necessitated a larger building.

In 1892, during ministry of Dr. Thomas C. Warner, a new building at corner of Church and Locust Streets was started. Mr. C.T. Stephenson donated fine stone for the building. Church members worked on construction. The new sanctuary was first used on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1894, before an overflow crowd of 2000. After 72 years, during the ministry of Rev. Henry C. Dawson, a vote passed to relocate and enlarge the church capacity.

The Hugh Sanford property at 3316 Kingston Pike (our present location) was purchased during the ministry of Rev. Henry Horten. Dr. E.H. Ogle, the district superintendent, and Rev. Horten dedicated the new sanctuary, fellowship hall, and education building on January 16, 1966. The Sanford home (parish house) is currently used for offices, library, archives and adult Sunday School classrooms.

Two great denominations, The Methodist Church and the United Evangelical Brethren, merged into a single, powerful witness on September 30, 1968. On October 27, 1968, we became First United Methodist Church following the Holston Conference recognition of the merger. On June 1, 1997, Rev. Ron Fisher held the first “Down by the Riverside” worship service in the newly constructed Peacock Riverside Pavilion. FUMC continues to grow in membership and continues its services to the congregation, community and the world for the Glory of God.


Sunday Worship Services :

9:30am Sunday School
10:45am Sanctuary


Show Map Website

Business Information


Founded: July 8, 1866
Parking: Parking Lot

Categories: Church, Methodist Church, Religious Organization




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Past Events

Fall Fest o Fun at First - accessible fun for all

Fall Fest o Fun at First - accessible fun for all
06:00 pm - 10/25/2017

At Knoxville First UMC

It's time again for the Fall Fest o Fun at First, an accessible, inclusive event for kids of all shapes, sizes and abilities. We will have food, fun, trunk or treat,...

First UMC's 150th Anniversary Celebration

First UMC's 150th Anniversary Celebration
04:00 pm - 07/16/2016

At Knoxville First UMC

Join us as we celebrate First Church’s 150th Anniversary! The celebration kicks off on Saturday, July 16th, with a pot-luck dinner on the grounds complete with...

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