FUMC to host 'Coming Home' concert Sunday

The old First Methodist Church sanctuary will once again be filled with musical life, as a service of old-time singing will be hosted by the Music Ministry of the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church on the grounds where its first rock church building was built in 1853.

The singing will take place at 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3.

Now a part of the Pioneer Museum complex, the old church is located at 312 West San Antonio Street.

“The FUMC Chancel Choir will present some older songs that congregations love to hear,” said Don Doss, FUMC director of music ministries, “and the younger generation will enjoy some interactive family fun led by special musical guests, Justin, Michelle and Gabi Graves.”

“There will be singing and fun for all ages as well as the memorable time of returning to the location of the first church building,” Doss added.

“It’s interesting to know that some of the rock walls and timber beams of the current Pioneer Museum building were part of the original 1853 structure built by the church members,” Doss said. “The sanctuary went through several remodels changing floors, windows and roof, but the current sanctuary is pretty much like it was when the church last worshipped there in 1970.”

Doss said the 1853 church bell, still located in the roof, was one of the bells included in the Abendglocken community church bell ringing at 6 p.m., Saturday evenings.

“The congregation was actually formed in 1849 after Edward Schneider was ‘relieved’ of his pastoral duties at the Vereins Kirche for reportedly being too Methodist in doctrine,” Doss said. “While it’s true that this was the original home of this church family, in 1871 another congregation was formed from part of the original to form the Edison Street Methodist Church which moved to the location where the Ambleside School now resides at 106 South Edison Street.”

After nearly 100 years existing in two different locations, the two congregations merged back together and formed the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church in 1970, meeting at the Edison Street property, but eventually moved to its current location at 1800 North Llano Street.

The 45-member Chancel Choir will be directed by Doss and accompanied by Judy Hickerson. The choir will sing favorites like “Just a Closer Walk,” “Old Time Religion,” “Shall We Gather at the River” and others. 

Graves will include more up-to-date arrangements accompanied on guitar of the old songs and include children and youth in the activities. 

The church’s senior pastor is the Rev. Dr. Jason Fry and the associate pastor is the Rev. Sid Spiller.

Refreshments will be served following the event.

“This musical time of memories and fun will be interesting to all ages, a truly intergenerational mix of great songs for the whole family,” Doss said. “All are invited to some Sunday evening singing”

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