The early history of Methodism in Fairbanks dates back to 1903 when the Rev. John Parsons founded the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1905 Rev. R. V. B. Dunlap came to Fairbanks to serve. The next year, $8,000.00 for a building and lot was made available through church extension of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church. The church was built at Third and Cushman Street where the ACS building is presently located. Some records indicate the Church closed in 1911 but articles say the Church was alive and active until about 1917.
Much credit is due to Rev. P. Gordon Gould for the reopening of Methodist work in Fairbanks in 1952. The first meeting was held, committees were appointed and plans were made for the first worship service. This service was held on March 23rd at 11:00 a.m. Rec. Bill Dickinson delivered the morning sermon with about 75 people attending.
A building fund campaign began the next winter and the ground breaking ceremony was held in June 1953. The first service in the completed building was just before Christmas with a large attendance in spite of the sub-zero weather.
The membership has grown through the years and several additions to the church building have been made. The First United Methodist Church has approximately 630 members at this time in history as we go forward in faith to build a program for today and tomorrow in Alaska.
From the First United Methodist Church website.
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