Our Story

Leavenworth First United Methodist Church is the oldest United Methodist church in the state of Kansas.  From our beginnings on the riverbank, we have a rich history and heritage.  The building we worship in every Sunday is over 100 years old.  If the stones of the sanctuary could talk, they would speak of faithful saints who served not only in this community but around the world.  The vision of our church founders from many years ago has established our path of service today.

Just as it takes is one drop to start an infinite ripple through a pool of water, it only takes one person to begin a ripple of faith through a community and out into the world.  For First United Methodist Church Leavenworth, that person was Rev. W. G. Caples.  His service under a cottonwood tree in 1854, when the town wasn’t much more than a rough frontier town, reached a small group of pioneers that started the waves of ministry and outreach that we belong to today.

A handful of people became 20, 30, 100, 500.  The riverbank became a shack, a school-house, a stone building, a campus.  Each wave of the journey was built upon the faith of the forefathers and mothers of the wave before.   It wasn’t easy — this congregation has survived outlaws, civil war, segregation, and modernization.  Today, our ripples are many and far reaching. We are a church of the ages, serving the present age by making disciples for Christ and positively transforming our community and world.  In many ways we are striving to reach that goal.

Jesus tells us to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,” and we seek to do just that from the corner of 4th and Chestnut. Some families have been a part of this congregation for decades and others make us their faith home-away-from-home during their military years here.  From the newest babies to our most senior members, we serve our church family, the local community, and missions abroad in a variety of ways.

Just like our church founders, we are committed to looking to the future and serving the coming age.  With an ever changing, ever growing world, it is important that we attempt to meet tomorrow’s needs, while also reclaiming our forerunners’ vision of service and witness.  It is our hope that our ministries and facilities will serve our community and world for 150 more years.  The future is bright for this church!