Our History

The history of Pearl River United Methodist Church began in 1880 when a Methodist Circuit Rider from Mississippi arrived on horseback to spread the gospel. In 1904 the white clapboard sanctuary was built in the heart of town, and it quickly became a gathering place for the community. Hospitality and a welcome have been part of our DNA from the very beginning, as we opened our doors to the town of Pearl River. Both the Baptist Church and Catholic Church met in our white clapboard sanctuary for a time, and the building also served as the town’s first schoolhouse.
 
Landlocked and realizing the town of Pearl River was growing westward, the congregation relocated to our present location on Hwy 41 in 1989. In celebration of our past, we brought our historic sanctuary building with us, which now serves as our Chapel.
 
The years in the little white church were marked by a gradual growth. The need for more fellowship and educational space was as great, and in 2001, we built the Agape Center, which includes a large open room for congregation-wide gatherings, such as dinners, meetings, and youth group; a full-service kitchen; a bright and welcoming nursery; as well as several other classrooms.
 
By the early 2000s, the growth of the congregation and the passage of time had made the old white clapboard structure unsuitable for the needs of the future. We built our current Sanctuary in 2004, which doubled our worship capacity and added a beautiful gathering space for fellowship, small groups, and special events, which we call the “Gathering Room.” We experienced immediate, steady growth when we moved into the new sanctuary, and we continue to enjoy vibrant, heart-felt worship and fellowship in our beautiful sanctuary building. Though we still maintain our beloved “Chapel,” and utilize it from time-to-time, its primary purpose is as the worship space for another Christian congregation, who rents the chapel. Over 110 years later, this historic landmark is still a house of worship and a blessing to the community.
 
When we relocated to our current campus, the only structure on the 7-acres was a small cottage, which over the years was used as a nursery, kitchen, and later as a church office. Though the church renovated the cottage over the years, it was prone to flooding and was no longer meeting the needs of our growing congregation. In 2014, we razed the cottage and built our Grace Center, which has much-needed office and meeting space, as well as additional restrooms and showers.
 
More important than a history of our facilities is the history of the warmth and sense of family and fellowship experienced here. This feeling of a spiritual home within the community has characterized Pearl River United Methodist Church. You are invited to come “home,” to Pearl River UMC and become part of our continuing story.
 
We opened our newest building on September 14, 2014 called The Grace Center, which houses a conference room for our “Sunday Scriptures’, meetings, bible studies and the offices of the pastors and the office assistant. Stop by and visit and see our newest building.
 
Below is a 2-part video history of Pearl River United Methodist Church. Please take time to view our history through these short videos. The buttons below link to YouTube, where you can view them.