During the months of March and April, in addition to observing the holy season of Lent, Faith United Methodist Church is also celebrating 50 years of faithful service in north Phoenix. Back in 1965, when Phoenix was a growing city of about 500,000 residents, Rev. C. Edwin Daniel, who at the time was serving as Minister of Education at Cross Roads Methodist Church located at Central and Northern Avenues, was appointed to be the founding pastor of a new church located on 19th Avenue between Northern and Dunlap, in a neighborhood known as Royal Palms. In the weeks that followed his appointment, Rev. Daniel and his Steering Committee decided the new church would be called “Faith.” Land was purchased and plans were made for the first worship service, which was held on March 7, 1965 at Washington Elementary School, just a few blocks away. Six Sundays later, on April 11, 1965, Faith Methodist Church was official born following its Charter Sunday worship service. It was indeed an historic moment for this new church called Faith and for the courageous men and women who stepped out in faith and answered God’s call to organize a new faith community dedicated to the premise that serving others is more important than being served.
Since that historic day, Faith Church has been served by 8 pastors who have continued the church’s original core values. During the last 50 years, Faith Methodist Church has done so much to help other people, especially those less fortunate than themselves. Even today, those attending Faith United Methodist Church have dedicated themselves to helping other people, which is why our church motto is People Caring For People. We serve God by serving God’s people. It’s part of our DNA, not only as United Methodists, but as members of a church founded on the principle that “the church is to be a servant to all of humanity” (C. Edwin Daniel, April 1965).
It is an honor for me to be serving Faith United Methodist Church as its pastor during this historic time. Listening to current and former members as they share memories of their activities and ministries has been absolutely inspirational. The people of Faith have blessed so many people – people who have lost all hope – and I know we will continue to be a blessing for many years to come. Yes, the neighborhood around the church has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, but the needs have not. As long as God’s people are struggling – and we all struggle from time to time – the people of Faith will have work to do, and we look forward to sharing that work with others who share the same values we do. We love engaging in vibrant worship of a God who loves us and offers us grace. We love being in fellowship with one another, and inviting others to join us in that fellowship. We love serving God’s people in a variety of different ways, and we have hope for a better tomorrow because we believe in the saving power of Jesus’ life and resurrection.
So as we celebrate our past, we look forward to our future as God’s people and God’s church. We will continue to honor the ministries that have made Faith United Methodist Church such a blessing to so many, but we will also look forward to the many opportunities for ministry in the future. God has so much for us to do…won’t you join us?
God bless, Pastor Jody