Our Denomination's History
As the United Methodist Church, we are part of the "body of Christ" around the world, the Church, and so have the mission of carrying out the commission of Jesus to make new followers so that others may join us in the Kingdom of God. Our particular branch of the Christian faith traces back to the Methodist revival movement in England during the 1700's. John Wesley, an Anglican priest (Church of England), founded a movement to provide connections for Christ-followers to grow deeper in their faith and benefit from spiritual disciplines and support for one another through life. In fact, the original Methodists were groups made up of many different denominations, including Baptists, Presbyterians, and even Catholics. While they all had home congregations for worship and service, the Methodists met during the week in small groups and large gatherings to encourage one another in spiritual growth.
Eventually the movement changed from a spiritual renewal to a particular branch of the Church, mainly due to the Revolutionary War between the colonies of the United States of America and England in the latter 1700's.
In the "new world" of the U.S., Methodist preachers followed the westward development of the frontier. They were called "circuit riders" because they rode horseback to locations where Christian pioneers would gather at appointed times.
Ponte Vedra UMC's History
In the late 1990’s Beach United Methodist Church (UMC) of Jacksonville Beach turned its sights to the south to expand God's growing vitality into an area without an existing UMC presence. So Beach UMC leased and renovated a former mortgage company headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach. Worship services began March 25, 2001 at the South Campus.
The original vision for South Campus was a worship center with some evening activities. Soon many worshippers desired a “full service” congregation, with Sunday morning opportunities to grow as followers of Christ, led by an appointed pastor. Just one year after opening its doors, the vision began emerging to become a chartered United Methodist Church to more effectively make disciples of Jesus Christ. The passion was expressed through serving the community's felt needs, reaching out to surrounding neighbors with the good news of life together in Christ.
Ponte Vedra United Methodist Church was launched January 26, 2003. Rev. Jeff Bennett, associate pastor of Beach UMC, was appointed pastor. Property at 76 South Roscoe Blvd was purchased with proceeds from the 3-year $1.2 million capital campaign A Journey of Faith. In August 2007 the church moved worship to Ocean Palms Elementary near the property.
Then on November 9, 2008, ground was broken at the site for construction of a multi-purpose church building. The church first worshiped in its new 15,000 sq. ft. building on December 13, 2009. Funding for the building came through a second 3-year capital campaign (Building on Faith). The building was consecrated on February 28, 2010, and the church chartered on September 26. Our congregation of 400+ worships on Sunday mornings with a 9:30 contemporary service and a 11:00am traditional service.