A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The first church building for St. Andrew United Methodist Church was established on the corner of Chestnut Avenue and 11th Street in 1886 as a Methodist Episcopal Church with the Rev. W. M. Croman as the first pastor.
The church flourished until 1928 when the site was discontinued at a preaching place. For several years Miss Jennie Smith, a former deaconess, kept the church alive with a Sunday School and a midweek prayer service.
The Salvation Army also used the building some.
In 1939, the year of unification of Methodism, the church was revitalized by the appointment of Rev. A. M. Shirah as pastor. During the next ten years, many advancements were made under the pastorates of seven dedicated men. Methodist ministers were kept moving in those days.
In 1950, Rev. Edmond O. Bradley became the pastor and again the church moved forward. These years were best described in reports of 1951- ? of Rev. Bradley. He stated, “The most meaningful event to the church was the decision to be self-supporting; that we no longer needed help from the Conference to survive as a church.”
In 1953 the present site of the church was purchased and under the guidance of the Official Board and the Building Committee. Construction was begun and was completed in the Spring of 1955.
The first service in the new sanctuary was held on March 20, 1955. Within a short time, the congregation found it needed yet more space to accommodate a growing membership. The church began work on an Educational Building to be built in several stages. The first portion of this, a two-story wing containing a Social Hall and several classrooms, was completed in 1958.
SAUMC celebrated its centennial in 1986 when Dr. Charles Hayes was our pastor. We celebrated our 60th Anniversary in this building in April of 2015, with Rev. Amy Persons Parkes as pastor.
In 2018 Rev. John O. Blount was appointed as the pastor of SAUMC. In October 2018, Rev. Blount and several other members were seeking shelter in the church building from Hurricane Micheal, a category four hurricane that later destroyed the church building and the entire Florida Panhandle. He continues to lead the congregation through this difficult time.