Tradition has it that the first Methodist sermon ever delivered in Athens was to a “congregation” gathered under an historic old oak tree near the Courthouse Square in 1852. The Reverend Hezekiah Mitcham also delivered sermons in the dining room of a hotel, in homes of members, and in the Baptist and Presbyterian churches. The Reverend U.B. Phillips was pastor in 1884 when a frame structure was erected on West Tyler Street at a cost of about $2,000.
1901 - Methodism was growing in athens
Modern Age of the Methodist Church
On March 6, 1960, a church conference voted to relocate and our present sanctuary, fellowship hall, and education building were dedicated on October 18, 1964. In 1986 the Miller Children’s Building was added. A multipurpose activities building was completed August 8, 2003. This facility has a full size gymnasium, commercial kitchen, youth recreation room and four classrooms. In 2017 the little used Fellowship Hall was converted into a Modern Worship Center featuring state of the art Audio, Video, and Lighting systems. In December of 2019 a new gathering space with coffee bar was constructed along with new Choir and Bridal Suite, Reception area, and Staff Office Wing.
On Jan. 1 2023, Athens First officially disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church to become an independent Athens First Methodist Church. As decided on by our congregation, this allowed us to better serve our community, our members, and the missions around us. Our focus is and always has been those in our community and the mission fields we serve. To bring the word and love of Jesus to those who do not know him is the forefront of all we do without distraction. God is moving in this place and all those who call Athens First Home.