Metro   City

The First United Methodist Church

Thank You! Your rating has been saved.

The First United Methodist Church is on the National Register of Historic places and is the tallest building in Salem. Following is a brief history of the church. If you are interested in learning more about the church and its history, please contact our history and records office via the church office. You can call 503-364-6709 or email, or you can visit the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the precept of John Wesley in taking the gospel to people everywhere, the Methodist Foreign Mission Society undertook to send a mission to the Indians of the Pacific Northwest in 1833. The next year Rev. Jason Lee, Superintendent, Rev. Daniel Lee, and Cyrus Shephard, a gifted teacher, traveled overland to Fort Vancouver. At the urging of Hudson Bay Factor Dr. John McLaughlin, they selected a headquarters site in the Willamette Valley about 10 miles north of the present city of Salem.

Regular church services began at the mission in 1835, but it was not until 1841, when headquarters were moved to the Salem location, that the Methodist Episcopal Church of Salem was formally organized. Jason Lee was one of 13 charter members, and David Leslie became the first pastor. The church met for services in a room of the Oregon Institute. Coincidentally, the Mission families subscribed privately to form the Oregon Institute (Willamette University) to provide education for their children. The continuing vitality of these twin institutions, First Church and Willamette, attest to the vision and faith of these pioneer missionaries.
A Community Soup Kitchen is here in Salem and hosted by St.Mark Lutheran Church. On the third Sunday of every month, we do a food drive for their food bank and we staff the soup kitchen once a month as well. For more information, contact the church office and leave a message for Art Tidey.
Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is an organization that provides housing for homeless families in the Salem area. The program itself is hosted by many different churches in Salem for one week at a time. The First United Methodist Church is one of the hosting churches. We host IHN four times each year. Volunteers are needed to provide dinner and spend the night each night. If you are interested in helping with this project or would like more information, visit or contact the church office and leave a message for Camella.

Explore Related Categories

Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed


Be the first to add a review for this item.

Please write a review for this item

Send a Message