University UMC’s Mission, Vision & Values
UUMC is an urban, progressive community of faith committed to traditional worship, social justice, inclusiveness and reconciliation.
UUMC seeks to be a model for living our faith in an imperfect world, to be a sanctuary for healing and spiritual renewal and a leader in the struggle for justice.
Our Core Values
1. We are open to all people, inclusive in membership, leadership and ministry.
2. We commit ourselves to love and follow the God revealed in Jesus without denying the authenticity of other paths to the holy.
3. We are committed to challenging our minds through lifelong study, and transforming our hearts through spiritual practices that are both personal and communal, embracing all ages and stages of life.
4. We express our faith in vibrant worship that is beautiful and scriptural, and that calls us to revolutionary discipleship.
5. We believe that practicing our faith is more important than adhering to doctrines.
6. We work for peace and social justice.
7. We commit to be in ministry with the poor, the stranger, and those in the margins.
8. We strive to protect and care for the earth.
Our History & Heritage
In 1887, Austin was a bustling city of 12,000; Jesse L. Driskill opened his magnificent new hotel at the corner of 6th and Brazos Streets and the University of Texas celebrated its third birthday.
These facts come from a history of UUMC written by long-standing member Dr. Margaret Berry. In March of 1887, Berry wrote that Reverend J. E. Stovall began services in Honey Chapel, a tiny building on the UT campus owned by the Northern Methodist Episcopal Church. It was located at the northeast corner of 24th Street and Whitis Avenue.
On that first Sunday, four people became members of the 24th Street Methodist Church (now University United Methodist Church.) During the first year, others joined, including Dr. George B. Halsted, an eccentric mathematics professor who built his home near the corner of 24th and Guadalupe Streets, where UUMC now stands.
He built it on stilts to avoid malaria but having hogs and chickens under his house did not bother him. In 1891, the congregation moved to a new and larger building at the corner of Nueces and 24th Streets, Hotchkiss Memorial, and then in 1909 to the current site at 24th and Guadalupe Streets.
Over the past century, the church has been renovated a number of times, the congregation has grown and the number of services has increased. One notable event in the church’s history occurred in 1957, a time when acrimonious civil rights demonstrations and confrontations were taking place across the country.
The first black members were received into the church, which for more than a decade had attracted to services black students from Huston-Tillotson College. Another historic event took place on November 22, 1964, when a memorial service for President John F. Kennedy was held, attended by President Lyndon B. Johnson and Governor John Connally.
In 2008, the congregation undertook a major capital campaign to repair and renovate the church to prepare it for next century of service to the community.
… A faith that is both informed and widely experienced
… A religion that is intensely personal but shared with others
… A concern for spiritual, physical and social conditions of all persons
… An affirmation of belief in one God as revealed through Jesus Christ – but an appreciation for a variety of ways in which that affirmation may be expressed.
History of Methodism
Methodism traces its roots to the Church of England and John Wesley (1703-1791) the founding father of Methodism. Early Methodists focused on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis continues to be a hallmark of United Methodism today, in the form of concern for social justice.
The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 when The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren joined together. The denominations had similar ecclesiastical structures and a relationship that dated back almost two hundred years.
Today, there are 8.5 million United Methodists in the United States and 1.5 million more worldwide, with the largest growth in membership in Africa and the Philippines.