APTOS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
With a Welcome as Wide as the Sea
Aptos UMC's roots go back in time to the tiny village of Aptos in the early 1940's. Several Aptos neighbors were considering the task of starting a Sunday School in Valencia Hall, the "town" meeting place. At that same time, Mary Elizabeth Brown, a Methodist deaconess and widow, had an afternoon Sunday school, and the two became one, taking place in the "hall" near the location of our first chapel in Aptos Village, now owned by Calvary Chapel of Aptos. Frank Farr, a retired Methodist minister who lived in Monte Toyon, worked with Grandma Brown to organize a church, and eventually the first Methodist Church of Aptos was officially consecrated on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1944, with Frank Farr as the first pastor. Upon her death, Grandma Brown's property was deeded to Monte Toyon, who in turn deeded it back to the church. However, by 1948 the "Brown Hall" congregation had outgrown the hall, and a fund drive to build a new church ensued, captained by one of our founding members, Gertrude Miller.
Three years later, funds in hand, a search for local property finally began, and it was decided that the lot next to the hall, owned by another member, Elta Andrews, would be perfect. The building began, much of the work was done by the members of the congregation, until the church and eventually a parsonage was finished.
The church continued to grow, and in the mid 1960's talk began of moving to a larger space. As hard as it was to consider leaving the little church lovingly built by members hands, it was hard to argue with standing room only, inadequate parking, and no room for newcomers.
Another fund drive, another property search, and another wait for a new building later, on January 28, 1968 the first service was held in the newly built Sanctuary on the hilltop of Thunderbird Drive. At that time there were almost no other houses in the neighborhood. It rained most of the week before, and there was a lake of water standing in front of the sanctuary. The bishop who was the guest speaker that day ended his lengthy sermon when the brakes gave way on a car in the parking lot and it came sliding down the bank into the lake. Baptised with water, and a lot of it at that, the current Aptos Community United Methodist Church was duly consecrated.
We continue to grow to this day, with vibrant children's and youth ministries, an active Men's group, abundant musical groups, and dynamic preaching. Many of the members from the little village church are still active members today.
We host many community groups and non-profit children's organizations, have a wonderful after-school program on campus, and are active in our outreach to the local and world-wide community. Just as that dedicated group of neighbors had a vision of growth and commitment in 1941, we continue to believe that with bold vision we will realize a very bright future.