Our History

 

Inscription on the historical marker erected by the Texas Historical Commission:
In 1856, Florence was a small settlement of log cabins and a store or two. It also had a stone building (300 ft. ESE), used as a church and meeting place, on land donated in 1845 by John C. Caskey. Before that time, settlers worshiped in homes and other meeting places.

The Methodist congregation in Florence shared the stone building, just as it shared its pastor. Early Methodist ministers in Texas rode circuits, serving several communities. The Florence mission, part of the Waco district, was at the head of a circuit. In 1858, Rev. John Carpenter was officially appointed to the church as its first pastor.

The congregation bought additional interest in the building, with full ownership in 1910. Members remodeled it and used it until 1924, when they sold it for use as a primitive Baptist church. The Methodist congregation built a new church at this site in 1924 and used it until erecting a brick church in 1968.

Over the years, the Florence Methodist Church has served the community through its organizations. The Home Mission Society, established in 1890, later became the Women's Society of Christian Service. The Methodist men, in 1957, created a livestock program to raise funds for a new parsonage.

Youth groups have also been an important part of the church’s mission, with the first junior league established in 1900. The congregation was voted church of the year in 1960 by the central Texas conference of the Methodist church. Its name changed in 1968 to the First United Methodist Church of Florence, and it continues to be a vital part of its community.

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