REVERENCE FOR THE PAST: VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Wahoo Indians, dirt floors, a stick chimney, and hand-made pews. All have played a role in our church’s rich heritage. Organized during the 1830’s, New Hope United Methodist is probably the oldest church in Citrus County and one of the oldest Methodist Church describing early buildings and the interactions with the Wahoo to modern day. active churches in Florida.
Our first building was made of logs with the earth used as our floor. Within its walls a pioneer community’s needs were met: a school, a town-hall meeting place, and a fortress against Wahoo Indians were all part of New Hope’s beginnings. The log building burned and was replaced by another, this time with a rough-hewn puncheon floor, a stick chimney, and a cistern outside. Back then circuit riders preached the Word to a congregation that came on foot, horse, or wagon from as far away as Crystal River.
During this era (1851), J.H. Miley deeded five acres to our church, then called Methodist Episcopal Church South, “inconsideration of the love I bear for the cause of Christ.” His action took New Hope off government land forever. Five years later a “modern” frame structure replaced the 2nd log building and finally, in 1940, our present church was erected using much of the lumber from that 1886 structure. The old handmade wooden pews you see in the back as well as the parson’s bench and pulpit also came from the late 1800’s.
So whether you’re a one-time visitor, or long standing member, we welcome you to this historic church. Come let us worship the risen Lord.
We proudly share our history of New Hope United Methodist Church, as the oldest church in Citrus County, by reprinting our history each week in the church bulletin.