Mission & Vision

Go therefore and make disciples...

The Mission

“Connecting to Christ, Growing in Community, Serving the World”
is a simple way to describe the way we live out God’s call at First UMC Manhattan. The three are intimately bound and we hope that in everything we do, all three are happening.

The Vision

Our vision is to create a community of authentic believers and to witness a city transformed by the life changing reality of the gospel, as people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. 
The Hartford


Get to know more about what makes us different.

We cannot tell the story of First United Methodist Church, the city of Manhattan and Kansas State University without recognizing that all three are intimately connected. On June 1, 1855, the steamboat Hartford became stuck in the Blue River near what is now Manhattan. The Hartford had 75 passengers who supported Kansas becoming a free state. They intended to settle 30 miles away on the Kansas River, but the boat was unable to continue. It was on the Hartford that John Pipher, one of the boat’s owners, organized a Methodist class meeting. It was the beginning of First Methodist Episcopal Church.

The passengers on the Hartford discovered a community of settlers who lived in the area, but had named their town Boston. The settlers from Boston offered assistance to the stranded passengers and invited them to stay in the area. After a lengthy conversation and the realization that the Hartford was not going any further, they agreed on one condition. They needed to call the town Manhattan.

Two of the early residents of Manhattan were Joseph Denison and his brother-in-law Isaac Goodnow. Denison was a Methodist minister and briefly served as pastor for First Church. Goodnow was a professor of natural science from a college in Rhode Island. Both Denison and Goodnow were leaders in the free state movement and in the establishment of First Methodist Episcopal Church. They also believed that Manhattan was an ideal location for a college. Denison was able to convince the Methodist church of Kansas and Nebraska to establish Bluemont College in 1855. The cornerstone was laid on May 10, 1859 after Goodnow was able to raise enough money for the first building.

Joseph Denison served as the first and only president of Bluemont College. Isaac Goodnow served in the Kansas Legislature and eventually played a major role in pushing through a land grant college for Manhattan. Bluemont college became Kansas State Agricultural College in 1863 and eventually Kansas State University. Denison served as the president of KSAC for its first ten years.

First Methodist Episcopal Church has been a cornerstone of the Manhattan community since it's beginning. In 1939 the name was changed to First Methodist Church after the merger of the three historic Methodist denominations. In 1968 it became the First United Methodist Church when the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Names change and people come and go, but First United Methodist Church has always had a deep commitment to the serving the city of
Manhattan as a church for the community.