The History of FUMC Baton Rouge
Christianity, quite literally, flowed into Louisiana. Catholic missionaries who bore the sacred symbol of the cross of Jesus first entered this land aboard vessels plying the Mississippi River. In time, more and more missionaries descended the Mississippi, among them the “people called Methodists.” Shaped by a Wesleyan vision and powered by an evangelical fervor, ministers such as Learner Blackman, Tobias Gibson, and Elisha W. Bowman would carry the cross throughout what is now southern Louisiana, including one settlement destined to grow into a great city on the river – Baton Rouge. And it was from those who gathered around that first cross planted by Methodists in Baton Rouge that one of the city’s great churches, First United Methodist Church, also would grow.
The History of the United Methodist Church
In 1729 England, a small group of Oxford University students were ridiculed as “Bible Bigots,” the “Holy Club” and “Methodists” because they spent so much time in methodical prayer and Bible reading. Led by John and Charles Wesley, the students held their ground against jeering students and went out to preach and pray with those considered to be the underbelly of English society.