Bicentennial Special Events:
The 50th Anniversary of the Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the United Brethren Church
“The year 1968 convulsed with assassinations, riots, war in Vietnam and student protests against that war. The Troubles revved up in Northern Ireland, and Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia. At a time when it seemed much of the world was violently splitting apart, a group of Wesleyan Christians peacefully and joyfully were coming together.
Lay adult members Emma Tousant of the Evangelical United Brethren and J.P. Zepeda of the Methodist Church shake hands as part of the uniting ceremony that marked the formation of The United Methodist Church in 1968. This moment of celebration was years in the making. 
On April 23, 1968, two bishops followed by two children, two youths, two adults, six ordained ministers, two church officers and finally all 10,000 people present joined hands and repeated in unison: “Lord of the church, we are united in thee, in thy church, and now in The United Methodist Church. Amen.” With those words in a Dallas auditorium, the 750,000-member Evangelical United Brethren Church and the 10.3 million-member Methodist Church became one church. The merger also brought people together in another way: marking the official dissolution of the Methodist Church’s racially segregated Central Jurisdiction.”
 Theunitedmethodistchurch.org, “Amid tumult of 1968, a church came together”
First United Methodist Church, Mount Vernon, will proudly recognize the 50th Anniversary of this Union on Sunday, April 22nd in the 10:45 service.
This anniversary will be marked with special acknowledgement to the retired pastors of the congregation– men and women who served the church through that new partnership and blending. These are also the men and women who aided congregations in their understanding and acceptance of the changing civil rights within our nation. The now United Methodist Church has and continues to model acceptance and understanding of the people of our country. A reception will be held immediately following the service in the First Church Café.
THE REVEREND MRS. JOHNSON
A Fifth Sunday Combined Service
& United Methodist Men Pancake Breakfast
The brilliant Carol Dilley Jaudes will be returning to Mount Vernon on Sunday, April 29th to perform at 10:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church. As a native of Mount Vernon and former Broadway performer, she has written and produced a one-woman show that will provide a glimpse of life in Mount Vernon in the 1850’s through the eyes of a pioneer woman. “The Reverend Mrs. Johnson”, written and performed by Jaudes, is based on the book, “Recollections” The Reverend John Johnson and his Home”.
Carol is always happy to come home to Mount Vernon! She is currently Special Events and Arts Ministries Director for The Eastern Territory of The Salvation Army based in West Nyack, New York. Her responsibilities there include building and growing a community of artists committed to living and communicating God’s love through the arts. For over 20 years now, she has been a solider at the Montclair Citadel Salvation Army where she serves as Worship Committee coordinator and leads the youth drama.
Carol’s experience in professional theatre includes five years on Broadway as Jennyanydots, the tap-dancing Gumbie Cat in the hit musical CATS. She is a former member of the First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, the daughter of Mrs. Kathleen Dilley and the late Edward Dilley.
Her performance begins at 10:00 a.m., Sunday, April 29th, First United Methodist church, Mount Vernon, IL 1133 Main Street. The public is welcome. There is no charge.
A delicious United Methodist Men pancake breakfast will be served in the hours before the 10:00 service.
During our year long Bicentennial Celebration First Church logo wear, jewelry and more will be available each Sunday.
Prayer Beads for $10.
During the renovation of our downstairs children’s area part of the original stone foundation of the church was removed. These large sandstone blocks were transported to Effingham, IL, to the Pyramid Marble Co. where they have been cut down to a 4″ x 4″ size stone with a chiseled cross in the center. This stone cross keepsake is an actual piece of our church’s history — our church’s foundation. To the best of our knowledge, this stone foundation dates back to the tornado of February, 1888 when the church was destroyed, rebuilt, and dedicated in December, 1888. Quantities are limited.
A First Church Silhouette cutout has been crafted from wood and is a small replica of our current 2017 church, including our magnificent steeple–which serves as a beacon to all. Quantities are limited.
Also available for sale: Commemorative bluetooth speakers as well as Bicentennial sweatshirts and tshirts.
Store Location: First Church Café.
Store hours: Sundays, 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Cash, check or card accepted.
2018 Wesley Heritage Tour to England
As a part of our congregation’s bicentennial celebration throughout 2018, a Wesley Heritage tour of England is being planned to visit the historic sites of Methodism, including: Epworth (John Wesley’s childhood home), Oxford University, Bristol, Bath, and London. The nine-day tour leaves from St. Louis on May 8, 2018. Coordinated through Educational Opportunities, the cost per person is $3,596, which includes round-trip airfare, lodging, guided sightseeing, and a daily buffet for breakfast and dinner. Informational pamphlets are available at the Welcome Desk, or you can visit england.mountvernonfirst.org.