Wesley United Methodist Church
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Church History

Under Construction
 
Organized March 6, 1946 in Rankin School with forty members, Wesley Methodist Church was located in Willis Heights in the western part of Tupelo, Mississippi.  The Reverend Dorsey Allen served as its first pastor and directed the organization of the church.
 
Under the leadership of the Reverend Bowen Burt, the church's second pastor, the $8,000 parsonage was built.  In January 1947, the Reverend E. F. Tucker was appointed as pastor of Wesley.  Under his leadership, the new church building was started in September 1947 but was not completed until early 1948 when the Reverend Harvey L. Beasley was pastor.  The first service in the new building was Easter Sunday - March 28,1948.  The membership at that time was 118.
 
Reverend Beasley continued as pastor until June 1950 when he was succeeded by the Reverend W. W. Milligan.  Reverend Milligan served as pastor until June 1953 when the Reverend James McCafferty was appointed.
 
The formal dedication service of the sanctuary, parsonage, and first educational unit was held on August 25, 1953 with Bishop Marvin A. Franklin officiating the service.
 
In June 1955, the Reverend W. R. Hammontree was appointed pastor.  In August 1956, during Reverend Hammontree's appointment, ground was broken for an educational annex.  This annex was formally opened for church school use on April 2, 1957 with Bishop Marvin A Franklin presiding.
 
The Reverend David Harris was appointed pastor of Wesley in June 1958.  During the fall of that year an addition to the parsonage was completed.  On August 26, 1962, the Quarterly Conference voted to purchase the property belonging to Mrs. Edna Moore that was directly across from the church on Roosevelt Street.  The dwelling on this property was used for a church nursery.
 
In late November 1965, the modern twelve room Children's Building was completed, and classes were held in it the first time on December 5, 1965.  With the completion of this new building, Wesley had educational facilities that were adequate for then and the next several years.
 
On May 12, 1968, the church had a change in it's name.  Wesley Methodist Church became Wesley United Methodist Church.  This occured because the world-wide organization of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren combined to form the United Methodist Church.
 
In June 1968, Reverend Harris' ten year stay at Wesley came to end with the appointment of the Reverend W. R. Richardson.  Reverend Richardson served Wesley until June 1973 when the Reverend Jimmy Hollingsworth became Wesley's next pastor.  During Reverend Hollingsworth's time at Wesley, the sanctuary was renovated.  Additional property was also acquired for two paved parking lots.  Two buses were purchased for use by the Older Adults and the Youth.
 
Reverend Johnny Dinas was appointed as Wesley's next pastor in June 1980.