New Here?

Welcome! We're glad you're here. 

Whether you are brand new to the church thing or you’ve been around church for a while; we want to say welcome! Our goal is to create environments and experiences where you can encounter God in the midst of your life. When you celebrate with us on a weekend, our aim is that you would be inspired by the music, encouraged by the message, welcomed by our amazing community of people and be reminded that God’s grace is here!

Here are some questions that you may have about First Church.

What does it mean to be part of First United Methodist Church?

First Church is decidedly a public church. People look to first church for many reasons and participate in a variety of ways. We welcome and support these diverse commitments to the ministry and mission of the church.

We encourage participation in our many ministries. Folks come to participate in our Hope’s Home Ministries with those who find themselves hungry or homeless or in need. Others participate in a variety of arts programs. Some find the worship life and community a place of spiritual nurturing and growth. Others seek to support the work we do to be Downtown for Good through financial gifts and encouragement. We embrace all of these as being part of First Church.

Membership is a step many have made to move into a level of commitment that expresses an important identity with the ministry and mission of First Church and the wider Methodist mission. We seek to embody the teachings of Jesus and live into the invitation Jesus made to embody the beloved community in our life and work. We commit ourselves to God, to one another and the ongoing reformation of the church to be responsive to God’s purposes for creation through acts of love and justice.

First Church is a reconciling congregation where all are welcome to fully participate in the life of the church. In this house, all means all.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

How do I get to your church?
  • We are located just off the square in downtown Madison, at the corner of Dayton Street and Wisconsin Ave.
  • Parking

    Dayton/Pinckney Ramp (ULI lot)
    Take a ticket when you enter. On Sundays only, pick up a free parking voucher at the Welcome Center office to use when leaving the lot. 

    Street parking is free on Sunday. 

    Because we have limited parking in our lot, we try to reserve those spaces for first-time visitors and those with limited mobility. The entrance to the church parking lot is on Dayton Street. 

  • The Sanctuary is right inside the door. Greeters will be there to welcome you.
  • The Welcome Center is in the lobby if you have additional questions. You may also stop by the Welcome Center during the week for a tour or for more information.

What should I expect during worship?
  • Expect a warm and welcoming environment. You will receive a warm welcome from our greeters and a fresh baked loaf of bread--a small token of our gratitude to have you with us. 
  • Traditional and informal worship style. Worship at FUMC is both traditional and informal. Expect “churchy” things like organ music, hymn singing and spoken prayers. You can also expect some parts of worship to feel casual. 
  • Communion – Communion is celebrated on the first Sundays of each month at the 9:30 service. All are welcome to receive Communion; you do not need to be a member of this church or a member of the United Methodist Church. This is the Lord’s Table; God is the host and we are all God's guests. Non-alcoholic juice is served so that all may partake. Gluten free bread options are also offered.
  • Baptism – If you seek baptism for yourself or your child(ren), please follow this link to the request for and a brief introduction to baptism by Rev. Fowler.

 Can I visit the church during the week to check it out?

You are welcome to stop by the Welcome Center Monday through Thursday between 9-2 for a tour or for more information. Because we have activities held throughout the week, we suggest you set up a time in advance with Brooke by calling 608-256-9061 or email her at 

Is the church handicap accessible?


The church building, Sanctuary, and Fellowship Hall are accessible to wheelchairs, with an elevator to classrooms on upper and lower levels. There is easy drop-off near the main door and designated accessible parking spots.

We also offer a hearing loop for assistive listening and two large display screens.

What should I wear?

We have no dress code. On any given Sunday you may see folks wearing jeans, dresses, “business casual” attire, suit coats with a necktie, or biking/hiking attire.

Do I have to give money?

We are constantly developing a culture of giving as a response to the gifts and blessings God gives to us. We accept and encourage donations in the worship services on Sundays and online through our DONATE NOW portal. However, this is not a requirement of joining in our worship and work. The gifts of God are freely given, the response we make is a matter of faith and circumstance. 

What will my kids do?
  • We have Sunday school programs for toddlers through high school however, children are always welcome in worship.
  • We have a staffed nursery for infants through age 3. The nursery is available during Sunday school and worship. It is located on the first floor outside of the fellowship hall.

What if I have questions after being a guest at worship?

Staff at the Welcome Center or any of the greeters or volunteers with name tags can help with your questions. Feel free to send us an email or give us a call at 608-256-9061, with additional questions about First Church.  

How does First Church handle Baptisms?

In the United Methodist tradition, baptism is open to anyone, regardless of age. While United Methodists are encouraged to reaffirm their baptisms regularly, the Sacrament of Baptism is only offered once as we believe that God's promise to us in the sacrament is steadfast. Find information about baptism at First Church.