Our Story

Downtown for Good since 1857

First United Methodist Church was the first church in Madison and has been located in the heart of the capitol city—on or around the capitol square—since it’s inception in 1857.

Being a downtown church means serving a regional community—drawing from all parts of the city, suburbs, and neighboring towns. Folks who visit Madison, visit First Church. People come for many different reasons and participate in our various ministries in a variety of ways.

We are committed to supporting our downtown neighbors and community by being a credible partner, taking a leadership role in the community, and building relationships that help transform human lives and nurture the soul.

Our Mission 


We seek to embody grace and hospitality in the manner of Jesus, nurturing our diverse spiritual journeys and joining together as a servant community to help realize a more loving and just world.

What we believe

We aspire to respond to the challenges of life in faithful ways that seek to follow after and model the manner of Jesus.

We are committed to being a dynamic community in which our actions grow from our faithful commitments driven by the needs of the community and world. We seek to value the gifts and graces of our congregation and allow them to emerge in vision and service.

We believe in the work of faith extending beyond the program of the church and finding its way into our work in our vocations, volunteering in our community, forming our personal relationships and our commitments.

We believe God’s grace is available to all. That each individual is of sacred worth.

We believe we are called to love and care for one another.

We believe that faith is cultivated in a community that seeks to live into God’s calling and claim on our lives.

At First Church, All means All. We welcome all people to join us to worship, serve, and connect with others on their faith journey. We are a Reconciling Congregation that celebrates the diversity of race, gender, national origin, religious background, gender identity and sexual orientation. 

What Members Say

Watch short videos about what members say about First Church.

First Experience

Our Downtown Partners 


First Church is committed to an active role in social justice issues that impact our downtown community and this incredible city.  To this end, we have built relationships and established partnerships with groups who share our passion for helping others and working toward equity and equality for all.