Our Story

Our Story is not simply the history of our church and how we were founded, 

but it's the actual real-life stories of our people. 

The videos below share some of those stories, and will give you some of the pieces of Our Story.


Cordele First - Our People

In 1887, a year before the incorporation of Cordele, Georgia, a group of 15 people met at the Cordele Academy to organize the Cordele Methodist Mission - the oldest protestant church in the city. By the end of the first year, the church had 179 members. Because of the growth of the congregation, it became the Cordele Station in 1889. 

In 1891 Sunday School classes were still small enough to meet around the single room of the church. By 1899 the church had grown to 271 and Sunday School attendance to 213 - forcing the church to operate 2 separate Sunday School times. By the time the new facility in downtown Cordele had opened in 1914, Sunday School enrollment had increased to 435.

From the very beginning, children and youth were important to the church. In 1912 there were already 45 members of the "senior league" (high school) and 50 members of the "junior league" (middle school).

The church continued to increase in membership and in spiritual growth. In 1978, it was reported: "Attendance is high at all functions of the church. Accompanying this is the fine spirit of love and warmth. Our people care." And in 1979: "In missions we have a goal in our church of giving as much for others as we spend on ourselves." 

This growth of love for Christ and others, and our support of missions both locally and globally, continues today. God continues to grow our church and our church membership is over 1100 members, with over 50 people worshiping together each Sunday.

For over one hundred years Cordele First United Methodist Church has lived out our vision to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in how we embrace and invest in our members, our local community, and our world in an attempt to advance God’s kingdom through radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission & service, and extravagant generosity. The Lord continues to bless our church, and our church endeavors to glorify our Lord.

Cordele First - Our Building

Our church originally held services at the Cordele Academy for four years after its formation. Then, in 1891, the congregation built the first church structure in historic downtown Cordele, on 7th Street between 12th Avenue and 13th Avenue. The one-room white frame structure, with a bell tower, had a hand pumped organ.

In 1911, the congregation held a ground-breaking ceremony for a new building at the corner of 12th Avenue and 5th Street. The church held services in the completed basement from the end of 1913 until the completion of the sanctuary in 1914. The granite and brick building, which continues as the home of the Cordele First United Methodist Church, features a dome and Arched Stained glass windows.

The church expanded its campus in 1960 with the construction of a two-story education building located at the back of the sanctuary. In 1968 the congregation purchased the Bruce Williams’ residence, located next to the church on 12th Avenue, and used it for Sunday school and other activities sponsored by the church until its demolition in 1980 to make room for a second education building attached to the 1960 building. Completed in 1981, this facility provides additional space for Sunday school rooms and for a church-sponsored Learning Center for pre-school children in community.

In 1997 the church completed the construction of an Activities Center  which provides a place for both community-based and church-related activities, including services of the Hispanic congregation which the church established in 2001.

Over the years the church has continued to enhance its facilities: 

  • In 1924 it acquired a Mohler Organ, which it had rebuilt and refurbished in 2002.
  • It installed an elevator in the sanctuary area in 1970, a lift from the basement to the first-floor level of the sanctuary a few years later, and an elevator which serves the education complex and the sanctuary in 1995.
  • The church has purchased several pieces of property for additional parking and has supported major renovations projects in 1948, 1972, 1982, 1985, and 2008. 

We are currently under a renovation as we feel called to stay in downtown Cordele to continue to reach this diverse city for Christ.

CLICK HERE for the Our Hope is Built tab for more information.