CHURCH HISTORY

 Port Tampa United Methodist Church began as a mission to the South Tampa "wilderness" in 1894, according to the 1894 Florida Methodist Journal. Port Tampa United Methodist Church has a rich history that spans over a century! It was built by a group of Northern Methodists to provide a place of worship for the local railroad builders and dock workers of that time. It was the meeting place for the first school of "Port Tampa City" as well as "home" for all the budding churches, including the Baptists, the Presbyterians, as well as the Episcopal Assemblages. Under the Pastorate of Rev. John E. Michler, the church was also a "hub" of most community activities. It was not until 1902, under the leadership of Rev. G. S. Roberts, that the Port Tampa Methodist Church purchased the building from the Northern Methodists. The membership rolls, when Rev. B. K. Thrower came to the pulpit in 1915, carried 63 names. A wood stove provided the heat for the church until 1927, when oil heating was installed. When electricity was added, it came from the Atlantic Coast Line Rail Road. Huge tallow candles were the lights on the Christmas Tree during the Sunday School Program, and not one tree ever caught fire. From service men under Teddy Roosevelt, to stevedores who loaded phosphate on huge ships, Port Tampa United Methodist Church has provided a place to worship for all who came. It has seen some fifty three Pastors, from Rev. John Michler to Rev. BRIAN R. BRINK, serving the Community of Port Tampa for one hundred and twenty three years.