HISTORY OF FULFORD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The life of Fulford United Methodist Church began in the 1890’s as a group of faithful Christians began meeting in the homes of Mrs. Alice Frohock and Mrs. Mary Fulford, wife of the founder of Fulford-by-the Sea, as North Miami Beach was originally known. The small group grew enough to receive a charter from the Methodist Church in 1904, making Fulford the current oldest chartered Methodist Church in Miami-Dade County. Over the years, Fulford absorbed some other Methodist churches, most notably St. Paul’s UMC and Rader Memorial UMC. The first church building was constructed in 1912, and the church was relocated to the current address in 1949 to facilitate the widening of 163rd Street. The sanctuary was rebuilt in 2002 in the same place as the 1949 building had occupied.
As the demographic makeup of the northern part of the county changed and evolved, Fulford has evolved with it. Where Fulford was primarily made up of white persons who migrated to South Florida in the 1950’s and 1960’s from various parts of the U.S., it is now the most diverse congregation in the Florida Conference of the UMC. The fact that the congregation now includes persons of various colors and ethnic origins is only part of the Fulford story because significant portions of the congregation are from quite different cultures even if they share skin tone.
Some come from former British colonies (Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, and Bahamas) and have a particular creole that is a mix of African and English. Others are from former French colonies and have a creole that is partially based on the French language. Then there is the Hispanic, Asian, and the American English-speaking populations and on Sunday mornings you have an interesting mix of voices, conversations, and shout outs as sisters and brothers in Christ come together to celebrate the oneness in the body of Christ. Attendance at a worship service at Fulford today finds persons of all cultures, colors, ages, and genders sharing the love of God.
The congregation of Fulford United Methodist Church today is a vibrant, hopeful, and spirit-filled group of people who have come from many places and who welcome all persons into fellowship as we grow in the grace and love of Jesus Christ.