From 1885 through 1903 Methodist Episcopal services were considered an “afternoon appointment” missionary charge and the first sermon was preached by Pastor Frank McCluney of the First Methodist Episcopal Church on the mainland of Daytona. Sermons took place in a little Oceanside pavilion in Memento (later Goodall) now North Ocean Avenue, thus the first reference: Memento Methodist Episcopal Church.
Shortly thereafter, a Sunday School was organized in the home of Mrs. A.S. Harroun who later became a charter member of this church. The Sunday School was organized on February 22, 1886, with Grant Stewart, the pastor’s son, as Superintendent. The enrollment of the school was 38 and average attendance was 33.
On December 30, 1886, trustees were appointed: J.W. Smith, a real estate broker; F.C. Grase and T.E. Loudon, for the purpose of finding a lot for a building site. Mr. J.W. Smith donated the lot located on the corner of Main Street (then Seabreeze Avenue) and Peninsula Drive for this purpose, as well as land designated as a cemetery for the burial of ministers and their wives serving this congregation.
In 1899 lumber was contributed by Mr. Gamble, Pastor R.O. Payne and several laymen of First M.E. Church to build the Memento Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1903 the congregation was renamed as Sea Breeze Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. The Sunday School enrollment was now up to 100 and the St. John’s Conference was held here January 26-30th of 1905. By 1913 membership was 58 and Sunday School was 261.
Around 1915 the congregation once again changed its name to become First Methodist Episcopal Church of Daytona Beach. By 1918 membership was 191 and Sunday School was 395.
By 1920 the original building was totally inadequate Dr. D.H. Rutter was appointed by the Annual Conference for the purpose of procuring an adequate facility. Under his direction, the site at Harvey and Grandview Avenues was chosen and the 106’by103’ three-story building was completed in 1926 with one-third of the $250,000 cost being donated by Mr. Gamble (of Proctor and Gamble). There was some confusion as both the mainland and peninsula churches had the same name so on July 7, 1926, the Quarterly Conference officially recognized the change of name of the church to: Community Methodist Episcopal Church of Daytona Beach.
In 1939 the Florida Conference of the Methodist Church was formed and the church was renamed Community Methodist Church. The church hosted the Florida Annual Conference on June 18-22, 1941, and Sunday School enrollment was now 692. Many financial burdens were to be overcome during the years of our Great Depression before the much celebrated mortgage burning in 1946. In 1952 the parsonage was just three years old and the mortgage was paid in full. The Jubilee Celebration of Community Methodist was held February 15-22, 1952. Membership at this time was over 950.
In 1968 the name was changed once again following the unification of the Methodist church to: Community United Methodist Church.
During the 131 year history (1885-2016) of Community United Methodist Church there have been at least 30 pastors and two buildings. The 36’ by 50’wood frame church was built in 1899 for $2,100. There were three recorded renovations to the original building: 1909 costing $2,100; reseated and enlarged in 1912 for $4,895; and again in 1915 for $6,450. The present church is in every sense a loving “community”, generously making its excellent facilities available to many and varied causes: a community which practices the ministry that Jesus calls Christians to do. It has had great impact on those in need of the “abundant” life. We are in the salvation business! Check us out!!!