We welcome you to Forest Hill United Methodist Church! Please, let us know if you have any questions and how we can help you get connected to the ministries and missions here. Our deepest desire is for you to experience the love and grace of God through Forest Hill UMC.
As a community following Christ, we know and live God’s LOVE, strive to GROW in faith and discipleship, and are compelled to SERVE others near and far.
We are a community of believers striving to live out God’s call to be disciples of Jesus Christ. People of all ages and backgrounds, LOVE God through passionate worship, GROW together in community group study, and SERVE others in tangible ways.
Forest Hill United Methodist Church is a part of the worldwide United Methodist denomination. John and Charles Wesley, brothers who were Anglican priests, began our denomination as a revival movement within the Church of England in the 18th century. They, along with their friends, set out to revive the church by encouraging Christian discipleship through the spiritual disciplines of prayer; worship, study of scripture, serving the poor, the Sacraments, and mutual accountability and encouragement among fellow Christians.
For Methodists then and now, head and heart go together. Lifelong learning about God, the world, and ourselves is an important part of what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus. Likewise, we believe that transformed hearts and minds lead naturally to a concern for the lives of our neighbors, thus our strong emphasis on missions and social justice ministries. Methodists also place a significant emphasis on the grace and love of God. We believe, with most Christians, that we have fallen short of being the people God has created and called us to be. We believe that our sin has separated us from God, from one another, from a proper relationship with creation, and our true selves. We cannot, on our own, overcome our condition, save and heal ourselves. Because God loves, God longs to be in relationship with us and graciously and lovingly reaches out to us to save us from this sin. God reached out in the most amazing way by sending God’s only Son — Jesus Christ — to be an example for how we should live in the world and to give his life for the salvation of the world.
Forest Hill Methodist Church began as a Sunday School in 1882, founded by mill owner Captain James Milton Odell and his son W.R. Odell. The members built a small chapel on mill property. At the Methodist Conference in 1888, the church became recognized as a Pastoral Charge, and the first pastor was Rev. R.M. Hoyle. The Buffalo Avenue sanctuary and fellowship room were built within 12 months, and in 1890, a parsonage on Buffalo was added. In 1923, the sanctuary was improved and a Sunday School wing was added. The Buffalo Avenue parsonage was used for Sunday School classes when in 1938, the home of late W.R. Odell, located on the corner of Union and Buffalo was acquired. In 1962, the Education wing and Church offices were built, and in 1963, the sanctuary was renovated again. In 1986, a new sanctuary was built on Union Street connected to the older buildings. In 2005, the St. James Catholic Church property was purchased, adding an Administration Building, a Ministry Center, a Multipurpose Center, and a parsonage to the campus of FHUMC. The Catholic Church parsonage is now home to the Mother and Children’s House, and the small house next to it is used as the Boy Scout Hut.
From its humble beginnings as a wooden chapel in the Forest Hill area of Concord, to the now 8 building campus at the end of Union St. N, Forest Hill is steeped in a tradition of Methodism: knowing and living God’s love, striving to grow in faith and discipleship, and serving others near and far. Forest Hill has long been recognized as a church that reaches out and serves its community, and the many missions that occur on our property are witness to that outreach. In addition to the services mentioned above, Forest Hill also has a weekly clothing closet; a monthly free Latino Clinic; weekly preparations of bags of food for children in schools; weekly community meal, farmer’s market, exercise class and other mission engagement.