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. In 2018 Kerr Street UMC merged with Forest Hill. From this merger we acquired an activity center which is where some of our ministries have extended to.
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; weekly preparations of bags of food for children in schools; weekly community meal, farmer’s market, and other mission engagement.