In the early days of Cadyville, Washington a Methodist circuit rider frequented the village. By 1883 the town had changed its name to Snohomish and a number of people had become a Christian Community called Snohomish Methodist Episcopal Church. They built the first church in Snohomish on what is now Avenue C. Later, in order to put an addition on to the building, they dug a basement at the corner of 3rd and B, moved the building two blocks, and placed it on top of the basement. In the bell tower they hung the first church bell in Snohomish County and called themselves The First Methodist Church. The building there served its congregation for over 100 years. It is still intact, called the Bell Chapel, and now it is a private business as a site for small weddings of about one hundred people.
Throughout its history the “downtown” First Methodist Church was a vital force in the growing community of Snohomish, Washington. Church members were major contributors to the local food bank, and were diligent in their outreach to the local Pioneer Boys and Girls, Native [Snohomish Tribal] members, loggers and mill workers. The youth group, Epworth League, was hugely dominant in the community.
Three churches shared the block on Avenue B. Along with the First Methodist Church, there were the Catholic Church and the Baptist Church. The three were quite ecumenical, sharing holiday services and pageants, each attending the others’ fund raisers and concerts. The priest and the pastors had a strong support system. When the Methodists built an Education Building, the Catholic kids went there for Sunday School and those two churches shared a babysitter for their 11:00 Services. In the early 1980s, the three churches started growing and looking for new locations. The Catholic Church moved first. The Baptists purchased property north of town and convinced the Methodists to buy the property next to theirs.
By 1980 it became apparent that that the cozy, little, white church on Avenue B was too small for sustainability.
Stairways were too narrow and there were too many of them for elderly members. Under the leadership of Pastors Norm Williams, Don Kaelin and Tom Carlson, along with much planning and many fund raising efforts; The United Methodist Church of Snohomish took a leap of faith and in 1993 moved to a new building!
Our present church building has ample parking, a beautiful sanctuary and an awesome view of the Cascades. Yes, its bell tower houses the oldest church bell in Snohomish County. With its single floor layout, this building allows for easy accessibility. There is plenty of land to grow. We currently have a big garden we use to support the local food bank. Like early Snohomish Methodists, present members are still active in local missions like the Community Kitchen, Delta Rehabilitations Center and sponsoring a Campfire Club. From the beginning the building was planned to serve the Snohomish Community. Many organizations use our fellowship hall, sanctuary, and smaller rooms. The church is especially proud to host the Kairos Prison Ministry Weekend each year.
Today when members of Snohomish United Methodist Church and visitors wander into the church library, they see a trophy won by the Snohomish Epworth League in 1924. Old scrapbooks are also in the library and show newspaper clippings and pictures of activities Epworth League from 1924 -1939. In those years, this was one impressive group of High School students! They were committed “to encourage and cultivate Christ-centered character in young adults around the world through community building, missions, and spiritual growth.” SUMC strives to promote this commitment with today’s children in Sunday School and kids in Youth Group. Our current Pastor, Annie Hayes, is an advisor of United Methodist Youth for Convo, and one of our youth members, Ellen A., has had a large part in planning this year’s Convo. Youth from throughout Washington will attend the Convo gathering in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound on Memorial Day Weekend with Ellen in a prominent leadership role. Snohomish United Methodist Church takes pride in the effort and dedication Pastor Annie and Ellen have in serving the youth of the Puget Sound District of the United Methodist Church.