First United Methodist Church
Located across from Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, we are committed to:
Making disciples of Jesus Christ through worship, study, and service.
Serving our community by addressing racism, hunger, housing, and immigration issues.
God loves all people.
So do we.
Anti-Racist Call to Action presented to Church Council from the Reconciling Ministry Team:
As part of Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church’s vow to resist oppression in all its forms, we, the Church Council, commit ourselves to the decisive action that is needed to resist and dismantle racism at every level. This action must go beyond our historically empty rhetoric about repentance and broken promises to be a church that is a credible and active witness for peace, equity and justice in the face of harm visited upon communities of color. We beckon our clergy and lay leadership to unapologetically shine the light of truth on our church community so that we recognize our complicity in systemic racism, recognize and condemn white supremacy as sin, and seek a deep knowing of what God calls us to do. We make these vows so that every person—especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)—may live in safety, health, and freedom.
Thanks to the most recent new member class for the use of their photos.
In late 2019 I was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, resulting in radiation and chemotherapy treatments and finally a T-cell transplant. From the very beginning I was blessed with an outpouring of support and prayers from the First Church family. It was those prayers and cards, along with the support of my family, that helped me get through this medical challenge.
Who We Are
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“I appreciate how people at First Church have gone out of their way to make me feel wanted and included.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the church located?
We’re located in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the corner of S. Park and Academy Streets. The original entrance doors face Bronson Park.
Where do I park?
You enter our parking lot from Academy Street. There is also parking along Academy Street, and it’s free on Sundays. In addition, there is Sunday morning parking in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts lot that is adjacent to our parking lot. You enter the KIA lot from South Street.
Most people enter the church building from the parking lot.
Is there a Sunday School for children and youth?
While we do not currently offer Sunday School after worship due to the pandemic, Godly Play is offered each Sunday for children 4 and over during worship and after the children’s blessing. Our Children and Families Ministries team also hosts family events. View our Children and Youth page for more information.
Is there a Sunday School for adults?
There is an adult class offered most Sunday mornings at 11:00am after worship. This is a hybrid offering, so you can take part in person in the Parlor on the first floor of our church or join online via Zoom. Adult Sunday morning classes are called Academy classes. Recent topics include the role of spirituals in the Christian life, race and poetry, providing a deeper hospitality to newcomers, and understanding the American political system.
How should I dress for church?
There is a wide variety of clothing worn by those who attend worship and other events at the church. Some come in jeans and T‑shirts, while others dress up. We’re happy to have you join us no matter your style of clothing!
Can I bring children and babies with me to worship?
Children of all ages are welcome to attend worship with their families. A small bag of activity sheets keyed to the morning Scripture is provided for children.
There is also a glass-front Family Room located in the lower balcony. Designed to help parents of infants through 3-year-olds, this room has a rocking chair, a changing table, and some toys with play space on the floor. Parents can hear and see the service from the Family Room. Children age 4 and older and invited to join us for Godly Play in the Family Room after the children’s blessing.
Is this church accessible to people with disabilities?
First Church is nearly 100% wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs and walkers are available for those with ambulatory impairments on request. The parking lot entrance is barrier free, and the sanctuary can be accessed via a ramp across from the chapel. Once inside, there are spaces for wheelchair worshippers and fellow attendees about one-third of the way back from that door. All floors can be reached via elevator.
What about worshipping with a hearing impairment?
Feel free to stop by the Welcome Center for a hearing assistance device to use during worship.
What about worshipping with a visual impairment?
We have large print Bibles, hymnals, and worship bulletins. Just ask the greeter at the sanctuary entrance. Wall signs are high contrast with brail text. Steps are marked with safety tape.
Are there large print materials?
Yes, we have large print Bibles and hymnals. Just ask the greeter at the sanctuary entrance. Also, each week several large print worship bulletins are made available.
Can I get transportation to worship services?
The church has an accessible van that is used to bring people to the church building for worship services and then return them home afterwards. Phone the church office at (269) 381-3941 to ask for a ride.
Are there tours of the church?
Yes! Just stop by the Welcome Center, and we’ll be happy to guide you on a tour of the building.
Is there a safe sanctuary policy?
Yes, we have a safe sanctuary policy to create a holy space so that children and adults can be assured of a safe environment for worship and education.
Does this church do weddings?
Yes, this church welcomes weddings between adults of all gender identities, presentations and sexual orientations. For more information click here.