About Us

Services & times

Our mission

Moody Methodist Church is a congregation that seeks to walk alongside our neighbors in the love of Christ.

Our core beliefs

We are Galveston Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church.
Methodists are, as our name indicates, a very practical people–we are passionate about taking what we believe and putting it into action. The core belief that pervades everything we do, is that GOD LOVES EVERYONE. God’s love, as expressed in Jesus Christ, is the universal belief we all share.

Four Cornerstones of faith

The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, published and preached a great number of sermons on God's love. In his works, we can see four basic components that he found essential for the Christian life. Wesley referred to them as "sources" for coming to conclusions about God and faith. These four foundational sources are: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. The four sources are known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Methodist historians and theologians refer to these sources as the foundation for understanding the way United Methodists think about God, our lives, and our relationships with God and one another. Scripture is the primary cornerstone--THE source. It is God's Word and reveals God's intent for our lives, directing us in the everyday practice of our faith. Tradition is an unbroken chain between the first apostles and Christians today, and all along that chain, the followers of Jesus have been figuring things out (for over 2,000 years) in a kind of spiritual continuity. Reason, the mental capacity God gave humans, is essential to the understanding of faith. According to Wesley, it is not Reason alone that is a source; it is Reason which is informed by the Holy Spirit. Experience is that which happens to us in our lives. As a source of understanding faith, it is the strongest proof that the Christian life is possible; it is revealed in the personal testimony of someone who has experienced God directly. A church (like the original church at Pentecost) is built up by people sharing their experience of God's love and Spirit.

three rules for living a faithful life

United Methodists attempt to practice their faith by following three simple rules. John Wesley adapted and developed these "General Rules" for faithful living. Here is a simplified version of the three rules.

1. Do no harm (to yourself, to others, to God or God’s creation).

2. Do all the good you can. (By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.)

3. Attend upon all the ordinances of God. (Ordinances are spiritual practices which include: worship, Scripture study and interpretation, Holy Communion, prayer, and fasting or abstinence.)

two sacraments (sacred, holy actions that jesus invites us to)

A sacrament is a ritual action that Christians practice because Jesus practiced it and because we believe He is present in the action itself. United Methodists observe only two sacraments: baptism and Communion. We believe both are essential for faith. One is the way the individual becomes a Christian (baptism); the other is the way the individual maintains their walk with God and fellow Christians (Communion).

Holy Baptism is a covenant (a formal relationship). It is "God's Word to us, proclaiming our adoption by grace, and our word to God, promising our response of faith and love. Those within the covenant constitute the community we call the Church" (The United Methodist Book of Worship). When a person is baptized, whether they are an adult or a child, God claims them as part of His family of faith. When the water touches the person receiving baptism, the Holy Spirit is real and present in that action and the person receives God's blessing: "You are My beloved."

Holy Communion is a renewal of our relationship with God and with others as "Jesus Christ, who 'is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being' (Hebrews 1:3), is truly present in Holy Communion. Through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, God meets us at the table. God, who has given the sacraments to the church, acts in and through Holy Communion. Christ is present through the community gathered in Jesus' name (Matthew 18:20), through the Word proclaimed and enacted, and through the elements of bread and wine shared (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The divine presence is a living reality and can be experienced by participants; it is not a remembrance of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion only" (Gayle Carlton Felton, This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion). United Methodists practice an open table, which means anyone who wants to experience God's love can come to the table and receive.

our Faith, one spirit, one lord, one body, one god

United Methodists believe in the Unity of the Church Universal. We acknowledge and affirm how God works through other Christian denominations. (We accept the baptism of all other Christian churches and denominations and therefore do not rebaptize.) We believe in the invitation the letter to the Ephesians offers, begging us "to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift" (Ephesians 4:1-7).

Our History

How we came to be Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church.

Ryland Chapel: circa 1840

In 1841, Ryland Chapel was erected at 22nd and Church Street on lots donated by the Galveston City Company. This was the first Methodist and the first protestant church building on Galveston Island, and was built with a gift of $1,800 from William Ryland, Chaplain of the United States Senate.  In 1854, the Methodist governing body moved the Texas Christian Advocate, the denomination’s statewide newspaper, to Galveston, making the island city headquarters of Methodism in Texas.

St. John's & St. James: Circa 1870s - 1900

St. John’s Church, the successor to Ryland Chapel, was organized in 1869 and was located at 25th & Broadway. St. James Church came into being in 1872 and was located at 14th and Postoffice Street. After both St. John’s and St. James were destroyed in the 1900 Storm, the two congregations merged to form Central Methodist Church, South. The Methodists met in the Church of Christ at 20th and Avenue K until a temporary wooden building was erected at 1912 Sealy.

St. James
First Methodist Church: Circa 1901

In 1901, a new Mission-style church designed by architect George B. Stowe was built at 19th & Sealy. The new building incorporated the cornerstones of St. John’s and St. James churches, as well as the bell from St.James. In 1906, the trustees voted to change the church’s name to First Methodist Church.  (Today’s Central Methodist Church, at 33rd Street and Avenue O1/2, was founded as West End Methodist Church, South, in 1886; church trustees voted to adopt its present name in 1939.)

Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church: Circa 1963 - now

As a result of the provision in the will of a faithful member of the church, Mrs. Libby Shearn Moody, the name was changed to Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church at the Annual Conference session of 1963.  A portion of the former Fort Crockett property was selected as the site of the new church building and groundbreaking ceremonies were held January 22, 1962. The completed building was presented to the congregation free of all indebtedness at the service of dedication on Sunday, February 16, 1964.

The building was designed in the International style, derived chiefly from European precedents. The International style was chosen to make use of the finer qualities of traditional architecture to provide an edifice blending with the surroundings of Galveston Island.  The church was designed by Dallas architect Mark Lemmon (1889-1975). He was born in Gainesville,Texas, in 1889, the son of William Leonard and Cosette (Libscomb) Lemmon.             Materials for the building are in keeping with the International style and the character of Galveston.  Marble and gold tile comes from Italy; black and purple altar marble from Italy; Kostota stone from Minnesota, mosaic trim of quartz and agate crystals.  Sanctuary windows were designed by the famous French artist, Gabriel Loire, and fabricated in the Loire Studios in Chartres,France. Over 400 shades of color are used to depict themes of classic religious symbols.

The Schantz Organ, a 117 rank pipe organ, contains 6,493 pipes each an individual,handmade, windblown instrument designed, crafted and voiced especially for this building. The pipes are made from a range of materials, including tin, lead, zinc and many varieties of wood. The pipes range in size from nearly 30 feet tall to the smallest about the size of a pencil.

Our services

Informal Worship

sundays 8:30 am
What is informal worship

Informal Worship draws on the experience of the American church as it spread during the 1800s. Sometimes called "camp meeting" style, there is little ritual and no high church liturgy. Every Sunday at 8:30 am in the Sanctuary, we gather for worship that is natural and laid back. We lift our voices in praise as we sing the old-time favorite hymns of the church. There is a time for the congregation to select hymns during an old-fashioned hymn-sing. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday in an informal style. We all join hands at the end of the service as we go out to serve God and our community.

Traditional Worship

sundays 11:00 am
What is Traditional worship

Traditional Worship draws on rituals and traditions that date back to the very beginning of the Christian Church 2,000 years ago. Every Sunday at 11:00 am we gather in the Sanctuary for worship that is steeped in the liturgy and rites of the ancient church. We lift our voices in praise as we sing the traditional hymns of the church. Music is offered in a classical sacred style by the Chancel Choir, handbell groups, vocal and instrumental ensembles, and the Children's Choir and is accompanied by piano and organ. Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month.

The Bridge (Modern) Worship

sundays 11:00 am
What is The Bridge?

The Bridge Modern Worship gathers every Sunday morning at 11:00 am for worship. Our worship space is inside of Moody Methodist Church, in the Christian Life Center (look for the Gym). Our service is an hour long and includes a blend of modern music, a thoughtful sermon, and Holy Communion each week.

Spanish Worship

sundays 11:00 am
What is Spanish worship

The Hispanic Ministry of Moody Methodist Church, with the purpose to proclaim the God of our life for the Hispanic community of Galveston, meets every Sunday at 11:00 am to share the Word of God in Spanish with celebration of the sacraments, biblical readings, songs of praise, intercessory prayer, and thanksgiving.