In 1858, a group of Southern Methodists, meeting in each other’s homes, began the Methodist Church of Olathe. In 1869 church members raised money to purchase property at the corner of Cherry and Loula streets where the Methodist Episcopal Church of Olathe was built. This white frame building was remodeled twice, in 1892 and 1907.
With continued growth, a new red brick structure was built on the same site and edicated on June 3, 1917. This building served the congregation and community well for many years. Harsh weather conditions over time damaged the walls and foundations and sections of the building were eventually condemned.
In 1958, the red brick church was sold and the church on Harrison Street was constructed. The building, housing the reconditioned organ from the old church, was dedicated on December 7, 1958.
On June 1, 1994, First United Methodist Church, which began in 1858, merged with Hope United Methodist Church, which began in 1988. The new church community became Grace United Methodist Church.
Today, about 2,200 people call Grace home. We moved into our current site at 11485 Ridgeview Road, Olathe, in the fall of 1999. We hope to more effectively share the Word of God in the community from our new location. We celebrate worship every Saturday and Sunday, and offer Sunday School classes for all ages on Sunday mornings at the Ridgeview building. In addition, this building hosts many activities throughout the week.
Although we had intended to sell the building at 520 S. Harrison in Olathe, God had other plans. Through God’s grace, we have been able to keep that building, now known as Center of Grace. Here, we have continued and expanded our ministries to the community and the world, through our outreach programs: Hispanic ministry, English as a Second Language classes, The Clothing Closet and our food pantry. Community groups often use our meeting space. The sanctuary is used for Hispanic Bible study, prayer groups and worship services.
We are trying to blend our past with our present by bringing several pieces from the Harrison building to our Ridgeview home. The large metal and glass cross from the sanctuary on Harrison hangs in the main foyer.
In our chapel, room 204, you will see reframed stained glass windows from our former chapel. A long-time member had saved a piece of glass from the white frame church; this piece was used as a pattern to create the windows. Three other stained glass windows hang in our three-story foyer. A fourth window, symbolic of the pioneer days, was recently added to the Ridgeview site.
Worship is the way we grow close enough to God to listen. Our goal is to provide you an opportunity to experience Jesus, to be inspired through scripture, the spoken word and music, and to grow closer to God, to other people, to our community and to our world.
In the United Methodist Church, worship services are planned around six traditional “seasons.” We begin with Advent, followed by Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Worship services at Grace blend traditional and contemporary styles. Our United Methodist tradition is part of our worship at Grace, but we remain open to change and are always trying new ways to enhance our services.