Aldersgate United Methodist Church is a community built on the foundation of Christ’s Love. We hope to show and share His love by accepting one another unconditionally, by reaching out to all those in need, and by offering Christ to the unchurched.
At Aldersgate, members are encouraged to live the faith daily and to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ. We are strengthened through the study of God’s Word which transforms our daily lives more into the likeness of Christ. This vision is under girded through a vibrant prayer life at all levels of Ministry. Aldersgate has a 50 year historyas a place for caring and growing.
In June, 1959, The Annual Conference appointed Dr. Denver C. Pickens to the rapidly growing Cross Bayou area. His task was to contact families living in the area and discuss the possibility of organizing a new church — to be known as the Cross Bayou Church.
After a summer of hard work under the direction of St. Petersburg District Superintendent Hoyt Tatum, initial services were conducted at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Cook on September 27, 1959. The property was soon purchased and cleared. Beginning in November, worship services were held in a tent which had to be dropped every Saturday for repairs in preparation for Sunday’s worship service.
September 11, 1960 was a great day in the life of the church with the opening of the first building, which now serves as our Fellowship Hall. A room was added to the northern end of the church to serve as a nursery.
In 1964 a new parsonage was purchased and furnished. In December of 1965 the name of the church was changed from Cross Bayou to Aldersgate Methodist Church. On July 17, 1966, the entire congregation helped to plow the first furrow for the construction of a new educational wing.
In 1967 a preschool program was initiated in the new wing to meet an urgent need in the community. In 1976 plans were made for the expansion of the preschool program by the construction of a new facility. The new building was consecrated on May 8, 1977.
In January 1975 Aldersgate’s Food Pantry was put into operation. This emergency food supply service has now grown into an ecumenical ministry under the Seminole Cluster of Churches.
Since 1977 several improvements had been accomplished which included: paving of the parking lot, landscaping the front entrance, painting of Christian symbols on sanctuary windows, installation of carpeting and pews in the sanctuary and refurbishing the chapel.
In 1984, Aldersgate celebrated its 25th Anniversary and completed the construction of our new sanctuary. Needing additional classroom space, we added four new rooms to the north side of our fellowship hall in 1987 .
As our church family continued to grow, we again found ourselves needing additional classrooms. After months of prayer and study, we committed to build a new administrative wing south west of the sanctuary. This would in turn free up additional rooms for classrooms which were completely renovated. At the same time, we added four additional rooms on the south side of the fellowship hall. In 1999, the new administrative building with its conference room and parlor was completed along with the major renovation of the educational wing and the expansion of the Fellowship Hall.
The 980 members of Aldersgate rejoice in its rich past and face the future with the hope of a fruitful ministry for Jesus Christ.