Aldersgate United Methodist Church
Thursday, April 17, 2014
share the Life!
The seed for Aldersgate United Methodist Church was planted in 1966, when the New Orleans District Board of Missions reacted to the projected growth in the Slidell area by purchasing land on Robert Road for another United Methodist Church in the future. Their foresight became a reality in 1976, as a task force of persons dedicated to developing a new United Methodist Church met under the direction of Bishop Finis Crutchfield. This group selected the name for the new church, obtained temporary facilities for worship and secured a parsonage.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church was thus born on June 27, 1976, with a handful of people gathering to worship in a room on the top floor of a restaurant. Within a few months, the congregation needed more space and moved to a local dance studio. It was here that Bishop Kenneth Shamblin led in Aldersgate's charter service on October 3, 1976, with 107 persons receiving charter certificates.
In June, 1977, Aldersgate celebrated its first anniversary and proudly moved into its own facility, a multi-purpose building with sanctuary, kitchen, offices and classrooms, at its present address, 360 Robert Boulevard. The Aldersgate community continued to grow at an unprecedented rate. An educational building was added in 1979, but still the demand for more space continued. In 1981, a beautiful sanctuary to seat over 500 was built. In the next several years, additional property and buildings were purchased to meet the continuing growth. We are proud of the new John Wesley Center and the newly completed Susanna Wesley Building. These are the latest of our building programs - with more to come as we continue to grow.
Throughout Louisiana, the name Aldersgate has become synonymous with rapid growth and progressive programs of outreach and Christian education. Within the Slidell community, Aldersgate has provided leadership in meeting the wide variety of human needs. On the same level, Aldersgate has become a model for church growth and strong programming.
From its modest beginning, this little church has grown to become one of the largest United Methodist churches in Louisiana. Aldersgate has enjoyed excellent ministerial leadership and guidance from Chris Andrews, Thomas Dunbar, William Peeples, John Winn and Carol Cotton-Winn, Cliff Wright, Don Cottrill, Dave Fortuna, Nick Evans, John and Marie Williams, and currently Gary Willis and Lane Cotton Winn. The growth of Aldersgate is due in great part to the initial financial and spiritual support from the Conference, District and local levels. Finally, Aldersgate United Methodist Church has become a leading church because of the people - - dedicated, caring, involved people who believe in putting their faith into action.