We Methodists trace our roots all the way back to brothers John and Charles Wesley and the movement God birthed through them in the 1700’s in England. The hallmarks of the movement are all of the various workings of God’s grace – how God draws us to Himself, how He enables us to repent and receive salvation in Jesus, and how He gives us new birth in the Spirit and renews us in His image as we pursue His sanctifying work in our lives. Methodists are warm-hearted, loving people, as we focus on knowing the assurance and love of God that come from the Holy Spirit.
The Methodist Movement first touched Vero in 1903, when preachers who traveled on horseback, known as Circuit Riders, first began sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ here. A Methodist Society was formed shortly afterward, and The First Methodist Church was chartered in 1914, meeting first at the old Vero School. In 1968, the Methodist denomination merged with the Evangelical United Brethren, becoming the United Methodist Church (UMC). Our Church then took on the name, First United Methodist Church of Vero Beach.
We find ourselves in a time when we must, as we are called in Jude vs. 3, “...contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” Yet, this calling is not ours alone. Cultural pressure to “be loving” is causing many believers in all traditions to surrender essential truths, like biblical inspiration and authority, the Lordship of Christ, sin and the necessity of the substitutionary atonement Jesus provides for salvation. We certainly want to be loving, and we believe that the most loving thing we can do is to tell the truth – the truth about who God is, about God’s created and moral order, about what true, abundant and eternal life is and how to have it through the salvation Jesus offers.
While we believe our methods for sharing Jesus change, the Truth of Jesus never does. The world swirls and changes around us. But, in the midst of what is often the chaos of life, Christ and His love remain steadfast. He is the Solid Rock upon which we stand. And His Word, the Bible, is a constant light for our path, revealing the true way of life in Jesus. The Lord calls us in Jeremiah 6:16, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” And this is what we commit to do.
In the midst of this challenging time, I truly believe that we are seeing the stirrings of a work of revival in our land. And in fact, we Methodists are a people born out of revival. It’s in our spiritual DNA. A small group of passionate and faithful believers got on fire for Jesus. On their knees, they pleaded with God for a spiritual awakening, and God set the movement on fire with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel spread throughout England and into our land and eventually to a place known as Vero. May the faithful cry out to God once again.
We pray from Habakkuk 3:2, “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known.”