Centennial Celebration for Seabrook UMC

Date Posted: 4/19/2011

On Easter Sunday, April 16, 1911 Seabrook Methodist Church was officially chartered. The congregation began the work of building God’s Kingdom on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay and they haven’t looked back since.


God has richly blessed Seabrook UMC over the years, and the ministry of many great pastors and lay people has been vital stepping stones that have brought about this great milestone of 100 years in ministry. To mark this significant point in time, Seabrook will host a centennial celebration Sunday, April 17, 2011. Worship services will be held at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. in the sanctuary. A reception and a time of fellowship will follow the Sunday school hour at 10 a.m. and following the 11:15 worship service, a barbeque lunch will be held on the church grounds.

In the Beginning

Seabrook UMC began as a non-denominational church in 1898, with church services and Sunday school being held in the Seabrook Elementary School once a month.


In the year of 1900, the church began using Methodist literature and the Epworth League (presently called UMYF) was organized. Church services were held on alternate Sundays with Reverend Phillips, a Methodist Minister, holding services on one Sunday and Reverend Oscar Smith, a Baptist Minister, the next.


The first church building was a small one-room wood frame building located on Hall Street. It was built in the winter of 1905. There were no pews but sturdy benches. The first service was held on the following Easter Sunday, and Rev. P.E. Nicholson preached the first sermon.


In 1911 the church became officially known as the Seabrook Methodist Church and for the first time it had an assigned Methodist Minister, Reverend A.L. Conners.


The first parsonage was built in 1921 opposite the church building on Hall Street. The church continued to grow and in 1950, 12 members donated $100 each to secure a location on Third Street. Additional money was raised by the congregation hosting church suppers, cake sales, candy orders, and selling church plates.  


In 1956 the church moved from the Hall Street location to Third Street. Under the leadership of Reverend Jim Bauman, a new sanctuary and eight Sunday school classrooms were built. At this time there were approximately 100 members in the church. In 1960, the Fellowship Hall and other Sunday school classrooms were added.


When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was opened, the church grew in membership, including a number of astronauts. Having some of the astronauts speak in the church brought some notoriety. The late Ed White was an active member of the church, working with the youth. Having received a gift of money, he presented it to the church as the beginning of a fund he hoped to see grow into a youth center for the area youth. He did not live to see his dream come true, but others carried it on for him. The Ed White Youth Center was built with the help of comedian Bob Hope and many other hardworking people along with donations from the family of Ed White.


Church Relocation

In 1999, under the direction of Rev. Rick Goodrich, land was purchased for a new church campus at 3300 Lakeside Drive. The decision to relocate was just the first step in a long process of realizing the new church campus. Over the next ten years and under the guidance of five senior pastors, people were convinced of the necessity for the re-location, funds were raised, the road was built that leads to the property and plans were drawn up for the new church campus. However, it was not until September of 2008, when Hurricane Ike struck the Texas Gulf Coast flooding the church campus on Third Street that a significant sense of urgency propelled the church forward in the relocation process.


The first service of worship after the hurricane was held on the new church property with Bishop Janice Riggle Huie in attendance, offering words of encouragement and support from the Annual Conference.


In February of 2009 the groundbreaking service kicked off the construction of phase 1, which was completed in time to celebrate our first Sunday of worship at the new church campus on September 13, 2009, the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike.


The church continues to celebrate with a renewed sense of mission and purpose, serving the people of Seabrook and Galveston Bay. From the vantage point of celebrating 100 years in ministry, Seabrook UMC is able to look back and witness the amazing provision and blessing of God while looking forward with eyes of hope and anticipation to the future that God has placed before it.