St. Stephen United Methodist Church started off as just an idea to create a small, family oriented church in Arlington, Texas. The dream became a reality when the church was established in 1959 by a small group of Christians. Later that same year our first service was held on June 7, 1959 at the National Guard Armory down the street from our current location. There were only 32 people attending the first worship service!
A week after our first service we chose the name St. Stephen United Methodist Church. Worshippers met throughout the summer, sitting on borrowed folding chairs on three of the four Sundays of each month. One Sunday a month, the Guard had weekend duty and services had to be held at the Wesleyan House on the University of Texas at Arlington campus.
On September 27, 1959, St. Stephen United Methodist Church officially became a church in the Methodist denomination. The congregation was able to buy the 6,250 square foot property we are still at today from O.S. Gray for $62,500, and the building committee was organized.
Plans for the first building were approved and ground was broken on June 27, 1960. The sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices, kitchen and choir room were completed that November. Church members graciously helped finish the interior to save money and speed up the process. Finally in 1964, air conditioning was installed in the church and a year later the education building was completed.
Today St. Stephen United Methodist Church has expanded to not only include areas for the children’s church, youth ministry, and adult groups, but it also has a playground, indoor basketball court, and huge outdoor family picnic area. Pastor Kyland Dobbins hopes to continue our history and grow the church, congregation, and love for our Savior Jesus Christ.