First United Methodist Church in Gautier began with 16 members in May 1950, and the first meetings were held outdoors on Magnolia Tree Drive.
It wasn't long before members built their first sanctuary, with dirt floors and donated pews, on the site.
The church's current building complex was constructed in 1967 with the educational building being completed in 1977. In 1996, the church opened their new Family Life building.
The Rev. Austin Hoyle became the church's pastor in June, and moved there with his wife, Bess Perrier of Madison. Perrier also is a Methodist minister, and they have three children.
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The church's mission is to worship God, share the Gospel, make disciples for Christ and be in service to all people, and the church has several groups to meet that goal, one of the most popular being "The Pie Ladies," who make pies, cookies, one-dish meals and other items that sell out of the church kitchen to raise money for various church-related projects, including helping the needy.
In addition to cooking, the ladies quilt, knit, sew and work to keep the church's food pantry and clothing closet running smoothly. The food pantry is USDA backed and an ID is required for services as well as proof of residency and serves 300 to 400 people every month. The church accepts donations and has lots of freezer space. Canned and dry goods also are accepted at the church if you schedule an appointment through the office.
The men of the church raise funds by selling pecans.
For info on food or pantry items contact the church office between 8 a.m. and noon, Monday through Thursday.
The church will hold a Thanksgiving Pot Luck at 11 a.m. following the morning service Nov. 15, and they have fun and fellowship at Game Night on Fridays at 6, p.m.
The church offers a ministry for youth and children as well as nursery services and children's church time.