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Arlington United Methodist Church. Jacksonville, Florida
Monday, June 01, 2020
Reaching Out In Love to Draw Our Community to Jesus Christ in Jacksonville, Florida

About Us

Click on a phrase to find out more about us.










The Vision of Arlington
United Methodist Church
to reach out in love to our community;

to help members of our community with their real needs;

to demonstrate God's love and our acceptance;

and to draw them to God and our church.




The Mission of Arlington United Methodist Church

to love and serve God, and
to lead the community to Christ

through our commitment of
and resources.





We understand ourselves to be Disciples-in-the-making...Making Disciples.

As the Disciples of Jesus in the Arlington Community, We Offer open hands that:

  • Welcome people as they are;

  • Tell others the stories of Jesus to save souls;

  • Teach how to be a Christian in a secular world;

  • Help our church become a vital point in the community;

  • Make room for others;

  • Beckon others to come and worship with us;

  • Become change agents for our community;

  • Fold in prayer for each other, for the church, and for the community.




In order to fulfil our mission to be Disciples-in-the-Making...Making Disciples, we will:

A ccept, forgive, and care for one another...unconditionally...completely...period!  (Colossians 3:12-15)
R each out to those around us to share the Good News of God's love and mercy...and to proclaim the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ to all. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
L et love be the "official language" of our life together in community. (1 Corinthians 13)
I nvest our lives in serving Christ through on-going home and order to touch lives and transform the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)
ever forget the power of prayer...and will pray daily for our church, pastors, staff, and community.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
G ather weekly for glorify and honor God...and to joyfully praise God for the many blessings we receive. (Hebrews 10:25)
T each sound Biblical truths...and devote ourselves to the study of the Scriptures...that we might grow in wisdom and godliness in our lives. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
O ffer our lives completely to obediently go where he calls...and to willingly do what he bids us to do. (Matthew 16:24-26)
N urture the spiritual gifts of each believer...and encourage each person to share those gifts with others in some form of ministry through the church. (1 Corinthians 12)



What is a United Methodist?  

In the words of John Wesley (1703 - 1791)  "A Methodist is ... one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength."  John Wesley was an ordained Anglican priest.  At a prayer meeting in London on May 24, 1738, he gained the new inspiration which let him to become the first teacher of "Methodism".  Today, John Wesley's life and teaching still carry a special meaning to United Methodists:  GOAL of improving ourselves as Christians, EXAMPLE of sharing God through missions, CONCERN with social problems, EMPHASIS on ecumenism, BELIEF in the grace and forgiveness of God's love.

What do United Methodists believe?  That's not an easy question, since United Methodists don't agree on all aspects of doctrine.  the distinguishing marks of a Methodist are probably best illustrated by a commitment to the basics of Christianity and by a Christian life-style -- rather than by assenting to a particular scheme of beliefs.  In general, Methodists agree on major aspects of theology.  Sources for their faith include -- the Bible, John Wesley's writings, Methodist theologians' writings, church literature, the United Methodist "Book of Discipline".

United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians.  A conviction that God has mercy and love for all people.  A belief in a triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Faith in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Celebration of the sacraments.  United Methodists also have a distinctive emphasis on four main sources for Christian theology:  scripture, tradition, experience and reason.

Like most other Protestants, Methodists recognize only those sacraments in which Christ Himself participated -- Baptism and the Lord's Supper.  Baptism is practiced as a symbol of God's forgiveness and the cleansing of our sins -- a sign of regeneration or new birth.  The vows that are made by the child's parents at baptism are later assumed by the child when old enough to appreciate them (at confirmation).  Methodists baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring.  United Methodists believe that the bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of Christ, which are taken in a spiritual manner -- the sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death.  Methodists also celebrate other religious ceremonies like liturgical services, preaching, prayer, confirmation, marriage, funerals, family devotions.

Distinguishing Methodism from other denominations is the structure of the United Methodist Church.  The government of the United Methodist church is a complex arrangement of councils and conferences frequently called the "Connectional System".  Both clergy and laity are elected to serve on the governing bodies of the church.  It's similar to American democratic government with an executive, legislative and judicial branch.  Methodist Bishops are elected for life from the ranks of the ministry.  They function as both spiritual and administrative leader for their area, and participate in governing the whole church organization.  This forms the Episcopacy or "Executive Branch".  Conferences are made up of both clergy and laity.  The General Conference is the primary law-making body.  There are five Jurisdictional Conferences which elect bishops and direct church programs.  The Annual Conference is technically the basic unit of the church.  The District Conference is organized in the Annual Conference.  The Charge Conference is the governing body of a local pastoral unit.  This forms the Conferences or "Legislative Branch".  The nine-member lay and clerical Judicial Council is the court of ultimate appeal in the church.  The authority and basis of all decisions is The Book of Discipline.  This forms the "Judicial Branch".  Boards and Agencies are set up by the General Conference and are coordinated by a General Council on Ministries.  The local church is a visible extension of Christ in the world today.  Ordained and lay ministers lead the local congregation, although the ministry is considered a calling of every United Methodist.



Our History

The doors to the church that was the forerunner of Arlington United Methodist Church were opened on March 24, 1889. Our founder, Martha J. Inskip, was the widow of Rev. John Inskip, a Methodist minister, of Ocean Grove, NJ. She visited the Eggleston Heights area of Arlington (eastside of the St. Johns River from Jacksonville) during the winters of the late 1880's and recognized the need for a church. With funds raised from friends in the north and the donation of property by a local resident, Mr. O. H. P. Champlain, Mrs. Inskip returned in early 1889 ready to build. The total cost of the building was $640 and was completely paid at completion. As many of the residents had moved to the area from Ocean Grove and had known Rev. Inskip, they requested the little church in the woods be named the Inskip Memorial Church. In her diary, Mrs. Inskip wrote, "May it be the birthplace of a multitude of souls."

The first year or so the little church was able to maintain a steady membership and attendance in this sparsely populated area. However, several misfortunes occurred that brought troubled times. The winters of 1895 and 1899 were brutal, with freezing temperatures killing the citrus and vegetable crops from which the residents made their living. Many moved further south. The future of the little church did not look promising the first decade of the twentieth century.

Revitalization began in 1912 when the Inskip group met with residents of a new neighborhood, Floral Bluff and organized the Floral Bluff Methodist Episcopal Sabbath School on July 28th. The Ladies Aid Society was formed on November 24, 1912.

On June 14, 1914, an "altar service' was held by the pastor and 14 persons were received into membership. The congregation decided to make a slight change in the name of the little church to Floral Bluff M. E. Church. However, in August dissention among the Floral Bluff and Inskip members developed when some wanted to move the organ, hymnals, and other properties into a private home in Floral Bluff and hold the services there. A vote by the total membership was against that proposal.

On November 11, 1914, a special meeting was called when it was discovered that the organ, hymnals, and other properties had been unlawfully taken from the church and were unable to be found. A piano was purchased and hymnals were borrowed from Snyder Memorial Church in downtown Jacksonville. Services continued at the Inskip Church.

The Arlington area began growing, but the little church in the woods was declining primarily due to location. Residents purchased property about five blocks from the original site and on a main thoroughfare. They moved the church, made repairs, and built an addition to the rear of the building for classrooms. This was at a cost of $1,092.47. On June 25, 1920, it was rededicated and renamed the Arlington Methodist Episcopal Church. As the community grew, so did the church. Boy Scout Troop 38 was formed in 1922 and, except for a brief period, has been affiliated with this church ever since. Until the middle 1940's, our Methodist church, commonly called the Arlington Community Church, was the only church in the greater community of Arlington.

During the years 1930-31, 35 new members were received, and World Service giving increased by 50% over previous years. The first Vacation Bible School was held with an enrollment of over 100 in 1932. It became apparent that a new facility would soon be needed. With a loan from the Livingston Foundation and the donation by A. C. Macy of the lot adjoining the church, building began on April 10, 1933. When the brick church was completed a few months later, it contained a sanctuary and classrooms. The Inskip building became the Parish Hall.

The church remained a center of the community religious life. Membership and attendance grew with the area. In 1939, we became Arlington Methodist Church due to the merger of the Methodist Episcopal Churches North and South.

During the 1940's, many of our young men were called into the military service. The kitchen of the Parish Hall stayed busy with the ladies of the community using it as a "canning kitchen". Victory Garden vegetables and fruit were preserved and goodies prepared for our service men.

A bridge linking Arlington with Jacksonville opened in April 1953. Growth in the area exploded. It wasn't long before an educational building was needed and Asbury Hall was completed in October 1953. The Methodist Men were chartered in 1954. 1956 saw the construction of a new parsonage. Additional education facilities were built in 1958. An addition was added to the sanctuary and a second worship service was added during the 1950's as well as double session Sunday School.

A new sanctuary seating 700 was completed in March 1960. The original Inskip building was sold to the Masonic Lodge. It was demolished in 1974. A second parsonage was purchased that same year when our first Associate Pastor was assigned. Growth continued. In 1965, Wesley Hall was built as a fellowship hall containing 20 classrooms, a kitchen, a stage, and a library. The interior of the brick church was renovated and the old sanctuary became Williams Chapel. In 1968, the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church gave us a new name, Arlington United Methodist Church.

During the late sixties and through the seventies, we saw a decline in membership and attendance. The population was becoming more mobile. Families were moving in and out of the area at a rapid pace. Also, we were no longer a community type church. We had become an urban church. Almost every denomination was now represented in the area and another Methodist Church was built about six miles away. However, we remained strong in our commitment to the purpose and mission of the church. The youth of our church had a dream to serve the underprivileged youth of the community. In July of 1971, our youth held the first Doo Dah Day Camp with 63 campers and 14 counselors. This ministry continued for nine summers.

In the early 1980's, we looked toward the future. Our staff had outgrown their space. The nursery and early childhood areas were out of date and remodeling was out of the question due to asbestos exposure in the buildings. It was also noted by many that the need for quality day care for children with working mothers was not being met. After much study, the planning committee recommended demolishing the Asbury Building and replacing it with a building that would house the Administrative Staff and an early childhood center. Major renovation to the sanctuary was also included. The new Asbury Center was consecrated December 11, 1988 and the sanctuary renovations on January 29, 1989. Thus we entered our 100th year not only celebrating our past but also preparing for our future. We had gone from a $650.00 building to a plant worth over $3,500,000.

Early 1991, the Trustees recommended we sell the two parsonages. We no longer had an Associate Pastor and the Senior Pastor's parsonage did not meet all of the criteria set by the Florida Conference. With the sale of these two houses, we were able to purchase a parsonage that was larger and better able to serve our parsonage family.

After four years of study, getting all the necessary licenses, and hiring a qualified staff, the Asbury Child Development Center opened in August 1993. The children are not only well cared for physically, but they are taught academically and spiritually. We now had another mortgage and older buildings needing repair. A successful Capitol Campaign got under way and in three years we paid off the mortgage and the more urgent repairs were made. Over the years, our community had changed. There were thousands of unchurched families within a five-mile radius. In July 1999, we participated in a district-wide Share Jesus Mission as a means to reach out to those who need to hear about Jesus.

During the last quarter of the 20th Century, twice we took the lead role by breaking ground in new forms of ministries within the Florida Conference. The Florida Annual Conference ordained its first woman minister in June 1975. At that same Conference, she was assigned to Arlington as our Associate Pastor. The two years she spent with us were a joyful and blessed time. Today she is the presiding Bishop of the North Carolina Conference. Another first for Arlington, and the Florida Conference, was the assignment in June 1991 of the first Clergy-couple assigned as Co-Pastors to one church.

We are excited to begin the new millennium and face the future of the Arlington community in love. We enter this new era with the prayer of our founder, Martha Inskip, on our lips, "May it be the birthplace of a multitude of souls."