Our Beginnings

Simpson United Methodist Church is an open and inclusive place where all people are accepted and shown God’s unconditional love.  From our humble beginnings in 1882 we have striven to be a people who celebrate God’s love, seek to live as Christ’s disciples, and share Christ with the world.  The history of Simpson UMC is closely linked to that of Pullman as the Methodists established the first church in town.

In 1882 Rev. Bryan of Moscow held revival meetings in Pullman in a school building near the current site of the Gladish building.  Soon after the congregation decided to build their own building.  The purchased lots near the school for a church and lots were donated for a parsonage by Sarah and Dan McKenzie.  The McKenzie home was a gathering place for Methodists as they had the first organ in town.  This organ can be found in the back of the Simpson UMC sanctuary.

In 1888 the Methodists were incorporated in Washington and hired their first full time pastor.  In 1890 it was decided to sell the church and move to their current location on Kamiaken Street.

In 1892 the National Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church offered a loan of $500 to help the Pullman congregation build a new building if they would name their church after Rev. Matthew Simpson.  Rev. Simpson was a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He was minister to three presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, and a proponent of ending slavery.  The church accepted the money and named the church Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church.

The current building is the third at this location.  The present sanctuary and classrooms were completed in 1958.  In 1980 additional classrooms and the fellowship hall were added.  The sanctuary, fellowship hall, nurseries and classrooms were updated in 2009.

From their humble beginnings in Pullman, Simpson UMC has always worked to show the love and grace of God to the people of Pullman.

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