Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

Front of Church 3Welcome to First United Methodist Church, Santa Barbara. (FUMCSB). Located in downtown Santa Barbara, FUMCSB combines the Coastal California style with its rich tradition of Methodism. Our worship, described as warm traditional, is a reflection of our congregation. We are called to provide a meaningful experience that extends beyond Sunday worship and our outreach extends into our community and around the globe. 

Mark up close

If you are visiting Santa Barbara, or if you are new to the area,

Mark and Alanwe would like to extend a personal invitation to you to come and visit. Please know that wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here. 

Blessings to you. 


Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson, Senior Pastor, and

Rev. Dr. Alan Strout, Associate Pastor 

Thrill of Hope


Advent Study with Pastor Mark: A Thrill Of Hope

Begins Wednesday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m. 

Pastor Mark begins a 2-week Advent video and art study on three consecutive Wednesday evenings at 7 pm, beginning December 7. A Thrill of Hope presents the familiar story of Christmas as told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each scripture passage is illustrated and interpreted in the stunning artwork of John August Swanson along with commentary by some of America's premier Biblical scholars. All are invited and welcome to attend this seasonal Bible Study. For more information, email or call the church office.

Annual Living Nativity

December 21, 22, and 23 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


Living Nativity photo used in news releasesFor 25 years First United Methodist Church has offered a beautiful seasonal gift to the community by staging a re-creation of the Holy Night for three nights just before Christmas. Under a redwood tree and adjacent to the church, a grassy area is transformed into a humble wooden stable, complete with a serene Mary, Joseph and tiny baby Jesus asleep in the manger. Wise men and live camels, donkeys and goats surround the manger taking in the wonder of it all. It is a silent and beautiful scene to behold.


The community is invited to join in this inspiring and meaningful celebration – it’s free! Bring your cameras!! The historic sanctuary, decorated in seasonal finery including a display of crèches on the communion rail, will be open for viewing and contemplation. Docents will be available to answer questions about the building, including the historic stained glass windows. Christmas music softly playing adds to the “awe” factor.  All are invited and welcome to celebrate the season.


FUMCSB Reconciling Community

Reconciling CommunityA group of FUMCSB members and constituents has formed into a Reconciling Community and is now part of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). This newly formed group within the church will continue to hold information sessions, meet with those who have questions about what affiliation with the RMN means, and prays for the full inclusion of all God’s children, including Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) persons in the life and ministry of the church. For more information about the RMN, click here. For a link to our Reconciling Community Facebook page, click here. To speak with Christopher Olson, the FUMC Reconciling Community group leader, please email him at



Read Our Sunday Insert

For a list of other upcoming and ongoing activities, check out our Insert from Sunday's bulletin.


Hear a Sermon 
Use the easy Podcast Player to play past sermons.

Prayers and Support for Gracie Fisher

Grace Fisher 2015

On December 21, 2014, during a party to celebrate her 17th birthday, Grace Fisher, a gifted musician with a bright future, began to have severe pain and was rushed to the hospital. By nightfall, Gracie was intubated and required mechanical ventilator support to breathe and had total loss of her ability to move. She was later diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a rare viral infection that can occur in children under 21. Because little is known about AFM, her prognosis is uncertain. 


Flash forward to today. Grace continues to be a remarkable young woman with much to teach all of us about resilience, patience, fortitude, grit, and faith. She used her wish from the Make a Wish Foundation to form her own non-profit group: The mission of the Foundation is to: "Enrich and empower those with mental and physical challenges through the arts."


First United Methodist Church, her church family, has been selling cards with Gracie's art work 

on them during our Sunday fellowship time to raise money for this summer's Sierra Service Projects. To learn more about this extraordinary young lady, visit the foundation website or go to

Direct donations are alway welcome to help the Fisher family with Gracie's medical expenses! Please make your checks out to the Grace Fisher Fund and mail to:

 Gracie Fisher Fund, 308 Paseo Del Descanso, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.


FUMCSB Garden Preschool

Garden PreschoolGarden Preschool offers full and half-day, year-round programs Monday - Friday for ages 2 through Kindergarten in a caring, supportive and educational indoor and outdoor environment. To register, learn more about the preschool, or to schedule a visit, please call Heidi Casper, Director, at 805/451-5487. 



© 2016 First United Methodist Church
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