Welcome 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. 

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

Vision Statement

The vision of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Barbara is to

provide a welcoming place where the congregation encompasses

multiple generations, diversity is respected and celebrated, and

commitments of faith lead to acts of mercy, social justice, and compassion.

We encourage and support each person on their Christian journey of faith

and offer a variety of ways of connecting with God through:


Fellowship and Caring Ministries

Understanding through Teaching and Learning

Mission and Outreach

Creative expressions of Christian Faith



Being a United Methodist

Our History:                       

Our church springs from a rich tradition of studying and spreading the gospel to every corner of society, which was begun in 1729 in England and led by John and Charles Wesley. The United Methodist Church is the result of the 1939 merger of three Methodist bodies (Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal South and Methodist Protestant churches) and a 1968 union of the Evangelical United Brethren and The Methodist churches.


The United Methodist Church now has over 10 million members worldwide.


Our Mission:                       

Today we continue our devotion to creating disciples for Jesus Christ and making the good news available to anyone who desires to hear it. All preaching and teaching is grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened by personal experience, and tested by reason. Along with other Christian denominations, we believe in God – expressed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


The United Methodist Church is part of the church universal. All persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, are welcome to attend our churches, receive Holy Communion, and be baptized and admitted into membership.


Our Beliefs:             

Traditionally, we have emphasized the following:

  • God will comfort, guide, and forgive every person, no matter who they are or what they’ve done.
  • Serving others and Christian faith go hand in hand.
  • We find peace with God and spiritual fulfillment both in solitary moments of reflection and in a community of faith.
  • Our Church is made up of people who share faith in Jesus Christ.
  • We seek to make our private and our public actions congruent with our faith.
  • We are a global movement of churches that’s making a difference in the world.


being methodist


The heart of our Christian faith is Christ’s ministry of outreaching love. We arall called to minister wherever Christ would have us work to heal and free others. United Methodists believe in God’s grace, which means the unearned and loving action of God in our daily lives. In spite of suffering, violence, and evil in the world, we assert that God’s grace exist everywhere. Despite any circumstance, we remain creatures brought to life by a just and loving God. The reign of God is both a present and a future reality.


United Methodists also believe in the concept of human dignity. God endows each person with dignity and moral responsibility. Humanity and its destiny are chief among God’s purposes. The full splendor of true humanity is seen in Jesus Christ, as God’s personal revelation. Faith and compassion are interconnected in God’s eyes. Personal salvation leads to compassionate involvement in Christian mission’s works around the world. Personal religious beliefs and Christian social action are mutually reinforcing.


Sometimes people call the United Methodist Church “the church of the warm heart” because we have a history of caring about and working to created justice for all people. It all started with founder John Wesley, who felt his own heart strangely warmed nearly three centuries ago. After this experience he was compelled to reach out to England’s poorest citizens, which he did with the help of his brother Charles. Their work launched a movement that spread to the American colonies and took hold with a fervor that still exists almost 300 years later.


During that time, our hearts have led us to build almost as many schools as churches. Methodists were among the first to create institutions of learning for sellers, women and newly freed slaves. There are now 120 United Methodist institutions, including schools outside the U.S., most notably Africa University in Zimbabwe.


Today United Methodists comprise the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Our churches are connected by a system that guides our work, and governs our policies. We continue to take the lead in social, spiritual, political, and moral concerns. In the tradition of John and Charles Wesley, our members study Scripture, encourage thoughtful debate, and confront the tough issues of the day. We still lead with out hearts, keep our minds open, and welcome everyone through our doors.



© 2017 First United Methodist Church
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