United Methodist History
United Methodism traces its history back to the early Christian church and the Protestant Reformation ( a period of (religious fervor that saw the division of Catholicism and Protestantism). After a religious experience in 1738, Anglican Priest John Wesley (the eventual founder of Methodism), set out with his brother Charles to form societies of "Methodists," so-called because members followed a rigorous daily routine of methodical study, religious observance, personal piety, and public service.
They tended to promote the following principles:
After the American Revolution when British institutions were promptly dismantled and ties with the Anglican church were severed, John Wesley formed the Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland in 1784.
Soon hundreds of traveling preachers ("circuit riders" so-called because they rotated from church to church in a prescribe circuit) were deployed in the colonies. They spread religion, scriptural holiness, and hope to thousands of receptive people who longed for relevant faith and purposeful service. Soon preachers, missionaries and servants were deployed to proclaim, demonstrate and witness God's love and grace on every continent. The Methodist movement still continues to spread.
In 1968, the United Brethren Church joined the Methodist Church due to our shared Wesleyan heritage. This formed the United Methodist Church.
Camas United Methodist Church members celebrate our rich religious heritage and vital practice. In fact, Camas United Methodist Church has emphasized personal piety, study, service, and outreach since 1883.
Our Local History
Prior church building (Downtown Camas before its demolition).
The 'Cross and Flame' is our historic United Methodist logo representing the lordship of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit who equips us to serve with vitality and purpose.
Like many Pacific Northwest churches, Camas' Methodist origins are traced back to rugged and faithful settlers in the mid to late 1800's who longed for faith communities in oftentimes isolated towns and rural places. By 1883, Camas boasted 100 inhabitants and by late 1884, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists were sharing worship space at the local Camas schoolhouse. Two years later, area Methodists were part of the so-called 'La Camas' circuit comprised of Fern Prairie, Harmony, Fourth Plain and Camas (circuits were linked Methodist churches that share a single pastor).
The church (see left) was built with considerable sacrifice and tremendous faith of a remarkably small handful of Methodists in the 1890's. Their legacy was a small but vital congregation that soon weathered hardships, disasters, economic booms and crises, wars and more. By the late 1940's, the building was grossly inadequate for its growing post-war congregation. More than $100,000 was needed for new construction on our present site, which was a daunting goal. Church members sang a special hymn to ward off dispiriting thoughts: 'We would be building temples still undone; O'er crumbling walls their crosses scarcely lift; and hearts creative bridge the human rift. We would be building, Master, the plan. Reveal the life that God would give to man'. God was indeed good to man (and woman) and the new church (that we still occupy) was completed in the mid 1950's.
Through many pastorates and more than 130 continuous years of ministry, Camas United Methodist Church remains a vital congregation with strong leaders, willing servants and hospitable saints. It still offers opportunities for service, fellowship, and discipleship for everyone.
Local logging and paper industries have dominated the local history, landscape and economy for more than a century. Its influence has waned somewhat in recent years, which is reshaping Camas' future and identity. Through it all, Camas UMC has adapted and continues to evolve to ensure relevance, vitality and viability in an ever-changing world.