Search the Landmarks:

48. Methodist Episcopal Church, 1875-1876 48. Methodist Episcopal Church, 1875-1876
2621 Second St.

Methodist Episcopal Church, 1875
2621 Second St


front view

Christian Church, Santa Monica CA
2621 Second Street was the first church built after Santa Monica was founded in 1875. Like the city of Santa Monica, the Methodist Church society was a young organization. Within months of the town's founding, Senator John P. Jones had donated two lots at Sixth and Arizona. Church members diligently worked on this Gothic Revival structure. Craftsmen in the congregation offered carpentry and glazing skills, others offered doors, lamps, and seating - others donated funds towards the $683.98 cost of the structure.

When it was dedicated on January 2, 1876 one member noted, "The Methodist Church Society now have a nice little church edifice…It is true that the building is not a very stately edifice, but it meets the present demands very well."

The building offered a pleasing simplicity - its Gothic Revival style is accented by the triangular shapes over the windows and doors, and the stained glass panels reinforce its spiritual purpose.

After its founding, the City went into somewhat of an economic decline, and the
Methodist Church had to deal with a declining membership. The structure was moved to a more central location at Fourth and Arizona, in hope of attracting more congregants. A bell tower was added for good measure. Membership grew, and a new church was built in the front of the lot. This structure was shifted to the back of the lot and used primarily for meetings.

In 1899 the Methodists donated this church to the South Santa Monica Methodist Church, and the structure was moved to its current location in Ocean Park. The location was permanent, but the building underwent additional changes. In 1923, a brick and masonry building was attached to the church and the entire building was sold to the Stephen Jackson Women's Relief Corps. The Methodist Church was renamed "Patriotic Hall" and again was a place for meetings.

When the City was young, almost everyone in Santa Monica had relocated from somewhere else. Clubs, groups and congregation created community unity among this group of transplants, and many groups congregated at the former Methodist Church - including a club called Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1971 the building was sold to private parties, and has since become a private residence. It is believed to be the oldest surviving wooden structure in the City of Santa Monica.

Not knowing much about the principles of the Methodist Episcopal Church we went online. The closest thing we found was the Mission Statement of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

“The Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the A.M.E. Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of:

1. Preaching the gospel

2. Feeding the hungry

3. Clothing the naked

4. Housing the homeless

5. Cheering the fallen

6. Providing jobs for the jobless

7. Administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums, and mental senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and encouraging thrift and economic development.”