20th Anniversary of Our Contemporary Service

Twenty years ago this week a new service of worship was begun in this church. First Place, a service of contemporary praise music and worship opened to the public on March 21, 1999 after six weeks of trial runs. The service was years in planning and convincing this congregation to undertake it. Steve Martin, one of the associate pastors, was chosen to lead and Paul Jones, who is now the worship leader at Cokesbury UMC, directed the music. Steve and the many lay helpers had a limited budget so they bought most of the audio and video equipment off of a new website called Ebay. This wasn’t the first contemporary service at a local UMC. Kern and Concord UMCs already had theirs up and running and First Maryville, Cokesbury, and Broadway UMCs soon followed.

Since then the service has had many pastors including Ken Birt, Bill Kilday, Crystal Smith, Troy Forrester, and Rachel Witt. Music Directors soon assumed the role of worship leader and included Edward Pierce, Jenny Rogers, and Charles Wellborn. Currently, Chris Black preaches most Sundays and Jeff Kile is in charge of music and AV.

In order to remain contemporary it has undergone many changes in look and design. We stopped referring to it as First Place a few years ago. We’ve added screens, enlarged the stage, installed new sound and lights, and changed the seating arrangement multiple times. But through all of the adjustments it has remained a place that has provided spiritual nourishment, encouragement, a relaxed atmosphere, and a sincere effort to praise and honor God Almighty each and every week.

Recent Posts

See All

Amazon List

We encourage you to shop locally. We’ve added this Amazon wish list as an idea or reference list along with the below requests. Of course, if you wish to shop off of the Amazon list, please feel free

Update, Sept. 21

Don’t forget! Our reimagined Thanksgiving and Christmas events are happening Nov. 19th and Dec. 5th. These combined events will serve approximately 100 different families and up to 400 children. This

UMVIM Information

The UMVIM Team Leader Training that is scheduled to be held at FUMC in Oak Ridge, TN will still be held on Saturday, October 17, 2020; 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Since FUMCOR is not open, the UMVIM Trainin

© 2020 First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge

1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN 37830

call us- 865.483.4357

fax us- 865.483.4391