Methodism came to Santa Rosa in about 1854 with the first Methodist church being built in 1861. Of the present three campuses of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa (FUMC), the Montgomery Drive facility is the oldest, opening in 1951. The location, at that time, was on the edge of town where housing was being developed on former farmlands. Montgomery Drive had just been opened over a new bridge that was built to accommodate the new Memorial Hospital a few blocks away. The congregation steadily grew with families moving into new homes being built on the Montgomery Village area. Within 5 years of opening another major construction project was underway to build a new social hall and an education wing to replace other new facilities which were too small.
Today, FUMC consists of three separate locations within the city of Santa Rosa:
· The Montgomery campus, home of the main church and the church office;
· The Stony Point campus, an 8 acre plot with a smaller satellite church and office that is manned two days a week plus extensive outdoor facilities; and
· The Downtown campus, which is a rental building housing the church thrift shop called “Angels Attic” and also houses our dreams to someday start a downtown ministry center.
Montgomery campus: The physical location of the Montgomery campus is 1 ½ short blocks east of Memorial Hospital and 5½ blocks west of Farmers Lane, the edge of Montgomery Village shopping center. The church is accessed by Montgomery Drive in the front or Parker Drive along the back. It is bordered on the east by California Street.
Currently the FUMC Montgomery campus contains five major buildings:
A large sanctuary constructed in 1950 from concrete masonry units (concrete blocks, or CMUs). Its capacity is 350 people.
A building immediately west of the sanctuary houses the church office, the educational wing and the fellowship hall. The office was built in 1950 as small Sunday school rooms, also constructed from CMUs. The first and second floor Sunday school rooms were completed in 1957 and are of CMU construction. There are men’s and women’s restrooms located on each floor and an additional small staff bathroom off the first floor hallway, none of which are rated as handicapped accessible.. The attached fellowship hall (including several Sunday school rooms on the second floor) was also completed in 1957 but is built with wood frame construction. The fellowship hall includes a kitchen, small dining room, a library, stage and utility room. Access to the second floor is from a set of stairs in the center of the building. A stairway built at the east side has stairs that are non-conforming to code and are used for emergencies only. There is an external fire escape in the “Blue Room,” which is just west of center of the second floor.
A building immediately east of the sanctuary houses the McMullin room, the primary meeting room on the campus which also serves as the choir room; the small chapel which is also used as a multi-purpose meeting room; and the Williams Parlor, another multi-purpose meeting room, which also serves as an office for the Fijian Language congregation. In addition to the meeting rooms there are men’s and women’s restrooms which also service the sanctuary.
The fourth building is called the “Carriage House”, a fanciful name given to a converted residential two-car garage and shop now split between two functions: the former shop now the office for the Pre-school Child Care Center and the garage portion being used as a multi-purpose meeting room.
The fifth building is a converted residence which fronts onto Parker Drive, immediately west of the chancel area of the sanctuary. It is called the “Susanna Wesley House.” The building serves primarily as the church’s administration area with four staff offices, a common work area, a staff conference room, a meeting area, a utility room with washer and dryer and a kitchen. The wood-framed building was constructed about 1946 as a private residence, was later purchased by the church and remodeled to be used as a parsonage and has been in its present configuration since being remodeled about 1989.
The area between the Susanna Wesley House and the Carriage House is the preschool playground. To the west, behind a wall, is a grass area containing a small storage shed for the preschool which contains limited disaster supplies and a larger storage shed for the church.
The Montgomery campus has two parking lots. The main 22 car lot on California Street at its intersection with Montgomery Drive. It has one space designated for handicapped parking. Immediately west of the fellowship hall is a lot for 8 cars with two designated handicapped spaces. The profound shortage of parking spaces has been a major stumbling block for years. Because of utility poles and building proximity, the parking lots are not suitable for helicopter landings.
Stony Point Campus: The physical location of the Stony Point Campus is one mile south of Highway 12 on Stony Point Road. The mailing address is 2150 Giffen Avenue. It sits at the Southwest corner of Stony Point Road and Giffen Avenue, across from the R. L. Stephens Elementary School. The church is normally accessed from Giffen Avenue. There is a service road off Stony Point Road just south of Giffen Avenue that leads to the cottage, the tractor garage and the warehouse. The campus consist of approximately 8 acres of land.
Currently, the Stony Point campus has six structures:
The Giffen House
The Worship Center
The tractor garage
The warehouse, and
The pump house
The Giffen House is a former residence, converted to a "place of public assembly." The rooms in the house consist of a kitchen, an office, two meeting rooms and a rest room. Additionally, upstairs, but not accessible to the general public, are two large storage rooms.
The Worship Center was constructed in 1996 and is a wood framed building on a concrete slab. It has a main assembly room, one meeting room, men's and women's rest rooms and two storage rooms on the ground level. Upstairs is a large storage room which also houses the HVAC utilities that is not accessible to the general public.
The Cottage is a non-conforming structure used as children's meeting rooms. It has one small and two medium sized meeting rooms plus a bathroom. It is not handicapped accessible, has no built-in heater and the bathroom is connected to a septic tank that fills with water during the winter, rendering the toilets incapable of flushing. It is connected to city water.
The tractor garage is a two-car garage which houses the tractor and a ride-on lawn mower. It also houses an assortment of ladders, tools and other garage type stuff. It has electrical but no water.
The warehouse was built during the property's days as a producing egg farm and contains five rooms plus a bathroom. One of the rooms is a converted walk-in cold storage room. At present it is used to store items from the church at large and Angel's Attic.
The pump house houses the pump for the well, a 2,500 gallon water storage tank, and a tank and booster pump system for the irrigation system. The building is divided into two sections with one side having a concrete floor and housing grounds-keeping equipment while the other side is mostly the tank and other water equipment.
The Stony Point campus has a paved parking lot that can hold about 20 vehicles and it adjoins a gravel lot which can hold about another 25. For Sunday services and other large events, the church uses the school parking lot across the street. Parking can also be on the dirt areas of the property.
The Stony Point campus is well suited for outdoor activities and in the event of a disaster could be used to park RV's of responders, but no hook-ups are available.