Beach UMC began in the early 1950’s, meeting in the home of our founding parents-Art and Mabel Reckwerdt. At that time, there was also a community church that later became Chapel by the Sea (Presbyterian).
For years, both churches shared pastors and choirs during the summer months. This allowed each church to “shut down” for a month and kept that old familiar connectedness between the congregants. There is still a strong sense of community between churches on the island.
When we outgrew the Reckwerdt’s home, the only other place available was the Legion Hall. Clean up became a tiresome task and we began to meet for a time in the Beach Theater. Seventeen charter members were received into the church at the organizational and Quarterly Conference held in the theater on October 4, 1953. A motion was passed that the pastor’s salary would be $300 for the year, and a second motion voted that the church be incorporated. The Reverend E. Pierce Hendry baptized and received new members, representing six families on that day. The WSCS was officially organized on December 8, 1955. Mabel Reckwerdt was it’s first president.
In the 1960’s our new sanctuary was dedicated, followed by the present education building in 1985. A balcony was also added to the sanctuary to help with over-flow crowds. The current parsonage on Washington Court was built in 1971.
Many spaghetti and chicken dinners and much labor went into creating the first church – a frame building, and later a parsonage on the same property.
At our 50th Anniversary celebration in 2003, we dedicated a processional cross given by the Reckwerdt Family to Art’s memory. In 2006, Mrs. Reckwerdt joined her husband who entered glory in 2000; an era ended.
In 1996, we received our first woman pastor, Rev. Jeanne Davis, who served here until 2018 when she retired. We are now blessed to have Rev. Samantha Aupperlee as our pastor