FUMC Logo_beige

First Fulshear United Methodist Church traces it’s roots back to the founding of “Union Chapel”
in 1844 under the stewardship of Reverend John W. Patton. The church was reportedly located
in the Pottsville community between Brookshire and Fulshear. In 1851, a deed from Churchill
Fulshear, Jr. to the Union Chapel grounds was recorded in the Fort Bend County Deed Records.
Union Chapel disappears from the church records after 1867, but “Fulshear” makes its first
appearance in the Journal in 1901 as “Fulshear-Brookshire” which was part of the Richmond
Circuit. Conference records indicate the church was organized in 1894 under the leadership of
Rev. J.W. Holt and was located on the current site at Second and Harris streets. Oral history
relates the church building was moved from the site of Fulshear Cemetery around 1893, using
mules and tree trunks. Two days after being secured in its new location, the building burned to
the ground and was subsequently rebuilt by the members and other Fulshear residents in a
fashion identical to the lost structure. Services have been held on the site continuously since
that date (approximately 120 years ago).

In 1959, the first major addition to the church buildings was made when a building containing
four Sunday School rooms and a meeting room was constructed in memory of Hunter P. Harris.
In 1965, a bell tower was added to the sanctuary to house a bell given in memory of Frances
Harris Newcomer. The bell stands today near the front door of the current sanctuary building.
In 1974, Albert “Al” Herzstein, a Jewish philanthropist, financed the design and construction of a
new sanctuary building at the bequest of his wife, Ethel Avis Herzstein, from the Lola Walker
and Spencer J. Avis family. Mr. Herzstein’s gift attracted much attention due to the ecumenical
nature of the relationship. In 1993, Mr. Herzstein and the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable
foundation provided the majority of the funding for the construction of a new Education/Office
Building and Fellowship Hall as a memorial to Ethel Herzstein, who had passed away. The
ground breaking ceremony of the new structures was officiated by Rabbi Ted Sanders and Rev.
Gary Masterson.

about_small_2

about_small_3

The church’s current physical plant took shape with the completion of the Family Life Center in
September 2002. The Family Life Center houses the church’s Early Learning Center for
children, along with classroom, offices, a choir room, and full-size gym with basketball court.
The building is designed to expand to double it’s current classroom space with the build-out of
the second floor and addition of an elevator.

Our Sanctuary has been recently renovated since the original 1974 building. It is completely
updated with modern audio/visual technology, new pews, a remodeled chancel area and choir
loft, ADA-compliant restroom facilities, new flooring, and new light fixtures. Doug Simons, the
Trustees, and Tim Riha from Riha Construction Company, whose father J. L. Riha was the
contractor on the original construction of all four current buildings, worked hard to complete the
project. Tim’s participation in the renovation project represents a link to the history of First
Fulshear United Methodist Church as we look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission in future
years.