The church’s history began in 1963 when the Rev. Herbert C. Hirschfeld was appointed by Bishop Donald Tippet of the Methodist California-Nevada Annual Conference and Dr. Kenneth Adams, District Superintendent, to guide the destiny of a local fledgling congregation.
The first worship service was held September 8, 1963 in the Lancer Room of the Cordova Lodge. The formal organizational meeting, conducted by Dr. Adams, met on Sept 27, 1963 at the Sierra Madre Apartments on Coloma Rd., Rancho Cordova, and thus the Methodist Church here in Rancho Cordova was born.
In 1968, with the merging of the Methodist and the United Brethren Churches, the official title of the new church became the United Methodist Church of Rancho Cordova.
Construction of the chapel and the fellowship hall, known as Adams Hall, was completed and first used in the spring of 1965. In 1972, additions to Adams Hall and a Sunday School building, known as Snyder Hall, were completed.
Over the years, the church has served not only the community of Rancho Cordova in countless ways, but has reached out in mission projects that serve needy people throughout the world. Congregants have participated in hurricane recovery efforts in the south, and building relief kits for areas struck by disaster in the US as well as overseas via the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). With the Sierra Service Project, and Habitat for Humanity, both youth and adults have helped needy families in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Nevada and other western locations.
Currently, the church is an active supporter of Family Promise, hosting homeless families during designated weeks throughout the year. The new church garden provides vegetables for the “Be Our Guest 3rd Wednesday Dinner” for hungry visitors, open to all. Garden produce is also donated to the Rancho Cordova Food Locker, and sold to support mission efforts.
Starting in the 1970’s, a pre-school program sponsored by the Folsom-Cordova School district was housed in Snyder Hall, evolving into the Parent Co-op Preschool. The church buildings and outdoor campfire circle have served as a meeting place for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Youth Groups, Alcoholics Anonymous, various homeowner associations, Folsom Cordova School District clubs, the Sac State Renaissance Singers, Canine Companions, a voting center, Vacation Bible School, Craft and Holiday Fairs, and sewing circles. Various speakers, authors, politicians, and entertainers have graced the church during special events.
Every January the church offers a free e-waste collection and shredding event.
Created as a Christmas card to the community and open to the public, the outdoor Living Nativity complete with actors in period costume, music, angels, a stable and live animals, has been presented free every Christmas season for 31 years.
The recently constructed Wesley Courtyard provides a gathering place for special events, and with the addition of a new outdoor stage currently under construction, use of the venue will be even more versatile.
New this year, a Cancer Support Group is offered the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. with discussion on pain management, nutrition, exercise, and group sharing, a compassionate place to share concerns and be informed.