In March, 1971, Reverend Herb Rohloff was appointed to start a new church in the Champions/1960 area. Four acres were purchased for $12,000 at the corner of Bermuda Dunes and Paradise Valley, and in August the Olympia Fields parsonage was purchased.
The entire congregation voted to name the church, and a single vote determined John
Wesley United Methodist Church as the name. Chartered on September of 1971, the church met in a one-room sheet metal building, and nearby homes served as annexes for Sunday School, nursery, and church offices.
In late 1972, a building committee was commissioned to develop a long-range plan, and in January of 1974 the church incorporated to sell bonds. Construction on a new sanctuary began in 1974 and the first service was held in the new building in April 1975. The congregation sang a joyful processional hymn from the modules into the new sanctuary. By 1979 the membership was over 1300, and a second phase of building helped to accommodate the growing congregation.
In May 1988 Reverend Jim Bankston was appointed to John Wesley and by 1990, the church entered another building program to make room for an increasing number of worshippers. On June 30, 1991 a groundbreaking took place for the new sanctuary, and it was completed in September 1992. The Rose Window in the narthex was originally in a Bellville, Illinois church where member Dan Chenoweth attended as a boy. Dan located the 100-year old window and donated it to the church. The parlor functions as a bride’s room, a place for small groups to
meet, and a quiet place for families to gather.
Prominent in the courtyard next to the sanctuary are a statue and bell tower. The “Angel on the Mountain” is a memorial to Bev Sawvell. The tower honors Pete Turner for his outstanding service as building chair for all construction projects from 1972 to 1996.
In May 1993, Dr. Jack Shelton was appointed to John Wesley. By the time the church celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1996, it was embarking on another building program to provide more classrooms, improved office space, and choir practice facilities. In 1998 a pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary to enhance the music ministry and worship of JWUMC.
Reverend Don Meador was appointed to John Wesley in June 2000 and served until his retirement in May 2006. During that time, the church celebrated its 30th anniversary and received its 3000th member. Vision 2020, a plan that would help guide the church into the future and allow its members to grow as Christ’s disciples, was also initiated and completed under Don’s ministry.
Reverend Jim W. Foster was appointed in June 2006, and the Vision 2020 plan was updated and renewed with the new vision and mission statement, and the motto, Loving in Jesus’ name, was adopted. In March 2008, following a successful fundraising campaign, the congregation approved a building project to construct new facilities and renovate existing space.
The new facilities included the Wesley Activity Center which offers more fellowship and recreational space, a home for contemporary worship, as well as a venue for plays and recitals for our growing Fine Arts Academy. A portico and new entrance was constructed on the north side of Fellowship Hall which was renamed the Welcome Center. Additional new facilities included a courtyard gathering area and enclosed access from the Sanctuary the Welcome
Center. The youth floor, church offices, Education building and the former Fellowship Hall space were renovated. The extension and enclosure of the sanctuary foyer enabled the construction of a Prayer Chapel.
In September 2011 the church celebrated its 40th Anniversary! The anniversary weekend included a concert of 30's and 40's music, an Evangelism Conference, a church wide breakfast and worship service led by Jim Bankston.