175 Years
About Us

8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
Our 175th Anniversary Celebration
On Sunday, November 14, 2021, Riverview First United Methodist Church celebrated its 175th Anniversary. Our church was begun on the south bank of the Alafia River in 1846 as the first Methodist congregation in Hillsborough County, Florida.  (Pictures courtesy of Gary Floyd)
This was how our church looked circa 1960, when both our old sanctuary and our current one stood side by side.
In 2021 the Sanctuary and all of our outbuildings were repaired and repainted to shine for our Anniversary.
Fran Carillo served as the organizer for this event. She opened our Anniversary Service by providing a brief history of our church.
Our pastor, the Rev. Louis Telcy (right) greeted our dignitaries and guests and provided an opening prayer.
Andrew Heybeck, the Scout Leader of Boy Scout Troop 83, provided a history of the troop and its long history as a chartered organization of our church.
The Beightol Sisters sang in our children's choir years ago. At the organization of our current organist Danette Beightol Garcia, they recorded "Down to the River to Pray" in order to be part of our celebration.
Charlie Lennard, a retired Baptist minister, who grew up in our church is also the brother of Earl Lennard of the Gleaners Sunday School class and longtime Superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools. Charlie, who has preached many times at RUMC over the years, gave us the scripture reading.
Rick Phillips, who was our Lay Leader a decade ago, is now a Local Pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Plant City. He sang a song he wrote years ago in honor of our church "God Bless This Little Church".
The sermon was provided by Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin. Rev. Austin is one of our current acting District Superintendents, but back in the 1990's she served two years as the pastor of our church.
Rev. Tom Bridges, another former RUMC Pastor gave the benediction.
This is how our little church looked during the first part of the twentieth century. These were the days when U.S. HIghway 301 was a two-lane road, and Riverview was on the outskirts of the Metro Tampa area. Much has changed since then.
This plate was created to honor the building of our new church back in 1986, when we were celebrating our 140th Anniversary.
Some pictures of a recent vintage. Just one of the many photo montages of the church down through the years prepared by Jan Crichton and her helpers.
A photo montage of our current pastor and his lovely wife and children.
Special thanks are due to Gary Floyd, our head trustee, and his staff of volunteers for updating, repairing, and painting our buildings and grounds in time for our 175th Anniversary Celebration.  Literally hundreds of manhours went into the preparation of our facilities this year.  (Gary was also responsible for all the pictures on this page.)

Thanks to Fran Carillo who managed all the aspects of the preparation of the sanctuary and the hall and acted as the coordinator for this special event.

Thanks to Carole Bradley who planned and coordinated the worship service, and thanks, too, to Jan Crichton, Annabelle Lennard, and their team for preparing the exhibits, pictures, and mementos that reflected our past history.

Thanks to Connie Mosley, Albert Carillo, Margo Holliday and Fay Francis and their crew for cooking up such a fine banquet for our celebration, and thanks to the boys of Troop 83 for acting as servers.

Finally, thanks to the multitude of our workers, visitors, and guests for making our celebration so memorable.
The Banquet
After ninety minutes of worshipping God and celebrating our church's past in the Sanctuary, members, visitors and guests prepared to our Fellowship Hall to experience a hot lunch prepared by members of the church's Care Committee.  Thanksgiving came early to RUMC in 2021!  (Pictures provided by Gary Floyd)
At the head table:  Danette Garcia, Rev. Tom Bridges, Claudie Telcy, Rev. Louis Telcy, Dr. Rev. Sharon Austin
The Rev. Sharon Austin, her husband Mike and their two lovely daughters.
Our Methodist Youth group from decades ago.
Long time members of RUMC.
Pat Sinda, Claudia Allen, Sharon Cayce, Margaret Sparks and her granddaughters
Standing: Pastor and Claudie Telcy; Sitting:  Betty Ford-Jones, Diane Robinson Shear, Sharon Ellwood and Don Odom
Members of the Lennard family
Zach and Dawn Parks family, and our guests from RESTORE's partner at ECHO South County.
Standing:  Claudie Telcy; Sitting:  Diane Bridges, Ollie and Jack Findlay, Veronica Dike, Jennifer Hart
Mike Plett, Josie Kelly, Vollie Rifner, Muriel Harris, Russ Harris
Vy Legge, Shirley Brosch, Sandie Allen
Vina Jean Banks with Mary, Stan, and Steve Wood
Bill and Karen Moore, Betty Hancock, Dewey Brown, Tom and Kathleen Haase, Joyce Schuetz
The Scouts of Troop 83
Fay Francis, one of our cooks working behind the scenes.
Our scouts were the servers of our feast, helped by Pat Sinda.
After the meal, those who wanted to say a few words told about past experiences at RUMC.  First up: Annabelle Lennard
Sharon Casey shared her welcome at RUMC.
Another speaker was Claudia Allen, our transplant from Rattan, Honduras