In recent years, Wesley has experienced tremendous popularity and growth, especially among young families. Known as an historic and traditional downtown church with a caring and friendly congregation, Wesley has become a truly multi-generational church.
Why are so many people flocking to Wesley?
Wesley is a Methodist Church like no other. Established in 1868 as a monument to the ministry of John and Charles Wesley, the beautiful Neo-Gothic Sanctuary with historic stained glass windows was dedicated in 1890. Sitting on Calhoun Square in the historic district, it is one of Savannah’s most elegant and inspiring landmarks.
The adjacent and recently renovated Oliver Hall provides the Church with plenty of office space, classrooms and meeting rooms, including beautiful outdoor playground for the children.
Wesley Gardens Retreat Center located on Moon River – a 38-acre estate near the Intracoastal Waterway that includes a Great House that can sleep thirty, a chapel, gazebo, picnic pavilion, playground, dock and hiking trails. A 20-minute drive from the Church, Wesley Gardens Retreat Center is the perfect place for church retreats, informal gatherings, Family Fun Days and Sunday evening worship during the summer.
Wesley Monumental holds two worship services each Sunday. Our 8:45 service is a smaller, more intimate gathering. Our 11:00 service is larger and features our Chancel Choir. Both services include a children’s sermon, after which children (age 3-4th grade) are offered the option of an age appropriate children’s worship. For younger children, age level nurseries are available.
Morning worship at Wesley Monumental follows the liturgical calendar, highlighted by the festive days of Christmas and Easter, and over the course of the year, the colors in our sanctuary change to mark the changing liturgical seasons. Our services feature the congregational singing of traditional hymns, classical sacred instrumental and choral music, historic affirmations of faith, and Biblically based sermons. We celebrate Communion at the altar rail on the first Sunday of each month. It is an open table, all who call upon the name of the Lord or wish to be his disciples are welcome at the Table, regardless of denomination or affiliation. Sunday Evenings in the summer months include evening worship and dinner at our Retreat Center on Moon River.
One of the main reasons Wesley has become so popular with young families is our programs for children. With over 200 children on our preparatory roles, Wesley takes seriously the promise that we make at their baptism: To help their parents raise them in faith.
Our Early Childhood Ministry area for children from birth to Pre-K includes our preschool, Eli’s Place, a Drop In Care program on Wednesdays, Godly Play Sunday School, Children’s Worship Services, Joyful Noise Choir and many other seasonal activities. Eli’s Place provides schooling for children from eight weeks to Pre-K and is in session from September to May. A part-day program, Eli’s Place focuses on kinesthetic education and spiritual growth. There is also an eight-week summer camp program.
Our children’s program also includes Sunday School for all ages, featuring Godly Play, children’s trips, Bible School, children in mission, and Children’s Worship.
Our youth ministry begins in the 6th grade and has an active discipleship program of fun, Bible study, retreats, and national and international missions.
Another reason for Wesley’s popularity is its strong music program. The Chancel Choir, with approximately 50 singers, is regarded as one of the best choirs in Savannah. They have performed in cathedrals throughout Europe, including Notre Dame in Paris.
In recent years, the Joyful Noise Choir (3 yr. – Pre-K) Children’s and Chimes Choir (K-5th) and Youth Choir (6th – 12th) have grown dramatically and employ the highly acclaimed Voice for Life curriculum developed by the Royal School of Church Music. Following this structured approach to vocal training, the children learn more than just songs. They become engaged young leaders in worship by learning vocal skills, music theory and the beautiful hymns of the church. Children are awarded ribbons and medals from the Royal School of Church Music upon completion of different levels of proficiency.
At Wesley, there are many ways for the entire family to learn, grow in relationship with God and serve others through, Sunday School, multiple mid-week on campus and off site Bible studies, weekly fellowship meals, local and international missions, new member classes, and Senior adult, women’s and men’s ministries.
People enjoy coming to Wesley because they feel warmly embraced, peaceful, loved and uplifted. Members of the congregation derive huge satisfaction from helping others and providing guidance for youth. At Wesley, they feel at home, rooted and part of something larger than themselves.
The Wesley congregation is diverse, comprised of people young and old from all walks of life and from various parts of town. As a group, they are approachable, warm, friendly and engaging. They are compassionate and generous. They are nurturing and supportive. It is a young-at-heart, active and optimistic congregation and one that often displays a sense of humor. They are proud to be members of Wesley United Methodist Church and forge strong, lasting friendships with others.
At Wesley, the congregation receives a better understanding of Jesus, the Bible and Methodism, and its relevance today. The Church helps them to better comprehend, experience and proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and the grace of God.