150th Anniversary Celebration

November 17, 2024

This year our church will celebrate its 150 anniversary! Our celebration will be November 17. Until then, you can expect fun little MUMC History Tidbits released in service each Sunday. You can also find these tidbits with more details here on our website.

MUMC History Tidbits

MUMC History Tidbit - #3

100th Anniversary of Mandarin UMC

A centennial celebration for Mandarin UMC was held on March 31, 1974. To celebrate, church members dressed in period clothing, led by Harold Wright playing the role of first pastor T.W. Moore riding in on horseback alongside member Ed Bowers, who portrayed the first sheriff of Mandarin. A potluck lunch was held on the grounds along with outdoor music and worship. Rev. Richard Willis, Bishop Joel David, and District Superintendent McCoy Gibbs were present.

MUMC History Tidbit - #2

History of Church Names and Locations

In the 150-year history of Mandarin United Methodist Church, the congregation has worshipped under a variety of names. The initial church (1874) was called the Palatka and Mandarin Mission in the Jacksonville District. By 1908, Mandarin and Bethel Methodist combined to form the St. Johns Mission under a new name, Bethel Methodist. In 1945 that was altered to include the physical location as Mandarin Roads Methodist. When the current location was secure and by the time the United Methodist Church was formed in 1968, the name was changed to the current Mandarin United Methodist Church.

Mandarin United Methodist Church has worshipped in three places during its 150-year history – south, north and central to Mandarin. The first location was at the corner of San Jose Boulevard and Loretta Road, at the approximate location of the current Fifth-Third Bank, with the church names Palatka and Mandarin Mission. The second location, near what is now a Starbucks and Bubbles Car Wash in Mandarin at Old St. Augustine Road, came under the title Bethel Methodist and Mandarin Roads. The third and final location is the current-day site at 11270 San Jose Boulevard with the name MUMC since the late 1960s.

MUMC History Tidbit - #1

Introducing the first pastor of Mandarin UMC – Dr. Theophilus Wilson (T.W.) Moore.

Dr. Theophilus Wilson Moore was born in Tirzah, North Carolina on May 3, 1832 and was the great-grandson of Colonel Stephen Moore, who was part of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. In 1852, Dr. Moore graduated from the University of North Carolina, married Mary Ann Smith, and went to California as a missionary all in the same year. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he became a chaplain in the Carolina Regiment. Following the war, he moved to Florida and joined the Methodist Conference, serving, among other appointments, as Presiding Elder of the Jacksonville District. In December 1874 he was appointed in Live Oak FL to Palatka and Mandarin Mission (later known as Mandarin UMC). Dr. Moore also served as a circuit rider for two terms, from 1874-79 and 1885-86.


In 1882, he was sent to Monticello as pastor, where he was asked to be a trustee of Emory College, being also honored with the D.D. degree. This encouraged his interest in higher education, and he was among the first to urge the formation of the College in Leesburg. He served on the Florida Conference Board of Education, and as a trustee of the Conference College both before and after his two-year assignment as President. As President, he fulfilled the administrative duties of the role, but he also taught mental and moral science classes.

Beyond serving as President, Dr. Moore was also multi-talented. While in Jacksonville, he developed a 100-acre citrus grove, publishing a book on citrus culture (“Treatise and Hand Book on Orange Culture in Florida”) widely used for thirty years. In 1892, he patented a flying machine. He also obtained a patent for a rotary steam engine. While in Sanford, he persuaded the town council to cool Main Street by running water through tiling one foot beneath the surface. Farmers later adopted his method for irrigation purposes. Dr. Moore died Dec.30, 1908, age 75.

November 17 – MUMC 150th Anniversary Celebration – Save the Date!Learn More →