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​​​​Our Mission1072642_10201492360811437_1233934957_o.jpg

Garden Street United Methodist Church (GSUMC) is committed to help persons to know the love and presence of God, as revealed through the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, as a living and positive reality.

Our Statement of Inclusion
Garden Street United Methodist Church extends to all the hand of friendship and faith, believing every person is of sacred worth. We commit ourselves to the hospitality Jesus taught, by creating a place of safety and spiritual sanctuary for people in all stages of their faith journey. 

We are enriched by people of all economic or social conditions, gender identities, sexual orientations, political affiliations, biblical interpretations, ages, racial or ethnic backgrounds, mental or physical conditions, and family structures. We gather for worship, study, and fellowship and we disperse to spread God’s love in the community.  

As we move toward a church of full inclusion, we will continue to engage with one another and celebrate our similarities and differences. We encourage ourselves and challenge our denomination to truly embrace “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.”

Affiliations and Links
GSUMC is a member of Interfaith Coaltion of Churches​, Faith Action Network, the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church​, and the Reconciling Ministries Network​. For more information about our denomination, the United Methodist Church, please visit www.​umc.orgGarden Street United Methodist Church is a reconciling, LBGTQI-friendly congregation. ALL are welcome here.

​​​About Us

Garden Street United Methodist Church (GSUMC) is located in Bellingham, WA in Whatcom County, WA, just thirty minutes south of the Canadian Border. Bellingham has a population of 90,000 and is located between Vancouver, BC and Seattle, two world class cities. It is the home of Western Washington University, and has been listed in several sources as a great place to live because of its recreational resources, educational opportunities, and medical and commercial services. 

"Garden Street is my favorite Methodist home.
The membership is exemplary for kindness,
community/world service and 
cutting edge stands and actions.​"
-long time church member

Garden Street UMC is located on the periphery of the downtown core in the York Neighborhood that is 80% rentals and 20% single family residences.  GSUMC is a Reconciling congregation of 338, which means we intentionally welcome the LGTBQ communities.  There are two Sunday worship services and a mid-month mid-week contemplative prayer service.  We have a deep reservoir of strong leadership that not only leads here at the local church, but also participates in Pacific Northwest Conference leadership.  We have a staff of 4 part-time employees and a full-time pastor.  Our College Ministry is vital, with an average attendance of 25.  GSUMC houses the Pre-School/Kindergarten Campus of Cedar Tree Montessori School.  We are well known in the community as the site for the Severe Weather Shelter for women and families in cooperation with the Interfaith Coalition.

Our History

    ​Garden Street United Methodist Church (GSUMC) has grown with the community.  It started out with camp meetings in nearby Ferndale in 1877.

    On Sunday morning in May 1883, seven Methodists walked on a trail winding through the tall trees to gather at the Sehome School, (a rough-hewn, one room 14' x 22' building) and the First Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) in Whatcom was organized.

    By August, an appointed pastor was covering a circuit from LaConner to Sumas, often traveling by Indian canoe.  Washington was still a territory when the Whatcom Methodists built their first building in 1884 at I street and Clinton. It measured 20'x 32'.

    In 1890, the Whatcom Methodists organized Trinity Church at Garden and Magnolia streets in Sehome (New Whatcom). They started construction of the red brick building in 1909, laying the cornerstone in 1910.

    Garden Street UMC was the first church in Bellingham to be wired for lighting and to have a telephone installed in the pastor's study.

    In February 1917, the congregations of Trinity and First joined to form the Garden Street congregation.  You can still see the cornerstone which says "Trinity" on it.

      In 1962 Eureka Methodist Episcopal Church (located at foot of Alabama Hill since 1915) joined the Garden Street congregation.

    In April 1968 the current United Methodist Church was created when the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist Episcopal Church combined.

     In 1974 Fairhaven sold its building and joined Garden Street.

    The mission history is rich and complex, reaching through World War I to the present.  Flood victims have been sheltered in the basement.  A neighboring congregation, losing its building to fire, was housed for its worship during their rebuilding.  Refugees from Europe, Asia, and Central America have been a concern and helped through the many decades.  Sponsorship and shelter have been offered to many of these refugees through this congregation.  Many creative ministries have been developed to meet community needs.

    Today, in addition to the ministries carried out by members, Garden Street United Methodist Church has housed and continues to host events and programs for the community such as: Sean Humphrey House Whatcom Literacy Council, Alcoholics Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Al-Anon, the Mount Baker Children's Choir, Headstart, Boy Scouts, Alzheimer's Society, Narcotics Anonymous, NW Youth Services, Restorative Community Coalition, City Gate, Opera Popolare, Cedar Tree Montessori and many others.  The Tiffany-Heimberger House, owned by Garden Street United Methodist Church, is used in partnership with Opportunity Council and Interfaith Coalition to provide transitional housing for families.

    Garden Street has always and will always be an active part of the community.​​