VUMC was organized in 1852 under the name of Visalia Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The first service took place under some oak trees near what is now the home of the Tulare County Library. We were the first church organization in this part of the valley and the first Protestant church located between the cities of Stockton and Los Angeles.
Two churches emerged from this first meeting to become Visalia Episcopal Church, South and Visalia First Methodist Episcopal Church, North. Over the years these two churches occupied several locations in Visalia. Visalia Methodist, South was located at Acequia and Church streets and then moved to a building located at Willow and Court streets. Visalia First held services in their own building on the corner of School and Court.
In 1939, the churches merged and changed the name to Visalia Methodist Church and decided to meet at the church building located on the corner of Court and Willow streets. In 1949 VMC acquired land on the corner of Main and Giddings streets and in 1955 moved all services and offices to the new location.
In 1968 the Methodist churches merged with the Evangelical United Brethren churches and became known as the United Methodist Church.
Over the next 32 years VUMC continued to grow and the number of worship services and Sunday school classes increased. In 1987 land was purched at the corner of Akers and Caldwell streets for a new and larger campus. The Education wing was completed in 1993 and the PreSchool along with the administrative offices moved into the new building while Sunday services and classes continued to be held on Main and Giddings streets. The Family Worship Center was finally completed in 1994, and the inaugural service was held on the first Sunday of January in 1995.
As of this year, 2011, our church celebrates 159 years of continuous service to the City of Visalia and the surrounding areas.