Watertown First United Methodist Church
Watertown SD


Who we are

Welcome to First Church! I’m Sara Nelson, and I am proud to be the Senior Pastor here at First Church! Whatever’s brought you here today, we’re thrilled to have you here. Perhaps you’re in need of direction and answers in your life, or maybe you’re searching for a church home. Whatever it may be that you’re looking for, we hope you find it within First Church. It is our goal to empower others and positively impact lives through the power of God’s glory. I invite you to take a look around our site and become familiar with our story, various ministry activities and our outstanding team of staff members. No matter what your walk of life, we have a place for you at First Church!

Blessings, Pastor Sara Nelson

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Church Address

Watertown First United Methodist Church
4 Second Ave SE
Watertown, SD 57201
United States
Phone: (605) 886-4427
Fax: (605) 886-4435
Download Watertown First United Methodist Church vCard with Service Times   Edit

Church Pastor

Rev. Sara Nelson
Rev. Sara Nelson
Senior Pastor
4 Second Ave SE
Watertown, SD 57201
United States
Phone: (605) 886-4427
Download Senior Pastor Rev. Sara Nelson vCard   Edit

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Quote of the Day
Revelation 4:11

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.





Social media

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Leader Name:
Rev. Sara Nelson   Edit
Leader Position:
Senior Pastor   Edit
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Watertown First United Methodist Church Leadership Photos


Admin Name:
Pearl Geffre   Edit
Admin Position:
Office Manager   Edit
Admin Address:
(605) 886-4435   Edit
Admin Email:

Mailing Address

P O Box 1416
Watertown, SD
57201   Edit

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Watertown First United Methodist Church - 4 Second Ave SE, Watertown, SD
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Watertown First United Methodist Church Watertown Service Times

Weekly at First UMC


8:30 am Worship
9:15 am Bible Study in the Chapel
10:00 am Worship

9:00 am Exercise Group in Cook Hall

9:30 am Quilters in the Lounge

9:00 am Exercise Group in Cook Hall
5:30 pm Bell Choir Rehearsal—Sanctuary
6:00—7:30 pm First Kids & First Youth
6:30 pm Chancel Choir Rehearsal—Sanctuary
7:30 pm Praise Band Rehearsal—Sanctuary

10:00 am Women’s Bible Study—Lounge

Office Closed

7 am Back Room Boys—Church Library
9 am Lake Risers—Jenkins Fireside Room
5:00 pm Worship

Service Times last updated on the 13th of November, 2019   Edit

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Children and Youth Activities

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Parenting Without Regret

Local outreach & community activities


5:00-7:00 PM
Wednesday, November 13
National Guard Readiness Center (N Hwy 20)
For I was hungry, and you fed me. Matthew 25:35

First Church will be delivering Meals on Wheels the week of November 18-22. If you would like to be part of this outreach ministry in November, please contact Melanie Sanden at 605-520-6587. Thank You.   Edit

Other activities & ministries


Jenkins Vesper Service

4th Sunday of Every Month
Sunday November 24th at 2:00 PM
2nd floor dining room

We sing old hymns, read a familiar psalm and scripture, and Pastor Marilyn offers a meditation. It’s so special when family members bring their loved ones, who now reside at Jenkins, to the service. All are invited to join us for worship.

Lunch A Bunch

3rd Tuesday of Every Month
Tues. Nov. 19th, 11:30 am, Godfathers Pizza
Do you enjoy conversation around a meal? Lunch-a-Bunch is a group that invites people age 70+ to come together and enjoy lunch, fellowship, and life together. Come join us the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 11:30 am @ Godfather’s Pizza.

30’s & 40’s

A community group for 30 and 40 year olds with rela-tionship building in mind. This group will meet around a dinner table, always having something to eat as well as something to learn about life. You are welcome to join us the 2nd Saturday of every month at 6:15 pm. Location changes. **Child Care will be provided**
Call church office for event details. 886-4427   Edit

Special Needs


Prayers and Hymns

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Watertown First United Methodist Church Photos

History of Watertown First UMC Watertown SD

Methodism officially came to Watertown in 1879, a year before Watertown was incorporated. Albon Chase was the first of many extraordinary pastors and leaders who have guided the spiritual lives of its citizens since then.

Our first church was built in 1880, a modest wooden structure located on East Kemp Avenue. By 1888, the church had 204 members and needed a larger building so a lot was purchased at our present site and a second church was erected. A modern parsonage was added at the site in the early 1900s. By 1911, however, church records indicate talk of building an even larger church. This became a reality in 1914 when the old church was razed and our present church was built. The new church was dedicated on October 17, 1915. Our anniversary celebration was held to honor this accomplishment in 2015.

Since its beginning, our church has provided spiritual as well as community leadership. Education was always an important part of our ministry in Watertown. In the early 1920s, a week day religious education program was started. Children and youth in grades one to nine were dismissed to go to their respective churches on Thursday afternoons. Missionary work was also an important facet of life in our church. The Watertown Foreign Missionary Society, established in 1890, raised money with its Birthday Roll and the Women’s Home Missionary Society made quilts and provided hospitals and schools with supplies and education scholarships.

Beyond Watertown, another seminal event for the church as a whole took place in 1939 when the three different branches of the Methodist Church (the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South) agreed to a Declaration of Union to form the Methodist Church.

In 1968, the union of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church was completed, resulting in the formation of the United Methodist Church. As a result, our church’s name was re-confirmed as the First United Methodist Church while the former EUB church became the Ninth Avenue United Methodist Church. A major celebration was held in 1979 marking the Church’s centennial year of Methodism in Watertown.

Today, when we look back over the years, it is obvious that “Faith of Our Fathers” is more than a popular hymn. It is the bedrock on which this church was built, from the hardy pioneers and early preachers who brought religion with them to a sparsely populated land, to the strong, visionary leaders who guided us safely through the boom periods of prosperity and growth as well as the valleys of war, depression, and natural disasters of blizzards, floods and drought. Equally strong, committed leaders plot our course today, a course based in faith, hope, and spiritual maturity. Their bequest of a dedicated, vital ministry will be the ultimate legacy. This is the First United Methodist Church of Watertown, a church blessed with a strong past, a committed present, and a future bright with possibility.   Edit

Watertown First United Methodist Church Historical Photos

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The power of Christian prayer Accept, O Lord
Accept, O Lord, my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I am and have thou hast given to me; and I give all back to thee to be disposed of according to they good pleasure. Give me only the comfort of thy presence and the joy of thy love; with thee I shall be more than rich and shall desire nothing more.
This page was last updated on the 13th of November, 2019
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