VISIT


905 Louisa St. • Rayville, LA 71269


Worship Times

If you are planning to visit us for the first time, please call the church office at (318) 278-4853, as we strive to respond to the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our “normal” worship activities.

Informal Worship • 8:30 AM

For informal, casual worship, the Fellowship Hall is used. Our time together includes a variety of worship music ranging from Christian contemporary to traditional church hymns, a Scripturally-based lesson/sermon, and the celebration of Holy Communion. Worship varies slightly from week to week but usually one hour in duration. A light breakfast is offered with plenty of coffee and juice to continue a time of fellowship after worship.

Traditional Worship • 10:30 AM

A formal time of worship is offered in the main sanctuary that features our choir leading us in hymns, as we praise God and worship God’s holy name. We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month for this worship service. Our formal worship time varies slightly from week to week but is usually one hour in duration.

A formal time of worship is offered in the main sanctuary that features our choir leading us in hymns, as we praise God and worship God’s holy name. We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month for this worship service. Our formal worship time varies slightly from week to week but is usually one hour in duration.

Planning Your First Visit

We are excited that you are considering a visit to Rayville United Methodist Church. Like all places of worship, we are being diligent in caring for the most vulnerable of our congregation by monitoring and responding as best as we are able to the recommendations published by the “Open Safely” office of the Governor. With that in mind, please call our church office (318) 728-4853 and we will help you plan your visit.

Our Church Heritage

Our story as Methodists, of course, starts with Jesus of Nazareth but we can trace our “spiritual branch” back to a young clergyman named John Wesley who struggled to live a holy life by his own strength until he experienced God’s extravagant grace! His new faith was contagious, and he preached it in England, Scotland, Ireland, and wherever one would listen. Eventually, circuit riders, class leaders, and lay- men and women would carry the Methodist movement to America and beyond…even to a place called Rayville, Louisiana!

The first Methodist preacher in the Natchez area was Tobias Gibson around the year 1799. Other preachers, like Learner Blackman, Moses Floyd, Newet Vick, and Lorenzo Dow helped also missionize the area. By 1807, Rayville and Richland Parish did not exist but many ministers were starting to travel what would be called the “Washita Area.” The first Methodist Church in the area was in Prairie Jefferson, now known as Oak Ridge. It wasn’t long before the railroad brought more settlers to the Richland Parish and Bayou Macon area and with it the “Richland Circuit” was established in 1868 by Methodists. Rev. John Boult was the first local preacher in 1868-70.

By 1878, Rayville had about “…400 residents and had three organized churches but one house of worship, one school house, ten store houses, 1 steam gin and corn mill, 1 hotel, courthouse and jail, 2 physicians, 1 printing office, 5 resident lawyers…”. Around that time, Rayville saw a dramatic decrease in population because of a yellow fever epidemic and many pastors called for a time of repentance, fasting, and prayer. The first register of members for Rayville United Methodist Church was begun in 1887 and in 1891 the church purchased a deed for property under Rev. George Mandeville. With the help of many families and the work of the Ladies Aid Society the church was able to build a new church and parsonage around the turn of the century. By 1926, the church needed more room for Sunday school since the original building was completed. Records show the church grew to 239 members by 1932 even during hard economic times. By the 1940’s the church had paid off its debt and a conversation about building a new church started as membership grew to 466 by 1948. Around that time, Rev. Jack Midyett had a conversation with George Franklin and George offered $2 for every $1 the church raised toward the building of a new church, with his part being $50,000. Under the leadership of Rev. Burton Emmerich, the new church sanctuary was built in 1952 and paid off by 1954. Total costs for construction were $139,217.85.

In 1960, the church laid the cornerstone for a new Educational building and fellowship hall. During the 1970’s the church bought a second retired minister’s home, gave generously to support many mission projects, and started the Wednesday Morning Prayer Breakfast. In the 1980’s, a family life center was constructed. A new youth center was constructed in recent years and today we celebrate and remember the sacrifice and hard work of so many to be a presence of Christ to be a part in preparing this community for the future. Through the years, the members of Rayville UMC have offered their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to hundreds and hundreds of people changing countless lives!

Our Guiding Principles

Programs have had different names whether it be the Wesleyan Service Guild, the United Methodist Men, the Epworth League, the Missionary Society Circle, or the Church of the Golden Arches but the mission remains the same – make disciples for the transformation of the world! Yes, Rayville UMC has a rich PAST as evidenced by God’s work among us. We strive to live into the PRESENT to be a living witness to the risen Christ inviting others to “come and see”—to come and encounter God’s love for themselves. And we wait and listen for God’s voice straining forward to the future as Paul wrote to the Philippians, “this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14) and so do we.

The life of our church is guided by three statements:
OUR PURPOSE ::
Build a Christian community where non-religious and those who have drifted away from the church are welcomed to come and see, to come and encounter the risen Christ becoming deeply committed Christians.
OUR VISION ::
To be used by God to change lives, strengthen churches, and transform the world.
OUR JOURNEY ::
To know, love, and serve God.

Contact US

You are welcomed to call the church office during our normal business hours. You may also contact us by email using the following addresses:
Pastor Mike: revmike@rayvilleumc.org
Church Secretary: sonya@rayvilleumc.org
Children’s Programs: jennylou@rayvilleumc.org
Music Ministries: ben@rayvilleumc.org

In the event of an emergency that you need the pastor, please call the office during normal business hours.
To reach the pastor any other time, please call (318) 728-4854.