Our Story

How it all started...

We are currently working on a project to rediscover the past story and History of Grottoes UMC. In an attempt to understand our future vision, we want to share with everyone where we have come from. If you have any information, documents, photographs, or artifacts dealing with the history of GUMC (Grottoes Methodist Episcopal, Grottoes Methodist Episcopal South, Grottoes Methodist Church, or Grottoes United Methodist Church) that you would like to share with us, please contact the church office.

“Grottoes United Methodist Church got its start at a tabernacle built by Methodists at the cave in Shendun, (now Grottoes), in 1876. J.K. Gilbert held a six week revival, which was the actual beginning of Grottoes United Methodist Church. Sunday School was organized on May 15th, 1892 with twenty-seven scholars. Several buildings were used as meeting places until 1898 when the present church was built and dedicated under the ministry of J. Harry Smith. The church was part of the Port Republic Charge which included several churches. A parsonage was built at Port Republic in 1906. class rooms were added to our original church building in the early 1900’s. The basement was cemented and finished in 1940—adding a kitchen and fellowship hall.
In 1954 the Grottoes church became a station church. A house on Park Avenue in Grottoes was given to the church by John Eutsler to be used as a parsonage. Rev. Robert L. Tressler was appointed minister of this new station church and under his leadership an educational building was constructed on the back of the church. This added seven classrooms, a social hall, a new kitchen, two storage rooms, two restrooms and a pastor’s study. This completed the church as it stands today. Improvements such as new pews, new carpeting, new roof, new paint, new organ, new furnaces and air conditioning have been added as needed. In 2002 an old house and land next to the church was purchased with plans for additional parking . In 2010, the house was torn down and a paved parking lot installed.
Since the church began it has had several denominational names. It started as Grottoes Methodist Episcopal Church, the Grottoes Methodist Episcopal Church South, and Grottoes Methodist Church. When our denomination united with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 we became the Grottoes United Methodist Church which is the name we go by today. We have been a part of the Harrisonburg District since June of 1972.” (Taken from the Homecoming Celebration Program of October 2007)

Wesleyone straming  Radio studio

Expanding the vision...

As we look into the New Year ahead of us and beyond, we are looking to expand our vision for Grottoes UMC.  We are a small church in the center of a town and we seek to be a church that brings new life, renewal, and Spiritual revival to those around us through our ministries. We are approaching our ministries with a new 21st century lens, with ministries such as  the "WesleyOne" streaming Radio Ministry, the inclusion of POD casts, online devotions, but also to find new ways to interact with our community in need with care, compassion and sharing our authentic hope for God's tomorrow. Our hope is that we will be able to be a blessing through our ministries. 

Where we are headed...

Our Goal in 2022
is to seek ministries and missions that help us to
engage the lives and needs of those in our community
to be a blessing that is meaningful, and transformative, in a real way,
to those who may receive.  
We seek to put Jesus Christ in the forefront of all that we do
because this is not about us, it is about Him!
We desire to be a congregation that helps to bring joy and enliven the hearts and spirits of those around us as we celebrate life, salvation, and the overflowing grace of God.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:30 am and 11 am.