NEW ORLEANS-- Today, First Grace United Methodist Church will be celebrating their 10th anniversary. It's a milestone for this diverse and somewhat unorthodox Methodist church.
First Grace United Methodist Church is actually two churches that combined to form one. You see, Hurricane Katrina left two congregations on Canal Street in dire straits. Those two churches were: First United Methodist and Grace United Methodist. Neither church could've survived on their own. First United Methodist Church was primarily white and elderly, while Grace United Methodist was primarily black. The two congregations decided to combine rather than disband. They combined despite any cultural or societal tensions that may have existed. Both congregations have worked together to form a united place of worship for all. They are very inclusive and open to all people.
Their website states: "First Grace is an urban community of faith embracing all of God's children as persons of sacred worth, regardless of station in life, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."
"Literally every type of person comes to church here. Everyone's welcome here all the time. Both of these churches were rooted in tradition, but Hurricane Katrina forced a merger. Of course there were a lot of what if's, but the result is absolutely beautiful," Rebekah Bradshaw with First Grace United Methodist Church said.
First Grace United Methodist Church prides itself on being "an urban community of faith embracing all of God's children as persons of sacred worth, regardless of station in life, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
First Grace United Methodist Church is located at 3401 Canal Street. Shawn Moses Anglim is the Pastor. Prior to Katrina, both congregations were a mile away from each other.