Our History

1919-1944 No new Methodist Church had been organized in Jacksonville.
1944 Rev. Norton, pastor of Ortega UMC, recognized the need for a new Methodist Church in the Lake Shore area.  Rev. Norton conducted a survey of 847 homes in the area and 300 individuals indicated a desire for a new Methodist Church.  Rev. Norton became the founder of this new church in Lake Shore.
1945 In May, the new church was formally organized as Lake Shore UMC with 36 charter members.  They began having services in a community building called the Avondale Building.  That building was eventually purchased and one year later the congregation broke ground for the sanctuary building.  The sanctuary was constructed of beautifully crafted Tennessee Crab Orchard Stone, which was purchased uncut and then sent on site by railway cars.
1947 Membership had grown to 210 and the sanctuary was “windowsill” high.
1949 Easter Sunday, the congregation moved into the new sanctuary.
1955 On the 10th anniversary of formation of LSUMC, the cornerstone for the new fellowship hall was laid.  That building was named Norton hall in honor of our founder and first pastor.
1963 Moore Education Building is built.
1978 Stunning stained glass windows were installed in Sanctuary
Mid 1980’s Old Avondale Building was torn down to make room for the Wesley Building.  The larger two-story administration and education building houses staff offices, children’s area, choir room, and small group rooms
Since then, major improvements to the property have included remodeling the platform in the  Sanctuary and purchasing nearby properties for additional parking spaces and future expansion  We have renovated Norton Hall and the Youth Room.


It is our goal here at Lake Shore UMC to be a church actively “Reaching out & Revealing hope” in our community and the world.