Our Beliefs

First-Centenary is a theologically diverse congregation following the teachings of The United Methodist Church. We take John Wesley’s advice seriously when he writes, “On the essentials of religion, we are fixed as the sun, but on matters of opinion, we think and let think.”


God, who is one, is revealed in three distinct persons. 


We believe in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ. God became human in Jesus of Nazareth; and his life, death and resurrection demonstrates God's redeeming love.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God's present activity in our midst. When we sense God's leading, God's challenge, or God's support or comfort, it's the Holy Spirit at work.

The Church

The church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today.

The Bible

We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.

God's Reign

The kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.

At First-Centenary, we believe there are many hearts, but one purpose, and that is to “Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Our Vision is Serving People of the greater Chattanooga area in order to build a healthy and diverse community of disciples. We seek to do this by engaging both the head and the heart through worship, through learning opportunities, through service, and through giving. Several years ago, First-Centenary set 5 strategic goals to help us better connect with God and serve others.
These goals were:
1. Provide multiple and diverse worship experiences.
2. Be a church of servants to the community.
3. Be a caring, metropolitan presence, intentionally inclusive and interactive, that makes disciples.
4. Have a Center for Discipleship Formation.
5. Connect every member to a small group and direct all visitors to a small group.
First-Centenary is a United Methodist Congregation and we believe the theology of the United Methodist Church best reflects what we read in Scripture as interpreted through tradition, reason, and experience.

Core Values of First-Centenary United Methodist Church
As a multigenerational community of believers in Jesus Christ, we strive to boldly model His example in order to advocate transformation and to serve as beacons of His love and hope.

These core values bring clarity to the things that matter most at First-Centenary:
  • We believe all people matter to God and, therefore, to the church.
  • We believe that passionate worship and exceptional gospel preaching and teaching bring about transformation in individuals’ lives.
  • We believe that engaged and engaging church leadership empowers our ministries.
  • We believe our supportive Sunday School and Small Groups promote authenticity and growth.
  • We believe compassionate Congregational Care brings comfort and support in times of need.
  • We believe that generous support of missions, service and outreach to our neighbors locally, regionally and globally allows us to serve the marginalized and provides opportunities to be in relationship with people who are different from ourselves.
  • We believe that a vibrant, diverse, welcoming and inclusive community of faith enables us to present the light of Christ to all who seek His love and peace.
  • We believe that, building on our long legacy of bridging differences and working together in unity, we can serve as agents of change for good in our community and in the world.
We hope that you find our congregation to be a warm and caring church that seeks to follow Jesus Christ as we serve our community and the world around us. Come and worship with us, grow with us, and serve with us. Come and see what God is doing in this church and through this church.

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