The Memorial Drive United Methodist Church (UMC) has been a vibrant and active community of faith for more than 50 years. On July 13, 1958, 44 people led by Reverend D. Lawrence Landrum, Jr., gathered for worship at the former Chapman’s Corner Restaurant on Old Katy Road. The church officially was chartered on September 14, 1958. Under the leadership of Reverend Landrum, the church continued to grow and on Christmas Eve 1961 the church’s 400 members met for their first worship service in their new sanctuary on Memorial Drive.
Strong leadership and gifted preachers always have been the hallmark of the ministers at Memorial Drive. Reverends Charles Williams and Asbury Lenox followed Reverend Landrum as senior ministers. Then, in 1972, Dr. Eugene Cragg became senior minister of this thriving congregation. Under his strong leadership, the church expanded and flourished in all ways: buildings, membership, program and staff. The present sanctuary, with its beautiful stained-glass windows, was built during this time and dedicated for worship on February 8, 1977.
When Dr. Cragg retired in 1998, Dr. Charles B. Simmons, with his inspiring sermons, enthusiasm and vision, became senior minister. Under his leadership the church continues to grow and reach out in service and love to the community and the world. Due to the physical growth of the church, space became an issue on the main campus. Thus, in 2001 the Rummel Creek Shopping Center was purchased and today this complex, now known as the Connection Center, houses the Senior Adult Activity Center and The Refuge, a welcoming center for the youth of this community to gather. Plans are under way for continued expansion of this center as the church continues to discern who God is calling to be the church.
Today, as in the past, Memorial Drive UMC is a congregation of loving and committed people who faithfully live out Christ’s commandment to love God and love neighbors. Memorial Drive UMC invites you to become a part of this congregation as together they praise God, transform lives and serve others.
MDUMC has several on-going opportunities for service to the community
For many years the Soupmobile Ministry has been an integral part of the outreach mission of Memorial Drive UMC. Members of our congregation prepare and deliver sack lunches to hungry people throughout the community. Teams meet several times a week and prepare the lunches and then drivers deliver them to their destinations.
Helping Hands is a ministry within MDUMC that responds to various needs within the MDUMC community. If you are in need of a “helping hand” around the house, please let us know. This group welcomes opportunities to serve as the hands and heart of Christ, and folks have helped out with everything from computer training to replacing air filters and power washing. Do you have a hammer? Can you teach someone new to computers how to use the Internet? Do you have a heart to help a senior adult or single person? If so, we need you! Or, if you are a senior adult or single or just need a hand, let us know and we can help!
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, insisted that prison ministry was an inseparable ministry of the church. He championed the cause of prison reform and said that “There can be no religion by social religion. There can be no holiness but social holiness.” It is in the spirit of John Wesley that Memorial Drive UMC works to bring healing and restoration to offenders and victims.
You may find that you want to participate in or learn more about the following opportunities: The incarcerated
Life Skill Development
Families of the Incarcerated
First Responder Relief
Releasees with After Care
Local church contact
The vision at MDUMC is that all people impacted by crime would be restored by the love of Jesus Christ through Restorative Justice ministries.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
A prayer shawl is intended to be a physical reminder of God’s care. It offers comfort to the wearer while creating an awareness of God’s nearness. God knows the deepest needs of everyone and is always present to sustain us. Prayers shawls are given to individuals in times of crisis, illness, or celebration as a reminder of God’s abiding love and presence. They are given to members of this congregation as well as to those beyond our congregation. Hundreds of prayer shawls have been created as MDUMC members gather to knit and pray. While they may or may not know who will receive each shawl, with each stitch they offer prayers on behalf of that person. If you love to knit or would like to learn, please consider joining our morning or evening group.
MDUMC is celebrating its second year of mentoring at Hollibrook Elementary School in the Spring Branch school district. The Spring Branch ISD Mentoring Program has produced dramatic, tangible results which include higher student achievement and a better attitude, as well as an overall improved campus atmosphere and spirit. Caring mentors who meet once a week for 30–45 minutes with their “mentees” have made the difference. At-risk students have thrived with the attention they receive from their mentors and from the caring relationships that are forged.
As faithful disciples who feel called to do the work of Christ in the world, MDUMC members and friends of MDUMC have participated in training and made the commitment to make a difference in the life of a child. Hollibrook mentoring has become incredibly valuable to those who are mentored and to those who do the mentoring.
If you love children and are willing to be trained and obtain a security clearance, then you may want to consider becoming a part of such a joyful ministry.
If you or someone you know is in need of emergency support, MDUMC is here to help with the hard times. A member of our clergy is always available to meet for counsel and prayer.
In addition, we also offer help with food, transportation and referrals to other community resources.
MDUMC is dedicated to having a great place for youth to come and grow closer to each other and to grow in their faith. Whether hanging out at the Refuge, or going to MYF or Bible study, you can be sure that when you are here you will be welcomed.
Middle School Youth
Middle School stuff at MDUMC is always fun and always awesome. Whether we are just hanging out and having fun or serving those in need, this is where you want to be. Lynell and Kim Kennedy are in charge of our Middle School ministry and do their best to create a welcoming atmosphere for these kids that are really starting out on their faith journey.
High School Youth
If you are in High School then you want to hang out at MDUMC. We do our best to have a good mix of fun and faith. We will challenge you to learn about Jesus and grow in your faith. Steve Cragg is our Youth Director and Sedonia Finstad is in charge of High School ministry. Both of them have been here for a long time and know how to reach out to youth.
One of the great things that we are privileged to have at MDUMC for youth is the Refuge 13150 Memorial . This is a safe place for teenagers to come and hang out after school. We have all kinds of games and activities as well as a kitchen full of delicious food.
Middle School After School Program
Ever wonder what your 6th, 7th, or 8th grader is up to during those after-school hours before you get home from work Well, wonder no more - sign them up for M.A.P. Our Middle School After School program is one of those little known secrets on this side of town. The program began in 1999 to provide a safe and fun after school environment for 6th-8th graders. Students are currently picked up at Memorial Middle School, Spring Forest Middle School, and Westchester Academy. After school hours are spent at the Refuge, MDUMC's teen club at 13150 Memorial, and at the main church campus at 12955 Memorial. During their time at M.A.P. your youth will be taken care of by counselors who truly care about them and will provide various activities, snacks, and homework assistance. Just think of M.A.P. as a surrogate family for your youth while you are at work.