History in Downey

1877 Methodist Church on Paramount At Alameda Ave.

A very short history of Downey United Methodist Church.

In 1850 the California Republic was granted Statehood.  In the Los Angeles area, there were several settlements and large land grants which included several Spanish Land grants.  The area that we now live in, Downey, called Los Nietos. It included much of the land along the Rio San Gabriel, including the settlement of Los Nietos. In 1854 a group of 16 families that worshiped together in various homes, wrote a letter to the presiding Elder of the Methodist Church in Stockton, Rev. J. F. Blythe, asking for a pastor. He agreed and in April of 1855 Rev. J. T. Cox arrived. He may have been a circuit rider that would serve them.  The Rev. John Ardis came in 1868 and built a schoolhouse.  In 1869 Rev. Ardis made the schoolhouse available for church worship. The location was at the corner of Paramount and Alameda St.  The school was founded as the Los Nietos Collegiate Institute.  In 1877 the first church building was erected across the street (College (now Paramount Blvd.)) from the school.  This new church had a steeple that was 110 feet high.  This was the home for the Los Nietos Methodist Episcopal Church until 1891 when it was moved to the southwest corner of Dolan and 2nd Street.  It served there until 1922.  The congregation grew and in 1921, new church construction was started at today’s location.  This new building served until 1954. When a new sanctuary was built.  The old church was removed and a new education building was built in its place.  It now stands as the Downey United Methodist Church.

On August 25, 2018, stands a Methodist congregation that started 164 years ago.