About United Methodist Community House
UMCH increases the ability of children, youth, adults, and families
to succeed in a diverse community.
Who We Are
United Methodist Community House (UMCH) is all about “community.” Since 1902, we have been meeting the needs of and offering opportunities to children, youth, adults, seniors, and families in our neighborhood, to help them increase their opportunities to succeed. Located in the heart of Grand Rapids, we are committed to serving a diverse population and are continually adapting our programming to best service those who need us most—our community.
Our Core Values
In September 1902, a group of women from the Methodist Churches of the Grand Rapids District organized a club to do settlement work. They selected Irene Cummings, a Deaconess, to supervise the project. The place of operation was a store building on Ellsworth Avenue. The program included classes for kindergarten and early elementary children (all girls). By the second year, two evenings a week were devoted to a program for boys. As the project grew, Irene Cummings was succeeded by Bertha Clark with Nellie Shorter as an assistant. Classes were offered in Bible study, citizenship, cooking, sewing and handy-crafts. Already the program was beginning to meet the needs of ethnically-diverse people, among them several Syrian families.
After a decade of service, it was evident that here was a growing and deserving program that merited expansion…