Our Mission and Vision Statement

Mission Statement
Sharing God’s love and grace with all, inspired by ministry, mission, and music.

Vision Statement
The Vision of Central Church is to welcome all people into an inclusive community of faith expressing the love of God and Jesus Christ. We carry out our faith both as individuals and as a church, seeking to connect with those in need of love, care, and justice. We work as a congregation and as a partner locally and worldwide to put into action the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Read More


Our History

After the 1870 Los Angeles Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, a lone circuit rider headed east across the hot and barren Mohave Desert, then into the Sonoran Desert ... his destination, the few isolated settlements that dotted the vast Arizona Territory.

One hundred and forty three years later we look back with gratitude for the courage, vision, and faith of that lonely rider, Alexander Groves, and the small but hardy group of men and women who welcomed him to their humble community on the banks of the Salt River in the middle of the desert. That fledgling group began gathering regularly for worship under the spiritual leadership of Rev. Groves, and was the inception of what we now know as Central United Methodist Church.

Read More


Urban Abbey Upcoming Events

No Upcoming Events Found

Urban Abbey

Inspired by Ministry and Mission: In enjoying the richness of our archives we know that Central Church began in the Phoenix Settlement with no permanent home. Meetings and worship were held under mesquite trees, ranch homes, courtrooms and any other respectable space they could find. The need for a space was apparent and fulfilled by hours of labor and love by its members; the first church building of any religious denomination to be constructed in Phoenix.


Read More

Our Administrative Team

Rev. Doug Handlong

On behalf of my family, Deanne, Kallie, Abby, Jeffrey, and myself, we send our greetings with excitement and joy! After 13 years of serving outside the Phoenix area, it will be good be back. We have been blessed to call Las Vegas, NV. Flagstaff, AZ and Anchorage, AK home.

Read more

Rev. Rock Fremont

Pastor Rock most recently served as Spiritual Life and Housing Coordinator at Justa Center. He previously served as a Chaplain with the Arizona Department of Corrections, ministering to those incarcerated on Arizona’s Death Row. He is the current Chair of the Arizona Foundation for Theology. He is a graduate of both...

Read more

Marilyn Seese

Marilyn Seese has been a member of Central church since 1975. She has taught children and youth Sunday school classes since 1989 and has been the Director of Education since 2002. In addition to teaching, Marilyn also accompanies the children’s choir on Sunday morning, is the President of the Lydia...

Read more

Don Morse

Since 1982, Don Morse has served as Minister of Worship and The Arts at Central United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, where he coordinates all musical ensembles, worship experiences, the visual arts, theatre arts, and communications. He was educated at Boston University School for the Arts and The School of...

Read more

Steve Hilderbrand

A native of north central Ohio, Steve relocated to Phoenix in March of 1987.  He “found” Central United Methodist Church on Christmas Eve that year and has been associated with UMC ever since. His association with church music began when he was four years old, standing on a stool in...

Read more

Kevin Gorman

Dr. Kevin Gorman has served as the instructor of saxophone at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and several schools in the Phoenix Metro area, including Grand Canyon University and Southwestern College.  Holding a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Arizona State University and a Masters of Music degree in saxophone...

Read more

Our Facilities

Central Church has many spaces for worship, meetings, ....

Book a Room

Read More

Central Church

1875 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Phone: 602-258-8048
Fax: 602-253-6759
Email: info@centalumc.com