A 116-year-old Tradition of Faithful
What began as a Sunday school meeting in a schoolhouse at Platt Street and Magnolia became a long line of faithful Christians committed to living out the words of Christ. Click on a heading below to learn more.
United Methodist Church History
John Wesley (1703-1791) and his brother Charles (1707-1788) mark the origin of the Methodist Church. As their movement grew in England, it became apparent that Methodism also was successfully spreading to America as a lay movement. The church was founded as The Methodist Episcopal Church in 1784. By the 1800’s, the denomination grew through the introduction of revivals and camp meetings. The United Methodist Church represents the merging of three streams of tradition: Methodism, the Church of the United Brethen and The Evangelical Association. The union was created in 1968.
1899: Hyde Park United Methodist is Born
1953-1980's: Remodeling and Renovation
Millennial Renovation and Expansion
The new and renovated facilities cost approximately $11 million and serve as the hub for worship, education, caring, and ministries of witness and service in support of the church’s mission of Making God’s Love Real.
In May 2003, The Rev. Dr. James A. Harnish, who began his ministry here in 1992, received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.
21st Century Imperative: Discipleship and Downtown
- Find Your Path–encouraging each to take the next steps in their faith journeys
- Cross the River–intentionally focusing on sending members out in ministry in our community, especially downtown
- Claim the Future –planning proactively to ensure that facilities help us expand God’s kingdom.
On April 15, 2007, the church dedicated and opened the 9,000-square-foot Magnolia Building on the south side of the campus. It serves Youth Ministries, Magnolia worship service and various church and community meetings. Built on the site former longtime tavern, the opening marked the fulfillment of dreams dating back decades.
Through 2007 and 2008, our congregation developed an intentional framework for discipleship, what we call the Discipleship Pathway. It was embraced by our congregation, and published in 2012 as “A Disciple’s Path” by the Rev. Jim Harnish and the Rev. Justin LaRosa. “A Disciple’s Path” has been used by hundreds of congregations nationwide.
In September 2011, the 11 Magnolia worship service was launched in the Magnolia Building, a modern contemporary service that invites all to “come as you are” to informal worship.
In late 2012, members voted to accept from the Florida Conference downtown property (formerly First United Methodist Church) for use in expanding Methodist ministry downtown. This decision affirmed the vision and present opportunity to “Cross the River” by ministering to and with downtown residents as envisioned in 2004. In 2013, a Downtown Launch Team began to work and pray to discern God’s call on this congregation for downtown.
By 2014 the purpose became clear: “To make God’s love real by inviting spiritual but not religious people in downtown Tampa to exper-rience the love of God and become disciples of Jesus Christ.” We envisioned a downtown worshiping community and a community gathering space for downtown residents and workers. The downtown campus was named “The Portico.” (More about Downtown Ministry and Campus.)
2014-2015: From Jim Harnish to Magrey deVega
Bishop Kenneth Carter appointed the Rev. Roger Scholtz of South Africa as Interim Senior Pastor from Sept. 1, 2014 until June 30, 2015.
In January 2015, Bishop Carter announced that the Rev. Magrey deVega would be appointed to serve as Hyde Park’s new senior pastor, effective July 2015. The appointment was homecoming of a kind for Magrey, who Magrey had previously served as Hyde Park Associate Pastor from 2000-2007.