Get To Know Us!
a great place to find out more about West Side Church
About West Side Church
Our Mission: As a United Methodist church we share a common Mission Statement with Methodists around the globe: Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
CONNECT people to the life and love of Jesus Christ;
GROW generations of Disciples;
ACT on our faith to change the world
The Journey: Connecting with the life and love of Jesus Christ is a life long journey. It requires a process of engaging, learning, growing and serving. We work together in small groups and as a congregation to ignite that growth.
Our Welcome: West Side United Methodist Church is an intentionally diverse community of faith that embraces and celebrates all people as loved children of God. Our vision is to connect people to the life and love of Jesus Christ, supporting current generations and building future generations of Christians. We welcome, affirm and share our ministry with people of all faith histories, ages, races, gender identities and expressions, economic status, mental abilities, physical abilities, sexual orientations, marital status, and nationalities. We look forward to building relationships with you by sharing together our gifts, service, prayers, worship, and witness. Welcome home to West Side.
Meet Our Staff:
Head Pastor: Adam Bissell
Director of Music Ministries: Jacob Carroll
Office Manager: Lisa Mayne
Meet Our Staff:
We believe the church belongs to God and that the church is, in the words of the Apostle Paul, the body of Christ, called to do God’s will and be the physical presence of Christ in the world.
A United Methodist Community
West Side Church is part of the United Methodist denomination, the second largest Protestant denomination in America, and we uphold our heritage by pursuing ministry in keeping with this tradition. We seek to be generous in spirit, broadminded, passionately devoted to Jesus Christ, and wholly surrendered to God. We strive for personal holiness by inviting people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. We also pursue social holiness in the public sphere by addressing key issues of our time so that our world will look more like the Kingdom of God. United Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion.
United Methodists are “people of the Book,” whose faith is firmly rooted in and built upon the scriptures. We hold the Bible to be divinely inspired and are committed to live by its words. We also recognize the Bible was written by people who heard God in the light of their own cultural and historical circumstances. As such, we make use of scholarship and study the scriptures carefully. When we encounter theological differences among Christians, we bear in mind John Wesley’s approach, “in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians, holding to the historic essentials of the Christian faith.
We believe the goal of the Christian life is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. We value passionate worship, relevant preaching, small groups to hold Christians accountable to one another, and serving those who are in need. We value the spiritual disciplines and take a “methodical” approach to growing in the faith.
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
United Methodists value the full participation of people of all backgrounds in every facet of fellowship and leadership within the church and society.
This is our heritage, and it continues to shape West Side Church in every area of our ministry.
Many German immigrants came to the Ann Arbor area in the nineteenth century. These were farmers and business people who settled on the west side of Ann Arbor and began to build their new lives in America. In 1832 a group of these immigrants organized a German Evangelical Society, and 14 years later a group of families unhappy with the Evangelical Society petitioned the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Church to open the "Erste Deutsche Methodisten Kirche" -- the First German Methodist Church on the west side of Ann Arbor. The first church building was at the corner of Division and Liberty streets, and then later was moved to a new building at the corner of Jefferson and Fourth streets in 1896. Over the next 20 years the church gradually transitioned from the German language to English, and in 1919 re-named itself West Side Methodist Church.
In 1952 the church acquired property on Seventh Street near Pauline, and built the sanctuary portion of the current building. Later an education building was added to the site, and a connecting building was added in 1986. In 1968 the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and became known as the United Methodist Church.
Today, West Side Church fully lives into the diverse society found in our community. Ann Arbor is a major university city in America, and we celebrate and serve the unique diversity that comes with our location.
We all desire to make a difference in the world around us. As Christians, we believe that Christ offers the perfect example of committed, compassionate, loving action to make a difference in the world. We want you to find a place to utilize your gifts, push outside your comfort zone, and make a difference for one person, a small group, or a larger community. Want to learn more? Start here, and then talk to our Staff or our welcome team members to take the next step.