On May 25, 1976, the first organizational meeting leading to the formation of a United Methodist Church at Bella Vista was held at the Hill ‘N Dale Restaurant with 54 present. The Reverend Samuel B. Teague, Senior Pastor of the Bentonville Methodist Church and The Reverend Vernon Becker, Associate Pastor guided the congregation throught the initial stages of organization.
The first worship service was held June 6, 1976 with an attendance of 98. The first Charge Conference was held June 28, 1976 and a second convened on September 12, 1976 when the congregation voted on a building site. The first meeting of the United Methodist Men was held August 12, 1976 & the first organizational meeting for the United Methodist Women met at the home of Ann Basore, August 23, 1976. Reverend D. Max Whitfield was appointed Sr. Pastor and Teverend Vernon Becker, Associate Paster on January 1, 1977, A ground breaking ceremony for a fellowship hall/education wing, was held October 9, 1977 and Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks conducted the Service of Consecration October 1, 1978.
On June 1, 1979, a ground breaking ceremony was held for the church sanctuary, and March 9, 1980 Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks and District Superintendent Wm. P. Connell participated in the Service of Consecration. On this date the church conferred upon Vernon Becker the title of Pastor Emeritus.
Volunteers began the construction of the lower level of the church January 19, 1981, with a Service of Consecration held April 26, 1981, led by Reverend Wm. P. Connell.
Reverend Joe L. Wilkerson was appointed Sr. Pastor on June 15, 1981. On February 27, 1983 the congregation approved plans for a parsonage. Ground breaking took place March 1, 1983 with a Service of Consecration September 11, 1983. A mortgage burning dedication was conducted March 10, 1985.
On June 15, 1985, Reverend Gerald Hammett was appointed as Sr. Pastor. The tenth anniversary was held June 8, 1986, at which the Founding Members and Charter Members were recognized.
On June 1, 1988 Reverend Wendell R. Dorman was appointed as Sr. Pastor. The mortgage burning of the church took place June 12, 1989 and the steeple was raised March 22, 1990.
Ground breaking for the new addition, a fellowship hall/kitchen, classrooms and remodeling of the old fellowship hall was held September 9, 1990. Participating in the service were Reverend Wendell R. Dorman, Sr. Pastor and Reverend Aaron F. Barling, District Superintendent. The cross in the sanctuary was raised July 8, 1991 and the new addition was completed November 1, 1991.
The fifteenth year anniversary was held in 1991 honoring Charter members and a suprise dedication of the fellowship hall was named “Becker Hall” in honor of Reverend Vernon and Georgia Becker.
Under the guidance of the Vision 2000 Committee a 20 year anniversary was held at the church September 19, 1996.
At the 1987 Charge Conference our church sponsored Jocelyn Bernholdt in her study of deaconal ministry. On June 12, 1998, she was ordained as deacon in full connection.
To meet the needs of our membership each Sunday three worship services are provided with Sunday School for all ages. With our church-owned bus, transportation is provided for church residents of Concordia. The first service is video taped and aired each Sunday on TV for those who are unable to attend church.
Through the dedication of our members on various committees, UMM, UMW, Shepherd Groups, ect., First United Methodist Church of Bella Vista strives to fulfill our “Statement of Purpose.”