Mission of the United Methodist Church

Making new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Vision of The Downtown Church

The Downtown Church meets in the middle of rich & poor, young & old, believers & nonbelievers. A place where Christ and the community intersect.

Values of The Downtown Church

  • Community: We live in relationship with others in downtown Springfield and we have the obligation and privilege of positively impacting the lives of those in our community and the world.

  • Acceptance: Recognizing the uniqueness of each child of God, we will intentionally engage and build relationships with all people we encounter as we live out our call to love God and love neighbor.

  • Spiritual Growth: We will invite new people and provide opportunities for each person to grow as a follower of Jesus Christ throughout all the seasons of their life.

  • Creativity: We seek to be innovative, creative, and imaginative in the midst of history and tradition as we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in relevant and authentic ways.

  • Reflection: We will purposely take time to evaluate and reflect in our ministry as The Downtown Church both collectively and personally to remain open to the Holy Spirit’s movement in and through us.


Our church traces its roots back to 1831, when Rev. James Slavens came to the Ozarks from southeast Missouri. Over time, through the Civil War and a move down the street, our sanctuary at the corner of Walnut and Jefferson became St. Paul United Methodist Church in 1903.

It was a large and vibrant church all the way through the 1970s. But the church began aging. St. Paul clung to life, even temporarily joining with another downtown Methodist Church in 2005. In 2013, the dwindlling congregation began talks with Wesley UMC, on the southwest side of town, about adoption.

On January 1, 2014, St. Paul ceased to be and turned over the church and assets to Wesley. Pastor Lori was hired in August 2014, and we began to grow—from 30 people to 200 on any given Sunday.

In June of 2019, The Downtown Church was chartered as its own United Methodist church, and what was once an aging congregation is now one full of life, from newborns to ninety-somethings.


I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.