The History of Stonebridge UMC
In 1989, visionary leader and retired District Superintendent, Rev. Pete Robertson led the North Texas Conference to purchase 15 acres of land located at the intersection of Stonebridge and Coronado Drive. In support of the church yet to be born, Pastor Pete and his wife, Jane, purchased a home in Stonebridge Ranch in 1990. Yet, Pete and Jane would continue to serve and worship at Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano for several years to come…
In June of 1995, at the Annual Conference of the North Texas Conference, Bishop Bill Oden, appointed Rev. Don Smith to plant a church that would eventually build on the 15 acres that had been purchased in 1989.
Pastor Don visited with Pastor Pete, who was part of the Pastoral Care Staff at Custer Road UMC and asked him for permission to have a list of the names of Custer Road UMC members who lived in Stonebridge Ranch area and were commuting to Custer Road to worship. With blessings of Custer Road UMC, he gave Don the list of these families. Several of them decided to join Don in helping to plant a new United Methodist Church in their own neighborhood.
Pastor Don made 300 cold calls in the first three weeks and had home information meetings in July of 1995.
When inviting people, Don said, “If you already have a church home, great. I encourage you to stay at your church and ask that you pray for us. If you don’t have a church home, I pray you will visit us and consider joining us as we start a new church.”
The Decisions of the Home Meetings:
“Stonebridge United Methodist Church will be a church which welcomes people from McKinney and the surrounding area with a spirit of acceptance and openness. It will encourage a “come as you are” atmosphere and will embrace a contemporary, traditional “balance” in its approach to worship. Classes, groups and worship celebrations will be based on Scripture and relevant to daily life. Sunday school will be offered to people of all ages and all programs, from the nursery to worship and music, will strive for excellence and quality.”- Newsletter distributed in August of 1995
When Did We Begin?
On September 17, 1995, the first worship service was held in Dowell Middle School. Two hundred twenty-five people attended the first service.
In December of 1999, the congregation moved from Dowell Middle School into Phase I of our existing location. Within a month’s time we had 200 more people attending Stonebridge Church…. We averaged 100 visitors each weekend. This was a very exciting time in the life of our church as we saw God working in the life of the community.
The second building phase was completed in 2003, adding additional classrooms and meeting spaces.
In February 2004, Rev. John Mollet became our second pastor. He led Stonebridge UMC into our largest building phase to date. The Robertson Activity Center opened in February 2008. It was to be the home of The Bridge worship services and a multi-use facility for sporting events, concerts, and much more. Rev. John Mollet was our Senior Pastor from February 2004 – June 2011.
In July 2011, Rev. Vic Casad was appointed senior pastor. He was promoted to District Superintendent in July 2013.
Rev. John McLarty was appointed to Stonebridge UMC in July 2013. It was under his leadership that our current vision statement was developed and put into practice; "We seek to be a joyful community where we strive to live and love like Jesus." Rev. John McLarty was our Senior Pastor through June 2017.
Rev. Jeff Lust was appointed as Senior Pastor of Stonebridge UMC in July 2017 and continues the tradition of committed discipleship and pastoral care and service that began at Stonebridge UMC in 1995.
Who Are We?
The church is a place that bridges the generations with healthy numbers of senior adults, empty nesters, families raising teenagers, families with small children, young married couples, singles (previously married and never married), and students. The church is also a place that spans a wide range of theological perspectives from conservative to progressive to moderate and everything in between. We may not all look alike and we may not all think alike, but we hold to our faith in Jesus as our common bond and seek to build everything we do on the solid foundation of Christ.
The mission of Stonebridge United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
For more about the United Methodist Church, visit the United Methodist Handbook.