River Oaks United Methodist Church began nearly 80 years ago when two young men, Rev. R.B. Jackson and Mr. Julian C. Hyer, were encouraged by Dr. J. Score to organize a Methodist church in the Castleberry community. On Sunday, February 13, 1937, these two men met with nine interested Methodists to organize a Sunday School class which Mr. Hyer would teach. On Easter of that year, Rev. S. A. Ashburn, a retired Methodist minister, held the first church service, and by May, Rev. Earl T. Wright had begun holding regular services. Finally, on September 26, 1937, the Castleberry Methodist Church was chartered with 43 members.
Services were first held in the old Castleberry School House. Later the Methodist Church purchased their own land adjoining the school. There they met for five years holding services under a brush arbor until a small frame building could be completed.
As General Dynamics and Carswell Air Force Base grew, the Castleberry School needed to expand. As a result, the church property was traded to the school in exchange for the lot at its present location, 4800 Ohio Garden Road. The present church facilities were constructed in four phases.
First, the original frame building was moved to the present location in January 1943, when Rev. Carrol H. Thompson was pastor. This building, housing the original sanctuary, is now the Fellowship Hall and kitchen.
Next, an educational building and new sanctuary were added to the original structure. This area, now called the East Wing, was built during the ministry of Rev. William Greenwaldt (1947-1949).
Phase three occured in the 1950's when a sanctuary with a seating capacity of 600 persons was erected. The Rev. Garland Lavendar was pastor during this time of growth.
Finally, the large educational building was added in 1959 under the ministry of Rev. E. R. Gordon. This two story structure has six classrooms on each floor.
On December 14, 1981, the sanctuary was destroyed by fire. The determination and unity of the congregation along with Rev. Uriah Stegman, and the building committee, led by Mr. Jack Alexander and Warren Campbell resulted in a beautiful new sanctuary, with a seating capacity of 400 and an enlarged and redesigned chancel area.
Often referred to as "The church with a warm heart," we welcome everyone. We have a long history of service to others and to God. We invite you to come and join us as we continue our christian journey of Reaching Others United in Ministry with Christ. We look forward to greeting you, meeting you, knowing you.