How We Began

The history of Guam United Methodist Church, Mangilao, Guam written in Fall, 2010.

Fall, 1970

Marilyn Bunyan and Marcia Hartsock, met in a bowling alley in Guam and started talking.
They were both Methodists and felt there were probably other Methodists on Guam.
Their conversation led to the decision they wanted to start a Methodist church.
They followed up on their idea and made contacts with other Methodists.
The 'unofficial' Methodist church on Guam was born.

11 April 1971 - Easter Sunday

Nine families met at Marilyn Bunyan's home to worship. Most of the Methodists were
contract teachers. Nelie Dizon, a current church member and her husband, now deceased
were charter members of the church. Those early members met in each other's homes.
Services were held just before lunch (around 11 AM) with lay speakers giving the sermon
and the meeting ended with fellowship.

.One member who was also a teacher volunteered to be the pastor even though he had no
formal training.

Nelie and XX Dizon

Mr. and Mrs. Dizon were charter members of the church.
Mr. Dizon was a professor at the University of Guam. He sent pamphlets to friends and
relatives on the mainland. They raised approximately $10,000 to add to the building
fund. John and Karen Carpenter

Aug, 1971 John and Karen Carpenter came to Guam as teachers.Karen made the observation that
those who came were independent people who worked together; there was a sense of
community. Karen is Choir Director, and John is a member of the choir. Both are active
members of the church in other capacities, also.

From Homes to a Building

Church members moved from meeting in homes to meeting at the Seventh Day Adventist
Chapel (SDA) in Agana Heights.

Typhoon Pamela

On 21 May 1976, Typhoon Pamela passed over Guam-very slowly. Approximately a week earlier,
it had produced a tropical depression north of Chuuk and became a tropical storm almost
immediately and then reached typhoon status on 16 May. When it crossed Guam, it had
sustained winds of 140 mph. Typhoon Pamela was weaker than Super Typhoon Karen which
struck Guam in 1962, but it was much more devastating because it crossed more slowly.

Typhoon Pamela blew the roof off the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA).The meeting place
moved to the Scottish Rights Temple in Agana Heights.

A building owned by the Jehovah Witness church had its roof blown off by Typhoon Pamela
in 1976. Methodists purchased the building. Work parties of members repaired the building,
including putting on a new roof.
They later sold the building to the Salvation Army where it is still in use today. This
sale gave the church starter money so they could have the church building the congregation
wanted. As they continued to plan the church and raise money to build it, members went
back to renting the repaired, SDA building in Agana Heights for services.

The Hawaiian Association owned land and planned to build a clubhouse. Adelino Valentine and his
wife, two Methodist Church members, also belonged to the Hawaiian group; they arranged for the
purchase of the land by the church for a fair price. The requirement of the purchase
was that a church had to be built. The Building Committee came up with plans.
Many ideas were put forth for the proposed new building; some were within their economic means
and some were not. The husband of Marcia Hartsock was the first church historian. The first
parsonage was a modular home. Members loaned money interest free to buy the current parsonage
plus the church took out a small loan.

Some Bumps in the Road
The District Superintendent and the Bishop knew about the church being a Methodist church;
the General Conference did not know. The church was first called United Community Methodist Church.
This naming convention was not allowed. The Church sent out brochures announcing the church's
existence; this was premature because they did not have approval. They asked the General
Conference what they had to do, and they did it.The General Conference asked why the Guam church
did not join the Philippine Methodist church.

Some of the men in the congregation were upset; they were Americans and wanted to be part of
the church on the mainland.

Pastors (not all in chronological order)
The Reverend Johann M. Osias (2011 - Present)
Reverend Dr. Alfredo "Fred" Agtarap (2007-2011)
The Reverend Daisy Ho
Jaime Vergara
Ralph Landis
Grosvenor Needham (Episcopalian)-filled the pastor role in the 1980s
Tim Mull - pastor for approximately 7 years
Lamuel Jacob, from India originally; he was a first-time pastor, and so spent quite a bit of
time in training
Donna Faith Eldridge - pastor for approximately 3 years (although she only planned to stay for
one year!). She led the effort to establish the Guam Interfaith Committee; the tenth annual
"Thanksgiving" interfaith service was held on 18 November 2010.

Orlando Chapman was from Hawaii and was assigned as the minister to the church.
Don Covington - was a teacher and part time pastor
Used lay speakers when the church did not have a pastor for a year.

Guam United Methodist Church paid their apportionment even before being approved
as a church. The church pays the pastor's salary and receives no off-island support.

Worship Services 9:30am

The worship service at Guam United Methodist Church begins at 9:30am Sunday morning.
This service highlights the rich traditions of our United Methodist heritage through word and music.
Lay liturgists offer worship leadership with clergy providing the message.
Come be inspired by our dynamic Pastor and Liturgical staff, and listen to our wonderful Choir.
We sing our traditional United Methodist Hymns as well as contemporary songs from TFWS.
We are a congregation of people devoted to witnessing to the larger dimensions of life and faith in Jesus,
and you’ll find our worship honors tradition and has a message that is relevant to life now.
All are a welcome to be part of all aspects of GUMC.
with Fellowship after sevice in the GUMC basement.
Communion is served on the first Sunday of each month.


The GUMC Choir sings praises to God each Sunday morning during our traditional Worship Service.
The GUMC choir has been in existence since 1973.
Choir practice is every Wednesday at 7:30pm to 8:30pm.
The choir is open to everybody.
The choir is led by Karen Carpenter.
Choir members are:
Sopranos: Kathy Flynn, Stella Gapas, Maria D. Hernandez, Ruth Kruckenberg, Becky North, Amy Osias, Meryl Osias, Rina Pelayo, Zeny Santos, Debbie Wise
Altos: Karen Carpenter, Sue Pearson, Beth Somera, Ruth Tacuyan
Tenors: Aaron Agsalud, Wayne Kruckenberg, Isaiah Osias, Efren Santos
Basses: Ben Addie, John Carpenter, Pastor Johan Osias,John Wise
Pianist: Joel Dizon