The congregation and staff of the First Methodist Family extend to you our warmest congratulations and deepest prayers for your wedding.
First Methodist Houston is committed to providing opportunities to nurture the sacred relationship of marriage. We have been connecting the hearts of Houston since 1839. In this tradition, we look forward to supporting your marriage, as you establish this covenant with each other and with Christ through His Church.
General Info and FAQs
Do we have to be members of First Methodist Houston to be married on one of their campuses?
We invite members and non-members alike to be married on either of our two campuses.
All couples married at First Methodist Houston must agree to the guidelines and contractual arrangements as defined in our documentation and discussed with the Wedding Coordinator.
When are weddings held at First Methodist Houston?
Weddings are held on Saturdays at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., or 7 p.m. An alternate time can be discussed but an additional fee will be required in addition to our regular rental fees. Weddings will not be scheduled from two weekends before Easter, through Easter, anytime July 4 weekend, or from the weekend before Thanksgiving through New Year’s. (Using Christmas season and 2017 Easter and July as examples, weddings will not be scheduled for Nov. 21 through January 2, 2018, and March 18 – April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018)
How many hours do we have access to the church on the day of our wedding?
On the day of the ceremony you get two (2) hours prior to the ceremony and one and half (1 ½) from the time the ceremony begins giving you a total of three and a half (3 ½) hours in the church. For example, if you have a ceremony schedule for 7pm, you will have access to the church from 5pm through 8:30pm.
How many people will First Methodist Houston Downtown Sanctuary seat? The Downtown Chapel? The Westchase Sanctuary? The Westchase Chapel?
The Downtown Sanctuary will seat 1350, the Chapel will seat 95. The Westchase Sanctuary will seat 2400 and the Westchase Chapel seats 200.
May we select our own minister to officiate at our wedding?
Yes. The wedding coordinator will ask you to make a first and second choice from our list of male and female clergy on staff at First Methodist Houston. The Wedding Coordinator will need to verify the availability of the requested pastor for your wedding date and get back with you. Once availability is determined a pre-marriage conference with your officiating pastor will need to be made. During the conference, the minister will discuss with you the details of the service and the meaning of marriage in the context of the Christian faith. Several meetings will be held with your Minister prior to the ceremony.
Can a pastor from another Church or other denomination of faith officiate our wedding?
A pastor from another church or church denomination may assist with the ceremony only. Requests for the addition of a guest pastor should be made well in advance of the wedding date to the Wedding Coordinator, who will get approval from the officiating clergy.
Is marriage counseling or a workshop required?
No, it is not mandatory but we do recommend it. We do not provide wedding workshops but recommend https://www.twogetherintexasonlinecourse.com/ online course as an option. By taking a course you can get a discount on the cost of your marriage license.
May we select our own music and musicians?
Responsibility for all music at First Methodist Houston is delegated to our staff appointed music personnel. First Methodist Houston welcomes outside musicians, soloists and choirs to perform at weddings but all approval and coordination must be through our appointed staff contact.
Downtown Campus: John Gearhart, Organist, can be reached through email email@example.com
Westchase Campus: Dr. Frank Varro, Worship Leader, can be reached through email firstname.lastname@example.org
How old must one be to participate in a First Methodist wedding?
FUMC recommends children be at least five years old to participate in a wedding but this decision is left up to the bride and groom.
May we write our own service?
Your pastor will follow The Service of Christian Marriage to ensure the service is kept in accordance with the United Methodist Church. However, your officiating pastor will gladly work with you to bring your ideas and personality into the ceremony.
Are pets allowed to be included in the service?
Pets are not allowed to be in the service or in any of our buildings. Only “service dogs” are allowed entry.
How do we schedule our wedding?
To schedule your wedding, contact the Wedding Coordinator Alexis McCarty via email at email@example.com. Please fill out the “Wedding Worksheet” and email this with your request. This document is in Excel format and can be downloaded off of the website.
Weddings will be confirmed by First Methodist Houston upon receipt of the wedding worksheet, signed pricing proposal and the $450 deposit.
*The Building Use Fee includes use of the Bride’s Room, the Groom’s Area, parking lots, safety staff, a wedding assistant, and related services for two hours before through one-and-one-half hours after the wedding begins.
What is the payment schedule?
The wedding coordinator will be happy to send you a customized proposal. The proposal will outline the fee schedule.
A $450 deposit/booking fee of which $250 is non-refundable is required to secure the availability of First Methodist Houston for your wedding. This deposit/booking fee is partial payment of the total fees paid to First Methodist Houston for the wedding. Second Payment is half of the remaining balance and is due toward the total fees owed to First Methodist Houston at either six months before the wedding date or upon booking the wedding if the wedding date is fewer than six months from the booking date. The balance of the fees is due and payable no later than 60 days prior to the wedding date.
Payments for the church facility must be submitted on time per the payment schedule and sent to the following address:
First Methodist Houston
Attn: Susie Horr
1320 Main Street
Houston TX 77002
You may also submit credit card payments online at www.fmhouston.com but 3.5% will need to be added to the amount to cover the credit card fees. Click on the “GIVE” tab on the home page. Fill in the form using the “other” box for the payment. Give a detailed explanation of the payment in the box next to the “other” box (Bride’s name, Groom’s name, wedding date, and downtown campus). This information in the comment box is imperative in order for the amount to be applied as a payment for the wedding and not a donation.
Honorariums to the pastor need to be paid directly to the pastor and should be taken care of during the premarital meeting with that pastor. You may also mail the honorarium to the church address to the attention of the pastor.
Fees for video services by First Choice Ministries or for video streaming should be sent to the following address:
First Choice Ministries
Attn: Chris Taylor
1320 Main Street
Houston TX 77002
All facility charges, fees, and honorariums must be paid as agreed to avoid the wedding date being dropped from the church calendar. Weddings will be removed from the calendar if the fees are not received according to the payment schedule.
What if I must cancel?
If you must cancel your wedding for any reason, please notify the Wedding Coordinator as soon as possible so your time can be made available to others. The deposit fee of $250 is retained by First Methodist Houston and the remaining balance of paid fees will be sent back to the bride in check form.
When may we schedule our rehearsal and who must attend?
The rehearsal time must be set with the Wedding Coordinator when the wedding is scheduled. These are to be at 6 or 7 p.m. on the evening preceding the wedding.
All members of the wedding party, including parents, grandparents, and ushers, should be present at and prompt to the rehearsal. Please stress promptness to them. There may be as many as three rehearsals on the same evening. If members of your party are more than 15 minutes late, your rehearsal may be cancelled.
A Wedding Guild member will be available at the rehearsal and wedding to help make the wedding go smoothly.
A Bride’s Room is available for the bride and her attendants to use beginning no sooner than two hours before the wedding begins. A Groom’s Area is available during this same period.
No rice, bird seed, flower petals (real or artificial), or other materials of this nature may be thrown on the church premises by anyone, including a flower girl.
Absolutely no alcohol is allowed on the church premises at any time before, during, or after the wedding. Smoking is permitted only outside the buildings.
We know that you have special furry friends but we do not allow them to participate in the ceremony or be in the church building unless they are service animals.
These FAQs are not intended to provide every answer about weddings at First Methodist Houston. For more information, including reservation forms and policies, please contact the Wedding Coordinator, Alexis McCarty. It is the responsibility of the bride and the groom to ensure that any outside vendors to whom these policies apply be provided a copy of the relevant policies and that these policies are followed.
Weddings at First Methodist will always be performed by one of the clergy on staff at the church. A pastor from another Methodist church or other denomination may assist in the ceremony, but the First Methodist clergy will be in charge of the service. Requests for the addition of a guest pastor should be made well in advance of the wedding date to the wedding coordinator, who will get approval from the officiating clergy.
Bill is a local pastor assigned by the Texas Annual Conference to First United Methodist Church Houston. He attended Texas A&M University and then received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Mississippi. He practiced pediatrics and pediatric nephrology and taught for the Texas A&M University College of Medicine for many years. A lifelong Methodist lay volunteer Bill has served the church in numerous ministry roles. He teaches the Logos Sunday School class, is a Stephen Minister, Lifeline volunteer, and a small group leader. He is married to Pattie and between them they have four children and ten grandchildren. Bill enjoys bird watching, reading, hiking, playing with his grandchildren, and working at the church.
Rev. Kaitlyn Bowie Hankins
Kaitlyn spent the first twenty-two years of her life in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Illinois, & Iowa). Those years were spent with her immediate and extended family and also included her church family at the local Baptist “Brick” Church where she encountered Christ for the first time and began her journey of discipleship. Following completion of her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, she moved to Houston and taught 3rd grade/ESL in Aldine ISD, on the north side of the city for four years. During her summers, Kaitlyn volunteered with the college ministry at the United Methodist church she belonged to in The Woodlands and experienced an overwhelming call into ministry that had begun in high school.
Following God, she moved to North Carolina to attend Duke Divinity School where she completed her theological education while serving as a Graduate Resident to first year students. She returned to Houston and was commissioned as an Elder in the United Methodist Church in May 2014. She was appointed to serve at First UMC in June, and is specifically serving as Lead Pastor for The Source, our contemporary worshipping community here. Her experience with diverse communities through public education, mission projects, and college student development, will serve her well in her role of pastoring and reaching out to the incredible city of Houston.
Rev. Ken Coneby
A born and raised Texan, Ken Coneby has a heart for bringing people together. Finding his call to Ministry during college, he went on to be a Director for both a Youth and College ministry before coming to First Methodist Houston and The Source to serve as an associate Pastor. Always available to grab coffee or lunch Ken loves connecting with people. His passion is living out the biblical community lined out in Roman’s 12 and 1 Corinthians 12/13; connecting with God, lifting one another up through encouragement and support, and loving the world around us. Ken seeks to live out this calling at our church by connecting others in our Small Group Ministry and reaching out to others with events like our Food Truck Friday.
Rev. Brandi Horton
Brandi is a lifelong Methodist and a native Texan. She grew up in a small town in northeast Texas and attended Hallsville First United Methodist Church with her family.
After high school, Brandiattended Texas A&M University and graduated with a B.A. in English and Political Science. Brandi first experienced a call to ministry while in college. This call was confirmed by further experience of the local church through the Texas Annual Conference College Pastoral Internship Program (CPIP) at Cypress Trails United Methodist Church in Spring, Texas and interning at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station, Texas.
Brandi attended Duke University Divinity School. While at Duke, her love for the local church continued to grow as she engaged in ministry with both large and small congregations. Brandi interned at Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, Union Grove United Methodist Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and reVision Ministries in Houston, Texas. She also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Duke Hospital.
At Duke, Brandi met and married David Horton, who is also a United Methodist pastor. They moved to Houston following graduation to serve churches in the Texas Annual Conference. Brandi served Deer Park United Methodist Church as an associate pastor prior to being appointed to First Methodist in July 2016. David currently serves St. Luke’s United Methodist Church as the pastor of the Gethsemane Campus in southwest Houston. They were both ordained as elders in May 2016.
Rev. Andy Nixon
For the last 22 years, Rev. Andy Nixon has served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. Raised in a very good, but not Christian household, Andy came to faith when he was a junior at Washington Lee University. In the wake of his conversion, he sought to quickly learn more about the Christian faith. A series of events led Andy to Yale Divinity School, where he made a decision to start the ordination process and serve the United Methodist Church upon graduating in 1994.
The academic side of faith has always been an interest of Rev. Nixon. While a student at Washington and Lee he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science. Then, while at Yale, Rev. Nixon earned the Henry Hallam Tweedy prize as the student most likely to succeed in parish ministry. Today the intellectual curiosity for the Christian faith is further made known in writing projects. Andy has authored articles in Good News Magazine, co-wrote a chapter of The Wesleyan Way, and was a principle author of the Advent Bible study Under Wrapspublished by Abingdon Press. He currently has a manuscript submitted to Abingdon on the parables of Jesus and is self-publishing a book, Jesus vs. Zombies – Don’t Be the Living Dead due out later this year.
Not growing up in the Christian faith influenced all of Rev. Nixon’s ministry. From his first appointment in Northwest Arkansas the churches he has served have grown by reaching people who did not know Jesus. In his first appointment his church grew to where it could support a full-time pastor after being a two-point charge. At First United Methodist of Jonesboro, Arkansas, he preached weekly in contemporary and traditional services while leading evangelism efforts. At First United Methodist Church of Maumelle, Arkansas, attendance and finances quadrupled during the six years he served as Senior Pastor. Most recently, at The Woodlands United Methodist Church he grew The Loft – a contemporary service to an attendance of 1600, many of whom had no relationship with Jesus prior to coming to The Loft.
For the last two years, Rev. Nixon has led a nonprofit, RockTheWord, which has assisted Kingdom-minded nonprofits and churches in fundraising efforts. In the last year, RockTheWord, engaged in $11 million worth of projects ranging from orphanages in Guatemala to consulting with United Methodist congregations wanting to grow.
Today, Rev. Nixon is eager to begin a new chapter of ministry at First United Methodist, Houston. Over the last 22 years he has learned that the church can reach people for Jesus through any ministry. Over his career he has tried to embody Paul’s attempt to be all things to all people. A desire he hopes is not founded in arrogance, but in the genuine desire to reach people with the message of Jesus Christ. Rev. Nixon was blessed to find United Methodist churches preaching the gospel when he was being called, and he seeks in his ministry to help churches proclaim the same message to those being called today.
Rev. Nixon is married to Deborah – 23 years – and they have two children, Anna (20) and Noah (17). Anna is a nursing major at The University of Mary-Hardin Baylor and Noah is a junior at The Woodlands High School.
Rev. Ann Spears
Ann grew up in a South Charleston, West Virginia, and graduated with a B.A. in Language Arts- English, Speech and Journalism and Secondary Education from the University of Charleston, which was originally founded as a private Methodist College. It was in that place that Ann’s journey with Christ began with her extended family and friends. Ann moved to Houston in the summer of 1970 and immediately began to work in the public school.
After a long and joyful career in public education and school public relations, Ann heard the overwhelming call to ordained ministry. To be obedient and to answer that call, Perkins School of Theology and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary were the schools she attended for her theological education. Ann came to First Methodist Houston in January of 1997 and was ordained a Deacon in the Texas Annual Conference in May of 2010. Ann has a deep passion for the people of Haiti and she has led mission trips there for the past eight years. Additionally, her love for the local church, a love she has had since a child, keeps growing. Seeing the challenges ahead keeps motivating her to help do all she can to strengthen the church at all levels. Ann also serves as Chair of the Ordained Deacons for the Texas Annual Conference and is on the Board of Ordained Ministry. Ann is married to Max and they have five adult children and 12 grandchildren.