Experience our church

Experience our church

Core beliefs & culture

Chelsea First United Methodist Church (Chelsea First) is an established presence with a positive, open, and engaging spirit. Walkable to downtown, schools, and local establishments, Chelsea First is open to all people, and passionately celebrates diverse perspectives. Bringing together a rich mix of multi-generational congregants, the church comprises a dynamic group of community and lay leaders who are committed to its present, future, and giving back to groups across the local area.

Chelsea First’s focus is on operating as a Christ-centered congregation, grounded in scripture, that invites the members of its community to embark on the journey as disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Congregants are not just encouraged, but celebrated for sharing their beliefs, for challenging, questioning, and seeking insights from others in respectful discourse. The Chelsea First congregation brings together an engaged, curious, and thoughtful community within the local area, to provide stimulation on multiple levels, from the human to the religious to the intellectual. This continuum of experience and participation enables Chelsea First to play a role in all seasons of its members’ lives.

Chelsea First is a community that nurtures and supports its members spiritually as well as personally. With a firm belief that ‘there is room for ALL people,’ the sentiment of openness extends far beyond the confines of the word. The atmosphere is cheerful, accepting, caring, intentional, and multi-faceted – bringing purpose and meaning for everyone at all points along life’s journey. Members of the Chelsea First community are active outside of the church walls, contributing positively and impactfully to further the missions of a number of local organizations.

From its robust, engaging Children’s Ministry to its celebrated musical programs, Chelsea First draws on the individual gifts and talents its members possess, combining them into a stronger, even more passionate whole. Its services are available across the community and local area, even and especially for non-members.

At its core, Chelsea First brings an unmatched passion for Christ, for the world, and for each
other across the Chelsea community – delivering a grounded, engaged, and highly-supportive approach to religious worship while amplifying its passion for sustainable positive impact.

The leadership of Chelsea first is committed to these core values along with honesty, transparency, and accountability. We recognize that as a congregation we are all learning and growing everyday. While we strive towards ideals we know we may make mistakes, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) If your experience of Chelsea First does not reflect these core values please connect with us and share that experience so that we can learn, grow, and do better. 

See our Administrative Council’s recent statement on LGBTQ inclusivity:

To Send a message to Joy Barrett Senior Pastor

Church experience

Chelsea First offers a dynamic range of experiences for our congregation as well as the larger Chelsea community. Worship services are currently offered Sunday mornings on the East Lawn and pre-recorded worship series are available on YouTube. Along with this choice of worship style, congregants can also shape their church experience by getting involved in classes, social groups, musical ensembles, and mission opportunities that fit their interests. Chelsea First strives to be an inclusive and welcoming community; we invite you to come as you are to worship and all other church activities.

The church experience at Chelsea First is ever-evolving as we welcome new members to collaborate and connect with our community. We look forward to welcoming you and shaping our shared experience together!

Greeters or Ambassadors are present at all worship services, please look for one if you have questions while on site. If preparing to visit us for the first time please check out our Welcome Guide.

Current Worship Theme

Faces of Our Faith
Humans wonder about these and other core questions: do I matter? Does anyone notice me? Do I make a difference? Each week this fall we will dig deep into the bold and untold stories of those often overlooked in our biblical narratives.

There are many heroes of the faith, people we admire and may wish to be like. There are, however, even more, ordinary people of faith – those doing what they can with what they have to make a difference.

We are hoping these characters will remind us that we all play a role in shaping God’s story of redemption and grace. Disclaimer: some of the names are challenging to pronounce, but we promise you won’t be tested or put on the spot with them!



Chelsea First hosts a variety of different events throughout the year for the purpose of coming together to celebrate, serve, and share with our congregation and the wider Chelsea community. Such events include: summer concert series, family camping retreats, theater productions, and community breakfasts. 

Click here for our current events

If you have an idea for an event you would like to host for the Chelsea First community, connect with the leadership team by sending Joy Barrett Senior Pastor a message here.


Chelsea First is deeply committed to the local Chelsea Community. Through partnerships with SRSLY, St Joseph’s Mercy Chelsea, Faith in Action, and other local organizations Chelsea First has been able to grow our positive impact and further our mission.

We are actively seeking more opportunities to collaborate with our neighbors to better our community. Chelsea First would like to provide resources and support for actions tackling the following issues concerning Chelsea:

  • Mental Health
  • Senior Isolation
  • Access to Basic Needs

Interested parties please contact us here.



At Chelsea First we strive to offer many opportunities for Adults to grow in their faith. Sometimes that growth comes from learning in a class environment, sometimes through using our gifts to help others and sometimes still, through gathering with like-minded people. These ministries are organized and run through the volunteer efforts of the members of our congregation.

Learn more about our opportunities for adults here.


Chelsea First has an engaged and passionate youth congregation led by Youth Pastor Jeanne Franks. Chelsea First strives to  provide a safe and supportive space where youth can grow in their faith together. Our youth groups for kids in grade 6 through 12 are currently meeting Wednesdays on the lawn from 3:30pm – 5:30pm.

Chelsea First also offers an engaging and transformative confirmation process titled “Confirm not Conform.” The program is a two-year process with 20 sessions and many additional opportunities to serve and live the faith. The confirmation process culminates with a youth lead service project and a Confirmation ceremony. 

Learn more about our Youth Programs click here.

Contact Youth Director Jeanne Franks

Alive in Love

Instagram Youth

Children & Family

Chelsea First’s children’s ministry is designed to encourage Children to CONNECT! Our mission is for each child to learn to love and trust God, love, and serve others, and develop an everyday faith. CONNECT programming is led by our Children’s Director Susan Adam-Rita and meets in person during the 9 am worship service on Sunday mornings.

On Sunday mornings during CONNECT, dedicated adult and youth leaders focus on developing relationships with the children in their care as they teach them to live like Jesus. To further develop children’s faith we work to equip parents to be their child’s primary spiritual teacher. We offer family faith-building missions, service, and worship opportunities, and provide materials for faith at-home experiences.

Child & Youth Protection Policy 

Chelsea First United Methodist Church believes that all persons are significant to the growth of God’s kingdom and should have the opportunity to worship, learn, and serve in various capacities to ensure the personal growth and growth of others. We seek to provide an environment that is physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe for all persons who enter our doors, especially children and youth.

To learn more about our Child & Youth Protection Policy, and for information about volunteer ‘Safe Sanctuary’ training and re-training, please click here.

Contact Children’s Director Susan Adam-Rita.


CONNECT YouTube Channel

May 13th Connect Newsletter





The Nursery at Chelsea First is available for infants through preschoolers during Sunday worship, from 8:45-10:15 am and 10:45 am-12:15 pm.
Care for your precious little ones is provided by loving, happy, knowledgeable staff in a working partnership with families and church leaders.
Our nursery caregivers are fully COVID-19 vaccinated, trained in CPR /First Aid, and are up-to-date with the screening and training requirements of our child-protection policy. 

Contact Children’s Director Susan Adam-Rita.

Lori Campbell

Lori Campbell, Caregiver

Kendra Ford

Kendra Ford, Caregiver

The Nursery Room is on the second floor.

Nursery 1


“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

We invite you to learn how we use our gifts to help those around us locally, regionally and internationally. To see our current and past missions click here.

Missions are collaborative efforts. When we come together to use our gifts to help others we can have a profound impact on our community. If you have an idea for a mission or a gift you would like to offer in service of a mission please send Joy Barrett Senior Pastor a message here.

Chelsea First

Our church culture

Chelsea First United Methodist Church (Chelsea First) is a Christ-centered congregation with a positive, open, and engaging spirit. We are the church for everyone, at all seasons of life, and bring a grounded, engaged, and supportive approach to religious worship while working passionately toward making a positive impact in our community.

128 Park St. Chelsea, MI 48118

Email US

The church building is open during regular office hours and 

Sunday mornings.

Office Hours:
​Monday - Wednesday 8-4 pm
Thursday- Friday 8-3 pm



Chelsea First is part of the United Methodist Church.

® 2021 copyright Chelsea First United Methodist Church. All rights reserved.