Congregation and Building History

Singles Class - 1948Roberts Park United Methodist Church was organized as the Methodist Society “Roberts Chapel” in 1821, the same year Indianapolis was founded.  It was named for Bishop Robert R. Roberts, the first Methodist bishop to reside in Indiana.  Members worshiped in a log cabin church on Maryland Street just east of Illinois Street until 1829.

The current building was constructed of Indiana limestone between 1869 and 1876 at a cost of $128,000. When the cornerstone was laid on May 14, 1870, the church adopted the name “Roberts Park Church” because of the park-like setting of the new location.  The original design included a massive steeple, but limited funds prevented it from being constructed.

In 1927 an educational unit was added on the east side of the church. The Memorial Chapel, which seats 50, was added in 1954. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, as many downtown churches closed or moved to the suburbs, Roberts Park retained its commitment to being “the heart of downtown.”  Today Roberts Park’s members and regular worshippers come from throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area – from the Old Northside to Fountain Square; from Carmel to Greenwood.