Our History

It is not known when the English-speaking Christians in Monterrey began to assemble for worship, Bible study and prayer in their native tongue. It is known that as early as the 1930s, in the basement of La Trinidad Methodist Church on the corner of Washington and Escobedo Streets, a group of 75-80 persons met regularly for a Sunday School class in English. On occasion, visiting ministers came and held English services for the group.

In the spring of 1945 one such visitor, Methodist Bishop Ivan Lee Holt, a church leader with a keen interest in Union Churches all over the world, shared a series of messages which the Holy Spirit used to encourage the English-speaking community in Monterrey. They had been praying and dreaming for some time about the formation of an official church body. As a consequence, on March 29 of the same year, some men from this group met at the Ancira Hotel to discuss the possibility of organizing a church. Those present were Dr. H.D. White, E.H. Weil, T.G. Gehring, Ramon Noble, Octavio Casavantes, Walter Thieme, M.E. Smith and Bishop Holt. Plans soon became a reality. On July 1, 1945, Dr. Warren Johnson, Pastor of the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, following his sermon, presided the organizational meeting of The Union Church of Monterrey. In this meeting, the first members were received. Visiting ministers and local leaders shepherded the young congregation during its early days. On July 28, 1945, R. Drew Wolcott became the first pastor. Rev. Wolcott served the church in a two-part ministry for a total of 27 years. He is lovingly remembered for his pastoral care. Under his leadership, the church moved from La Trinidad Church to the Seventh Day Adventist Church on the corner of Vallarta and Matamoros Streets, using those facilities until construction and occupation of the present building in 1953.

These words of Rev. Drew Wolcott on the 30 Anniversary of the dedication of the present sanctuary are still descriptive of our church:

“The intervening years have been a succession of people from many lands and many communities who, in loving tolerance of differences but in firm commitment to Christ, have sat and stood and knelt in prayer and listened to the proclamation of the Word. Here in the fellowship hall and adjoining garden they have met in Christian comradeship and laughed together and loved one another and lingered awhile and left to serve the community in countless ways in the name and spirit of the risen Christ.”

Pastors of The Union Church of Monterrey

Richard Drew Walcott (1946-1956 and 1966-1983) – Ordained Methodist Minister – As the first pastor of the church, Drew Wolcott set the course for a vibrant congregation that would meet the needs of English-speaking residents of Monterrey for generations to come. His vision for the constitution and bye-laws, for a building, for youth organizations, and for service to the community at large set a high standard for all who would follow him as pastor. His work was supported by his loving wife Corrine. They are lovingly remembered by both present and former members.

Dwayne L. Proett (1956-1959) – Ordained Presbyterian Minister – Rev. Proett demonstrated strong skills in counseling which was a mark of his ministry in the church. He was actively involved with the church family and the community at large. In his last sermon at the church, he related that the legacy he wished to be noted between “was born” and “died” was that “he lived.”

Laurence P. Byers (1959-1961) – Ordained Presbyterian Minister – Born in South China, Rev. Byers brought an international vision to his ministry in the church. He was amazed how people of so many nationalities and worship traditions could come together in worship and work. He had a strong focus on ecumenical work.

Charles R. McKean (1961-1962 and 1965-1966) – Rev. McKean came out of retirement to be interim pastor on two different occasions. He was the former pastor of the Union Church in Mexico City. His strong leadership in times of transition was helpful to the congregation.

Salle T. Lilly (1962-1965) – Ordained Methodist Minister – Of his time as pastor of the church, he said that through this church, he discovered how great God’s love really is.

Robert W. Wolcott (1979-1988) – Ordained Free Methodist Minister – Son of the first pastor and formerly a missionary to the Dominican Republic, Rev. Wolcott came to serve as co-pastor with his father and then as senior pastor upon his father’s retirement. He had a strong focus of training local pastors for ministry. He was ably assisted by his wife Sylvia who dedicated her talents to developing a strong music ministry in support of his pastoral ministry.

Les Connell (1988-1996) – Ordained Methodist Minister – Rev. Connell encouraged both mid-week activities at the church as well as home cell groups for Bible study. He is remembered for his musical talents and using his guitar in worship. His wife Marsha was instrumental in organizing the Ecumenical Women’s Retreat.

Allen Owens (1997-1998) – Ordained Baptist Minister – Rev. Owens was a gifted preacher. During his short ministry in the church, there was much numerical growth as people came to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Austin Chamberlain )1998-2000) – A missionary with YWAM, Mr. Chamberlain served as interim pastor. His ministry gave stability to the church in a time of transition and as the parsonage was being constructed.

David C. Long (2000-2012) – Ordained Baptist Minister – Rev. Long brings to the church many years of international experience as a pastor, Christian educator, and seminary professor. He encourages the membership to creatively use their gifts in ministry. He is ably assisted by his wife Sue who coordinates the music ministry of the church. Using their gifts of service and hospitality, they minister to the congregation frequently with fellowship at their table.

Robert Wolcott (2012-Present) –

Union Church's youngest member

Union treasures its oldest and youngest. All bring something unique and special to Monterrey.