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Catalina United Methodist Church

2700 E Speedway Blvd
Tucson, AZ, 85716
Phone: (520) 327-4296

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Catalina Methodist October 2017

by Neil West

Catalina United Methodist Church (CUMC) is a part of the Desert Southwest conference of Methodist Churches. Methodists are a fully connectional church with other Methodists around the U. S. and world! 




The fall season of October brings many opportunities for fellowship and missions at Catalina.

Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank and Pastor Jamie Booth lead the church services of Catalina with the assistance of the Cornerstone Band in contemporary service 9 a.m. and adult choir and organ in the traditional service at 11 a.m.

Church services are at 8:00 a.m. in the chapel; Contemporary Refuge Service at 9 a.m. in Fellowship Hall and 11:00 a.m. in the main sanctuary.

Sunday School Classes are also available each Sunday.

United Methodist Women (UMW) will be meeting on Wednesday, October 4 for their monthly unit meeting luncheon and study in Fellowship Hall. This month’s theme is: ‘Building Community through Understanding’

Catalina United Methodist Church

United Methodist Men (UMM) holds their monthly meeting on the first Saturday of every month in Fellowship Hall with their famous $3 breakfast! Serving begins at 8 a.m. The October 7th meeting will feature Dr. Ray Noseck on the ‘Art of Bonsai’.

Sunday, October 8, at 12:30 p.m. Catalina will host their annual ‘Blessing of the animals’ in the Pine Tree Patio. Please enter off first street entrance.

Sunday, October 22 at 6:30 pm. Catalina will host a special showing of the documentary film on ‘Transgender Revolution’ with Katie Couric as shown on National Geographic. There will be a moderated discussion following the showing in Fellowship Hall.

Sunday Morning, October 22 Bishop Robert Hoshibata of the Desert Southwest Conference will be our guest speaker at services.

The Catalina Organ Festival will present Olivier Latry in concert on Tuesday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. French Organist Latry is one of the most distinguished concert organist in the world today. One of three titular organists at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, he is also Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatory of Music, Organist Emeritus with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Canada and maintains a full schedule of concert performances as soloist at prestigious venues and festivals and with leading orchestras.

Catalina United Methodist Church

His concert at Catalina will include works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Saint Saëns, Durufulé, Alain, Langlais, and Fauré. Latry is also well known for his improvisational skills on almost any theme!

Tickets are available on line:

Tickets may also be purchased at the church offices and will be sold on at all services Sundays, October 15 and 22. Don’t miss this fantastic organist in his visit to Tucson. A reception in Fellowship Hall with the organist will follow the concert.

Sunday, October 29, the 11 a.m. service will feature music of Bach in a theme for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.


On April 16, 1922, a small group of Tucson’s Christian faithful banded together to establish the first permanent Methodist Episcopal Church, South, congregation in Tucson. It was named University Methodist Church, South, because of its location at 3rd St (now University Blvd) and Euclid Ave near the University of Arizona. Near by was First Methodist Church. north. built in 1881.

As University Methodist Church grew, it helped establish two churches on the west side and the Catalina Mission Church on the east side. The Catalina Mission Church bought land at the southeast corner of East Bellevue St and North Country Club Rd. Shortly thereafter, a surplus barracks-stye structure was moved from Ryan Army Air Field to the vacant lot. It became the congregation’s home.

In 1939, efforts were made to merge University and First churches. but the vote failed at University Church by one vote. Early in 1945 the Bishop of the Southern California-Arizona Annual Conference, directed that University Church should move, so in August, the Church acquired the entire city block bounded by East Speedway Blvd, North Sawtelle Ave, East First St, and North Treat Ave for $21,000. (That city block is the present site of Catalina.)

As University Church proceeded with its plans to move, the Catalina Mission merged with University Church. Initially the new church was referred to as the University-Catalina Methodist Church. The current Fellowship Hall was the first building on the new site and for five years was used as the Sanctuary. The old Ryan Army Air Field barracks were moved from the Catalina Mission site to become the first Sunday School building. The church grew rapidly. By 1951 it had 1,759 members. As the church grew, the Youth Center, the current Sanctuary, a Children’s Building, and an Adult Education and Music Building were constructed.

The history of Catalina would not be complete without mention of the Sunday Night Forums. For 35 years, the Forums brought speakers from around the world to Tucson such as: Martin Niemoller, Senator Margaret Chase, Chief Justice William O Douglas, Jackie Robinson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Barry Goldwater, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By the early 1960s, the church’s membership reached 4,141. By this time, as the city’s growth was occurring on the east and north sides, many families moved from the church’s neighborhood. It began a time of membership decline. However, the decline in members has not affected the commitment and quality of ministry Catalina provides. During those years, Catalina helped establish many other United Methodist Congregations in Tucson.

All information and photos submitted by Catalina Methodist Church
Catalina United Methodist Church


Catalina United Methodist Church

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Catalina United Methodist Church


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