First United Methodist Church is a powerful presence—from our magnificent building adjacent to both the Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion, to our long history of change and growth, to our very public witness of love and inclusion, FUMC reaches beyond its walls and its history, touching lives across all demographic boundaries. We lead by our actions and our stories, sharing the ways we live our faith, so others can understand the many different ways God speaks to us.

First Church gets deep into our hearts and minds, and won’t let go, even if we go far, far away. One of us has been a member most of her life, the other for only a few years, yet we are both engaged, entrenched, and deeply invested in the life and witness of this church, and we gladly share in the ministry of grace we all practice at FUMC-Austin. It is through this community of faith that we have grown into our full selves, learned to participate in the Christian life together as people practicing a public faith. We know there are many stories within this church, and we began this storytelling project, Bolder Than the State of Texas: Stories and Conversations on Living Faith, hoping many would be willing to share their stories, large and small, with one another. The life of faith is a daily habit and most of us experience doubt and wonder throughout our lives. It is this daily journey that we hope to hear about, and all the stories across the generations present at this growing church. Whether you have been a member for a lifetime, or only a few months, your voice is part of the story this entire church is telling to the world.

This community is made up of myriad stories, amazing, remarkable, funny, touching, heartbreaking stories. Your story may be the very story someone needs to hear. Be bold enough to tell it.

Caroline E. Jones and Amy L. Wink
Editors, Bolder Than the State of Texas: Stories and Conversations on Living Faith



Printed copies of Bolder Than the State of Texas: Stories and Conversations on Living Faith are available with each publication release. A digital interactive pdf is provided below and archived on this page.

Winter 2020 Edition
Number 1: Winter 2020

Story Submission

In 2018, FUMC launched a community autobiography project, Bolder than The State of Texas: Stories and Conversations on Living Faith. Drawing on our congregational value of Storytelling, this project gathers narratives of the people of First United Methodist Church. We want to hear your story. Our goals are to retain the cultural memory of this 177-year-old church, to share our community of living faith, and to discover what it means to live our faith. In addition to our written stories, we plan to share and preserve the oral stories of our community through StoryCorps. For more information, contact Amy Wink and Caroline Jones at
Writing Prompts February-August 2018
August Information Sheet
Essay Sample 1
Essay Sample 2
Intro Presentation
StoryCorps Links


 Submit your stories here!