Our History

1836 until now…


The Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in New York establishes a mission work in South America, by planting a church in Buenos Aires with Rev. John Dempster becoming our first minister. By law, ministry could only be done in English.


First Methodist Church Building in South America dedicated on January 3rd, on Cangallo street (Current Juan Domingo Perón), between 25 de Mayo and Reconquista, Buenos Aires.


Rev. John F. Thompson preaches the first Spanish Sermon of any Protestant Church in Argentina on May 25th and within a decade, churches are planted in different parts of Argentina as well as Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil.


Brand-new neo-Gothic style church building inaugurated in 718 Corrientes Avenue, Buenos Aires and became known as the United Methodist Church or American Church.


  • Various Prominent Schools are established: The American College in Rosario (1875), now Centro Educativo Latinomericano, Crandon College in Montevideo (1879) and the Ward College in Buenos Aires (1913).
  • The Methodist Church greatly influences Education in Argentina through schools in barrios and other initiatives.
  • Ministry in both English and Spanish continues side by side.


Ministry is expanded into Zona Norte and the first service in our present property, acquired from Royal Dutch Shell Argentina, is held on March 15th.


On October 5th,  the Argentine Methodist Church becomes independent and we become an autonomous interdenominational church, changing our name to “Primera Iglesia Unida de Buenos Aires”, or “United Community Church”.

Our present fellowship hall is inaugurated as our first sanctuary.


Our present Sanctuary is built.

1999 - now

  • Our previous sanctuary is transformed into a fellowship hall.
  • 2006 – The office of the pastor becomes the new bathrooms as the Fellowship hall is enlarged.
  • 2008 – The new kitchen and library are added

Pastor Werner Swart (2018 – present) and his wife Adél together with Pastor Betty Crowell (2009 – 2017) and her husband Steve.