Conference History

History of the Desert Southwest Conference

The Desert Southwest Annual Conference was created in 1985 from the Pacific - Southwest Annual Conference. Methodist has been in Arizona since the 1870s.

Predecessor Conferences of the Desert Southwest Conference
Denomination Conference Dates
Methodist Episcopal Church Arizona Mission 1880-1919
Methodist Episcopal Church Nevada Mission 1885-1917
Methodist Episcopal Church Southern California 1920-1939
Methodist Episcopal Church, South Los Angeles 1870-1921
Methodist Episcopal Church, South Arizona 1922-1939
Unification of Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1939 to create the Methodist Church
Methodist Church Southern California - Arizona 1939-1968
Evangelical United Brethren California 1955-1968
Unification of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 to create The United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church Pacific - Southwest 1976-1984
United Methodist Church Desert Southwest 1985-


The conference headquarters are in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference is divided into four districts:

  1. North District
  2. Central West District
  3. Central East District
  4. South District


If you would like to learn more about the history of the Desert Southwest Conference, then please ask about our book:
Harold Byrn, A Dream Unfolding: A History presentation of the Methodist movement in Arizona, southern Nevada, and southeastern California now known as The Desert Southwest Conference, The United Methodist Church (1999).

United Methodist Historic Sites in Arizona

  • 261 - Community United Methodist Church, Williams, AZ
  • 279 - Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery grave sites, Phoenix, AZ
  • 319 - First United Methodist Church, Tucson, AZ
  • 329 - First United Methodist Church, Prescott, AZ
  • 330 - Central United Methodist Church, Phoenix, AZ
  • 398 - Holbrook United Methodist Church, Holbrook, AZ