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Complied by Sue Neiman and Suzanne Rowe
The Evangelical United Methodist Church began as a group of believers meeting in John Shoop’s house on the southwest corner of Spruce and East Water Streets. In 1851 at the quarterly conference held in Highspire we officially became a part of the United Brethren in Christ Church. In 1946 we united with the Evangelical Church to form the new Evangelical United Brethren denomination. When the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968, to create the United Methodist Church, the local congregation assumed its present name.
The first church was a 30’ x 40’ frame building on John Shoop’s property. It faced Spruce Street and was affectionately known as “The Little Brown Church”. During a great revival (1865-1867) hundreds of souls were saved and the church grew rapidly. In 1867 they purchased a building on the northwest corner of Spruce and Water streets. It had been built in 1838 and was known as Christ Church. In 1892 the building was demolished and our present church was erected. The congregation continued to grow, especially the Sunday school. To solve this problem, a new church building was considered. One option was to build on the Main Street property that had been purchased in 1926. Another was property on Spruce Street that had been offered by a church member in 1945. Both were rejected after it was determined that, with renovations, the current structure could be made sound. Property adjacent to the church was purchased and ground was broken in 1952 for the new educational building. Over the years many improvements have been made including an elevator, air conditioning, children’s chapel, kitchen, and the youth room. In 2002 the Cornerstone Project was initiated to fund on-going projects.