A Brief History of
Center United Methodist Church
Established - 1830
The wooden church used
prior to the new brick building
that was completed in 1956
A History of Service Since 1830
Including historic details provided by Bill Seaford
1830 – Church members gathered in the home of Joel Penry.
1833 – Land deed for a church building was acquired from John Smith to several men – 2 acres.
The first church was a log structure located where the cemetery is today.
1870 – More land was acquired (3 acres) from the Tutterows, Richards, and other families across the road from the cemetery.
A new frame building was constructed. The wood was hand-hewn with a broad ax and put together with wooden pegs.
Only the best forest pine was used.
1876 – An arbor was erected to be used for Camp Meetings.
1877 – The first Camp Meeting was held. A large crowd came from miles around to attend these events which often lasted for several days.
1931 – The wood church was moved west of the current
church and five classrooms were added. A bell tower was
added along with a large bell donated
by Mr. & Mrs. George Evans, Sr.
1946-50 – Talk began of some work on the church and it
was decided that a new structure should be built.
1951 – The congregation began raising money for the new
building. Plans were drawn by George Evans, Sr.
1953 – Ground was broken.
A well was drilled and work began.
1954 – Brick was layed and the outside was completed.
1955 – Work was completed on inside. All work was done
on a "pay-as-you-go" basis.
1956 – New church complete. Much of the labor was
done by members of the congregation who met every
Monday night to work.
April 1 – Last service held in the old church.
The building was sold, dismantled and moved.
April 8 – First service in the new church.
July 1 – Furniture was in the sanctuary.
Quarterly conference was held with Rev. Hipps
(District Superintendent) preaching.
Sept. 1, 1957 – Formal dedication of the new building at
Church cost $45,000 to build (due to donated labor).
1958 – Church consisted of 164 members.
A cornerstone was layed on May 4.
A new Family Life Center has been added including a
large kitchen, classrooms, storage, library, office, and
restrooms. The parking lot around the church has been
paved. A log cabin was moved to the property and is the
meeting place for Center's Boy Scout Troop 505. A Pre-School program has been added to the church. The Historic Center Arbor weathered near tornado force winds in 2004 which destroyed the roof and is now covered with a new metal roof.