Our Vision

Central UMC is becoming a diverse community united in Christ, nurturing children, youth, and adults into Christian leaders, promoting justice, and making an impact locally, nationally, and globally through compassionate service.

 

Our Mission

To make disciples for Jesus Christ, for the transformation of the world.

 

Celebrating 155 Years

HistoryThe history of Central United Methodist Church has connections back to the early 1700’s when Quakers built a log Meeting House on the northern edge of the Friends’ Central Cemetary, across the street from our current church.

In 1784, John Wesley acknowledged the separation of Methodists from the Church of England. At the ‘Christmas Conference’ in Baltimore, the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed with Frances Asbury serving as one of the church’s first bishops.

In 1789, a Methodist Meeting House in Bargaintown, New Jersey became part of the Methodist Preaching Circuit.

In 1813, Bishop Asbury preached in the English Meeting House in English Creek leading 30 families to create a permanent Methodist Society in 1814. This Society build Zion Methodist Meeting House on Zion Road in 1822.

At the urging of Captain John Walker, a “centrally-located” church to serve the people of Leedsville (now Linwood) and Bakersville (now Northfield) was built on Shore Road in Leedsville. The name selected was Central Methodist Episcopal Church and the cornerstone was laid on June 19, 1860( It should be noted that the name Central Avenue was not established until 1904.) with James F. Morrell as the church’s pastor.

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In 1863, Central’s Sunday School program was started and in 1873 a parsonage was built. Gas was installed in the building in 1905 and water was put in place in 1909.

The Roaring Twenties brought the two inspirational paintings to our church that are now on display in our Joslin Chapel and in our Gathering Area. In 1926, the Central Social Hall was erected and later renamed Adams Hall.

In 1958, our ‘Education Building’ was erected to provide classrooms for our Sunday School classes.

The original 1860 Sanctuary was demolished in 1967 so that the current Sanctuary could be built. On September 15, 1968 our Sanctuary was consecrated. This was also the year in which the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church creating the United Methodist Church.

Our new educational building was built in the 1990’s providing additional educational facilities, a music room, offices, and the chapel. Our current Sanctuary was reconfigured in 2001 and in 2009 new pews, an improved audio-visual system, and new carpeting were added to the Sanctuary.

In July 2004, Pastor Ronald B. Watts was appointed as Central United Methodist Church’s 45th pastor. Pastor Watts had previously served as Central’s Associate Pastor in 1977 upon his graduation from Asbury Theological Seminary.

In 1911, Ms. Lizzie Price said this of her church, “Central shall go forward for her next 50 years ….may the blessings of Almighty God be with her in every department of work and may her future be more glorious than has been her past.”

Ms. Price’s prayer of blessing has continued beyond those 50 years and as a church we pause to recognize our roots and experiences since 1860 while we vision for our future.

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