Welcome To Centralia United Methodist Church
"To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World."
May our church always fulfill its mission of service through the love of God, be a beacon of hope and faith and a symbol of God's Eternal Love and Strength. Our strength is in transforming the lives in our church family, our community, and our world.
If you had been a passenger on the Wabash Train traveling through Centralia back in 1865, you would probably have heard a few faithful souls raising their voices in praise to God. For about this time, at the station, the Reverend John Taylor preached the first sermon and organized the first Methodist Church in Centralia. The Methodist Society was organized in February of 1866. The first meetings were held at the home of Mrs. William Rollins.
A schoolhouse was soon built which was large enough to house the congregation, so it was used for the meeting place. During the Spring of 1871, the first church house was built. It was a large frame building on the southeast corner of Singleton and Hickman Streets. The building was dedicated on Sunday, September 3, 1871. A second building was started in 1884 and was dedicated on the second Sunday in January of 1886. The building at the corner of Barnes and Allen Streets would house the Methodist community of worshipers until a new building was erected and dedicated on New Year's Day, the first Sunday of 1911. That church building remains today at the Allen Street location and is now the Assembly of God Church.
As Methodism in Centralia was celebrating 100 years, ideas for our current building were accepted by a church conference vote on January 17, 1965. This was a momentous decision, and a site committee was form in September of 1965. The decision was made to purchase five acres of the Bridges Tract, located on the southeastern section of town where Tarr and East Streets converge. On December 17, 1967, the plans for the new building were accepted and the building program began in earnest.
On August 3, 1968, the very joyous occasion of ground-breaking took place. Our very first service was held in a tent erected that morning and the first sermon was delivered by the District Superintendent, Reverend E. C. Ellis. Our new church home was dedicated on August 3, 1969, when the cornerstone was place. The first service was held in the front entranceway of the church courtyard. Our Andrew Carnegie organ was carefully moved in parts and reassembled in the new Sanctuary and our moving to the new building began. On Saturday October 11th, all the churches children were given a tour of the new building and their new Sunday School classrooms. It was raining that first Sunday on October 12, 1969, but the congregation was filled with joy in the new Sanctuary. It had been one hundred and four years since the first service at the old Wabash Railroad Station had been held.
We have already celebrated fifty years in our building, and we are proud of our church home. We believe in being good stewards of this special gift that God has given our community and we are proud to show all those visiting our church the hospitality of our caring membership.
Excerpts from Genieve Brown Martin, Church Historian
written in A.D. 1979 for the Tenth Building Anniversary