History of Our Church

Old-ChurchThe first Methodist service in the Centerville-Washington Township area was held in 1809 at Henry Opdyke’s cabin, northeast of Centerville near the present intersection of Alex-Bell Road and Wilmington Pike. A new log church was built south of Centerville in 1813 and named the Rehoboth Church.

1n 1815, the Rehoboth Church divided over the issue of slavery. Part of the congregation departed and formed the Hopewell Congregation, meeting on a farm southeast of town. This congregation joined with Methodists in the town of Centerville to form a new church in 1833. The congregation purchased land on East Franklin Street from Centerville founder, Aaron Nutt, for $40 and built a stone church. That building housed the congregation until 1864, when a larger red brick sanctuary was constructed. This second church was demolished in the spring of 1924. The women of the congregation cleaned the old bricks, which were reused in the inner wall of the new building. The new cornerstone was laid in August and the building was dedicated on January 25, 1925.

Old-Church-2

After World War II, CUMC welcomed many newcomers to the rapidly growing Centerville-Washington Township as one of three churches in the community. By 1955, newly built churches reclaimed their members, and CUMC returned to an emphasis on its Methodist roots. Despite slower growth, the CUMC congregation continued to plan for the future. Groundbreaking for the new sanctuary occurred in May 1973. The cornerstone was laid in October and the new building was dedicated on September 15, 1974. The old sanctuary was renovated in 1982 and renamed Heritage Hall.
Continuing concerns about the physical home of the CUMC congregation led to the formation of a Building Committee in 1994. Two years of fundraising and discussion culminated in the June 6, 2000 Church Conference that authorized the construction of the new educational/office addition. The consecration of the new building on September 9, 2001, was the culmination of years of dreams, plans, and prayers. More importantly, it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the life of CUMC.