Our History

OUR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

1st church building built 1856On March 4, 1855, a small group of people met in a storeroom to plan and organize what would eventually become Christ United Methodist Church of Middletown, Ohio. Prior to this meeting, a man by the name of Rev. Warburton Bower Warrington was appointed pastor of the newly forming church. The first name chosen for our church was the Church of Mutual Rights and then changed shortly thereafter to Methodist Protestant. The storeroom was setup suitably for worship and on March 11, 1855 the first service was held under the leadership of Rev. Warrington.

About a year later on March 24, 1856, the congregation assembled together with the intent to build a permanent house of worship. The church purchased land and Rev. Warrington, a carpenter by trade, and the men of the congregation began work on the new building located at 11 South Broad Street. The building was completed in December that same year. A bell tower was added to the church in 1866.

1st church after bell tower added c1866

OUR CHURCH GROWS

Our church continued to grow through the 19th century. As early as 1900, there were discussions that a new building might need to be built to accommodate this continual growth. However, nothing was done until a joint meeting of the Board of Trustees and the Finance Commission on September 15, 1921 where the plans to re-build were finalized. The last service was held on Sunday evening and the next day workmen began clearing out chairs and pews to tear down the old building to make way for a new one. Rev. Charles Cleveland Falkenstine pulled the first brick from the old building. On November 10, 1921 the first brick was laid for the walls of a new building. During this time of construction, the church met at the YMCA and the public library.

On Mother’s Day Sunday, May 14, 1922, the first Sunday services were held in the newly constructed church building.

In 1939, the Methodist Protestant denominational churches reunited with the Methodist Episcopal churches to form the larger Methodist Church denomination. As a result of this merger, our church was formally renamed Calvary Methodist in 1939.

2nd church...built 1922

OUR MOVE TO S. MARSHALL ROAD

By the mid-1950’s our church building was in need of much repair and limited parking became a huge problem now that everyone owned cars. Our church was also located only a few blocks from First Methodist Church. With two Methodist churches in such close proximity on the west side of town, many felt that we were not meeting the needs of the community. So in 1961, the idea of relocating became a serious question for the congregation. Hence, on May 7, 1961, the congregation voted to purchase land and build on the east side of town at 700 S. Marshall Road where the church is currently located.

On Oct 1, 1961, Rev. Paul McCauley preached the last sermon from the Calvary Methodist church pulpit. The building was sold and demolished. However, the windows, the bell, and whatever else was deemed useful was salvaged and stored until it could be used in our present building. While the new building was being built, services and classes were held at Creekview School.

On Christmas Sunday, 1962, the first worship service was held in the new building. Shortly thereafter, our church was renamed Christ Methodist Church.
3rd building c. 1962

In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren churches merged with the Methodist churches to form the new larger United Methodist Church denomination. As a result of this merger, our church was again formally renamed Christ United Methodist Church later that same year.

OUR NEW SANCTUARY AND MUTI-PURPOSE SPACE

By 1972, the mortgage on the building was paid in full and so on December 10, 1972, we celebrated our tenth anniversary in our new building and the burning of the mortgage papers. Shortly thereafter ideas about a new sanctuary and/or the addition of a new multi-purpose room began to be discussed. It wasn’t until November 25, 1975, however, that a building committee was formed to lay out preliminary plans for a new sanctuary.

Due to high inflation and high interest rates through the late 1970’s, the committee met for a number of years to discuss how to accomplish the project. By 1980, it was decided to scale back the building project and ground was broken on October 26, 1980 for our new sanctuary.

3rd building with new santuary c 1981On June 14, 1981, the long wait was over. Rev. Michael Villardo held the first services in our beautiful new sanctuary. The gorgeous stain glass windows from the Calvary Church building had been mounted at the back of the sanctuary, the cross hung on the stone wall, and there were now actual pews with upholstered seats.

On May 5, 1988, ground was broken for the addition of our multi-purpose space known as the New Life Center. Over the years, numerous community events, church events and even church services have been held in the New Life Center.

OUR CHURCH TODAY

In 2010, Rev. Norman Coleman III accepted the appointment as Lead Pastor of Christ Church and is still faithfully serving in that capacity today.



LIST OF PASTORS

REV. NORMAN COLEMAN III
2010-PRESENT





REV. TODD MILLS
2007-2010





REV. LISA ELLISON
2001-2007





REV. TOM MELLOTT
1996-2001





REV. DAVID HARRIS
1991-1996





REV. MICHAEL VILLARDO
1979-1991





REV. DAVID COTTRILL
1974-1979





REV. ROGER ASHLEY
1970-1974





REV. BEVERLY COOK
1968-1970





REV. KENT MOOREHEAD
1964-1968





REV. PAUL McCAULEY
1960-1964





REV. FRANK SHULER
1959-1960





REV. WILLIAM C. WRIGHT
1957-1959





REV. OLIVER S. HALL
1953-1957





REV. FLETCHER E. SHOUP
1949-1953





REV. JOHN V. LACY
1948-1949





REV. R. R. WEED
1942-1948





REV. I. M. McVEY
1930-1941





REV. J. C. WILLIAMS
1929-1930





REV. GEORGE W. BECK
1927-1929





REV. C. C. FALKENSTINE
1921-1927





REV. LLOYD DOUGLAS
1919-1921





REV. CHARLES SULTZBACH
1916-1918





REV. J. L. BUCKLEY
1914-1916





REV. B. F. MCKINNON
1908-1914





REV. N. J. KINNEY
1905-1908





REV. J. F. LANE
1904-1905





REV. G. H. HARPER
1903-1904





REV. S. S. FLEMING
1898-1903





REV. J. P. WILLIAMS
1897-1898





REV. JOSIAH SHEPHERD
1895-1897





REV. E. ATEN
1893-1895





REV. J. W. SPRING
1890-1893





REV. A. A. MONSON
1888-1890





REV. WILLIAM OVERHULS
1886-1888





REV. E. G. BRUMBAUGH
1884-1886





REV. W. J. ELLIOTT
1883-1884





REV. C. S. EVANS
1882-1883





REV. J. H. DALBEY
1880-1882





REV. W. R. PARSONS
1878-1880





REV. N. G. OGLESBY
1875-1878





REV. W. G. ROBERTS
1874-1875





REV. R. B. GRAHAM
1873-1874





REV. R. ROSE
1870-1873





REV. C. C. CADDY
1869-1870





REV. T. J. EVANS
1866-1867





REV. T. T. KENDRICK
1865-1866





REV. E. J. WINANS
1863-1865





REV. B. WALKER
1861-1863





REV. R. ROSE
1859-1861





REV. W. B. WARRINGTON
1855-1859