RIPLEY, Ohio — Very few things have withstood the test of time, however when a faith endures two centuries in a community, some believe that is something worth celebrating.
Centenary United Methodist Church will be celebrating 200 years of Methodism in Ripley on Sunday, Sept. 16. Speakers from the congregation will tell attendants of the history of the church and its denomination in the area. Betty Campbell, co-chair of the committee organizing the event said she hopes to share the deep history with fellow members of the community.
“Two hundred years ago, Ripley, Ohio and Methodism in America were young and thriving,” she said. “The call of service in Christ was strong and maturing in our new community and nation. The bicentennial year of the Centenary United Methodist Church marks forever in the passage of time an ecclesiastical milestone to be celebrated and remembered.”
According to a booklet composed by the event committee and Jane Zachman, the current Centenary United Methodist Church was built back in 1867 at a cost of $35,000 with additions to the building occurring over time. The architect for the church was Harvey Palmer, while the brick work for the building was done by W.S. Dunn.
With such a longstanding foundation in the community, Campbell believes the presence of Methodism should be shown to the public. Having had her family attend the Methodist church for five generations, Campbell is an example of that foundation.
Campbell said the event will begin with Jane Zachman detailing the history of Centenary United Methodist Church and that of the congregation. Dan Price and Tom Zachman will also discuss the history of the church, particularly that of the stained glass windows that adorn its walls.
After a speaker talks about the various missionaries the church supports and their service, a performance by the Methodist Men’s Chorus will begin, followed by professional organ player Rhonda Frodge playing for the audience.
A reception will also be held at the church at the downstairs fellowship hall. Various artifacts from the church’s history will be on display for attendees to peruse.
“We have a very active Ripley Ministerial Association,” Campbell said, “so I know we’ll have a lot of support from our sister churches.”
The celebration will begin Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Campbell said every member of the public is invited to attend.