The congregation was organized in 1868, just after the Civil War, with Pastor J. Wedin. Services like New Testament Churches were help in member’s home. Then in 1870, an Episcopal Methodist Church was established. The church is now known as United Methodist Church at New Athens.
The church has a rich history of being an inviting community of faith to all. At the time the church was build it was the only place of worship so it was used by the Catholic and the United Church of Christ for their worship services. For a few years from 1886 the services were discontinued. Then 1891 services began again.
For the last 147 years our church has withstood so much and still stands today because its members feel it is much more than a building made of wood and brick but it is a home; a home to worship and share our faith in God and spread love to one another and the community in which we live.
Our church has established a reputation for being a “praying” congregation. We have a group called “The Circle of Prayer” that meets on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. during the Fall and Winter months and 4 p.m. during the longer days of Spring and Summer. We have an ongoing list of people, some of whom we have never met. We have received reports of people receiving healing!
Our Missions Statement: “Our lives and the church are to be an ever increasing practice of love toward God and humankind as revealed in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.”
Everyone is invited our community of faith. Remember, if you visit us, we are going to adopt you as one of us! Outreaches included Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale, Movie Nights, Vacation Bible School, Red Bird Mission, Kids For Christ Mission, Annual Baby Shower for our newlyweds (Jim and Juanita Ozier—both in their 70’s) we donate the donations to two pregnancy crisis centers, several Bible Studies a year on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
We support the Nursing Home Services (Which is a nondenominational service so that all can attend it without hearing doctrine) every Sunday morning from 9 – 9:45. Participate in CESNA (Church Emergency Service of New Athens) a group supported by several local churches to provide food and help with emergencies up to $200 a person for residents in the New Athens District 60 School district.
We help support a church in Philippines and have adopted two children from the Philippines through “Compassion.” We are looking forward as God reveals to us where he wants us to join in His work in New Athens and the surrounding area.
Work once a month at the CESNA Thrift Store from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.—Directed by Thelma Short.
This year we began a new “Youth Ministry” under the leadership of Reba Jones (with the help of the entire church). We welcome her and are very excited to see what she has planned for our children. Her first meeting will be on March 26 at 5 p.m. a “Get Acquainted” gathering to meet the parents or grandparents of our youth.
We also have a small but functional nursery which includes a TV to watch and listen to the entire service. We are in the process of getting volunteers to take care of the children as the need arises.