In honor of the 150th Anniversary of our Annual Conference, the Conference Archives and History Team has awarded its first ever "Centennial Award." Wesley Chapel UMC in McDonough has been chosen to receive the Recognition Award in celebration of the church's upcoming 150th Anniversary.
The church submitted an impressive application focused on its Ministry of Memory.
Wesley Chapel UMC, founded in 1867, has remained dedicated to maintaining the congregation’s vast history. They have kept detailed records of each pastor, name change, and building upgrade. The church’s current building, finished in 2003, contains a room filled with historical information, including recorded memories from older church memories.
The mission statement of their Archives and History Ministry states:
“The mission of the Archives and History ministry glorifies God through our efforts in preserving and documenting our church’s rich historical identity by keeping records and artifacts in a secure and orderly fashion so that our church may preserve and build on its heritage.”
The congregation has seen much growth since acquiring their first 2 acres of land for a hefty $45 in 1873. The new, modern building, only 11.5 miles from the original site, is much larger and currently holds two services on Sundays.
However, Wesley Chapel UMC still displays several historic assets throughout the building. The church still holds the original bell, which was once the largest in Henry County, first hung in the 1880’s. The new building also includes the five original stained glass windows, first added in 1924.
The church has witnessed several historic moments, such as hosting Annual Conference in 1909, 1927, and 1936, under the Old Georgia Conference. They also welcomed their first female pastor, current District Superintendent Rev. Sharma Lewis, in 2008.
“God’s invitation is not something to be taken lightly,” Rev. Bert Neal recently said in an issue of We Are Henry Magazine. “It is the best invitation that you will ever receive. “
Neal received the appointment to pastor Wesley Chapel UMC in 2013, and he continues to contribute to the history and positive outreach within the community.
Annual Conference attendees can find a table with more on the church’s Ministry of Memory in the Foundry June 7-9.