Centreville United Methodist Church
1959 – Present
For 131 years the Methodist people of Centreville worshiped as different entities. And it was with differing backgrounds, customs and prejudices that they became one on February 1, 1959, when the merger of the Epworth Methodist Church and Grace Methodist Church was effected by the Rev. Elwood Cursey. The merged congregation worshiped together for the first time on March 22, 1959. Services alternated between the two churches for a period of one month. Later it was changed to six months in each church.
It soon became apparent that neither church facility was large enough nor was expansion feasible. Thus, land was purchased and plans were made to build an Educational Building. Under the pastorship of Rev. Donald O. Hornung, ground breaking was held on June 18, 1961. The Educational Building, now our Fellowship Hall, completed in July 1962 and dedicated on November 20, 1966, was used for both Sunday School and worship until the Sanctuary was built. On September 21,1969, with the Rev. John W. Simpers, Jr. as minister, the cornerstone for the new Centreville United Methodist Church was laid. A Service of Consecration of the Sanctuary was held on May 17, 1970. A Service of Dedication was held on December 9, 1979.
One of the fascinating aspects of the building program was the transfer of cornerstones from the former two churches to the Sanctuary. Upon removal from the original buildings, the contents of both cornerstones were examined, recorded, and returned. Contents of the Epworth cornerstone of 1857 included the Sunday School Advocate, the Centreville Times, names of lawyers of Queen Anne’s County, the States Rights Advocate, Methodist Hymnal, 1852 large penny, and a Flying Eagle one cent piece dated 1857. Contents of the Grace cornerstone of 1887 included a Bible, five Indian Head Pennies, an 1870 Canadian dime, an 1875 Liberty Seated dime, and a 1777 Spanish silver fifty cent piece. Joining the historic cornerstones on the northwest corner of the Sanctuary is the new cornerstone which was laid September 21, 1969. Contents include a Bible, Methodist Book of Discipline, Peninsula Conference Journal, membership list, names of church officials, contemporary coins, Record-Observer Newspaper, histories of Grace and Epworth Churches, history of the church since merger in 1959, and a list of contents of the other two cornerstones.
The church bell in the tower of the Sanctuary was made in 1884 by the McClane Company of Baltimore, Maryland. Weighing approximately 700 pounds, it was originally installed in the Grace Methodist Church, Centreville, when the building was consecrated in 1887. The bell was removed in 1966 and stored by Mr. Lewis Davis of Ruthsburg until its installation at the present site.
In May 2000 the church held a Homecoming celebration to mark the dedication of a new organ console and the 30th anniversary of the consecration of the Sanctuary. Shortly thereafter a building campaign began to expand our classroom space and renovate much of the building. The new educational wing opened in September 2007. The renovation of the narthex and church offices in 2013 and the creation of the Memorial Garden in 2014 completed the goals of the campaign.
Innumerable memorials have been given for many of the furnishings; the church-sponsored suppers, the work of the church organizations, donations from individuals, and support from our church family have made Centreville United Methodist Church possible. God has been good to our church; we have grown with the community of Centreville since 1959, and these years have been a true blessing for all of our church family. We look forward to continuing this growth in the future, as a place of worship and fellowship for all members of God’s Church.
Donald O. Hornung 1959-1966
William B. Bundick 1966-1969
John W. Simpers, Jr. 1969-1974
Clarence H. Hays 1974-1981
Thomas W. Hurley 1981-1990
William Dore 1990-1995
Donald J. Hurst 1995-1997
K. Wayne Grier 1997-2008
Mark Farnell 2008-2017
Chris Pettit 2017-2019
Robyn Brown (Associate) 2013-2020
Larry Hanifee 2020
Rudy Draper (Associate) 2019-2020
Karen Handy 2020-Present