I had occasion to visit Wellington’s Methodist Church today. It is a beautiful, elegant structure with spectacularly lovely stained glass windows. The sanctuary was looking especially festive, festooned with flowers, Advent candles, wreaths and a Christmas tree. The holidays are a very busy time of year for many of us, but I could not let pass the opportunity to note that the church celebrates its one hundred and fiftieth birthday this very month.
On December 19, 1866 the Lorain County News included a piece called “Our Churches” in its Wellington column. Among other notices, this appeared: “The Methodists are making an effort to build a new church edifice next season. They have already raised the larger portion of the estimated fifteen thousand dollars. The need of a new house is apparent” (pg. 3).
Six months later, an update was published in the same column. “Church Building. The foundation for the Methodist Church is growing rapidly under the hammer of Mr. Bevins. Large quantities of stone from the Berea quarries are daily being delivered on the ground and the brick work will soon be commenced” (6/12/1867, pg. 3).
The work was completed by year’s end. The December 25th edition of the Lorain County News announced: “Wellington. Festival. The Methodist congregation are to hold a dedicatory or Christmas Festival in the basement of their new Church, on the 25th and 26th instant. Some of their most prominent ministers are expected to be present, and a good time is anticipated. We hope they may not be disappointed, as they have labored hard during the past summer, in erecting their new edifice, which is an ornament to the town and a just cause of pride for so successful a termination of their arduous labors.” The editor might have ended on that positive note, but felt the need to add, “A more extended notice of their gathering would have been given, had we been furnished the necessary information” (pg. 3).
Happy birthday, First United Methodist Church. May your congregation continue its good works in the community, and may your beauty continue to grace the downtown, for many decades to come.