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United Methodist Church celebrating bicentennial

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During the weekend of September 15-16, 2018, South Walpole United Methodist Church will commemorate its founding in the fall of 1818. Originally started as a house church with services held in members' homes, the Village Church has always been an active and vital part of the South Walpole community.

The first sanctuary, on Water Street, was constructed in 1830, and the present sanctuary on Washington Street was built in 1846. A few years later, the congregation added a bell, created by a student of Paul Revere’s, to the steeple. A “satellite” congregation was formed in Foxboro in 1893. The “Community House,” constructed in 1915, was the focal point of South Walpole civic activities, with registration of women voters in 1920, fundraising for war bonds, basketball leagues, theatrical performances and travelogues throughout the years. Newly-appointed Rev. Phil Michaels is the 106th minister of the church.

The 200-year-old South Walpole United Methodist Church serves the needs of the local community and beyond. With a weekly service at 10:00 a.m., it offers a children’s Sunday School, youth group, adult bible study, and special programs throughout the church year. Each year, South Walpole UMC sponsors volunteers to help the residents of north central Maine through the auspices of the United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem, Maine. The Church Mice Fair is held every fall as a community event featuring homemade pies, a café, crafts, children’s activities, a silent auction and gently used items. The church supports Walpole Families of Faith’s Breaking Break, a free weekly community meal and time of fellowship. Every Thanksgiving, the church gathers volunteers from throughout the community to deliver turkey dinners for area shut-ins. It also hosts the South Walpole Community Preschool, Assembleia De Deus Koinonia, Alcoholics Anonymous and Summerstage.

Anniversary events will include:

Saturday, September 15, 5:00 p.m. - Hymn sing in the sanctuary followed by supper in the community hall, featuring historical photos and timeline. All living former pastors have been invited.

Sunday, September 16, 10:00 a.m. - Church service attended by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, with former pastors invited.

For more information about bicentennial events or the church, call Cyndi Hoag at (508-668-6699) or email Dianne Langer at ladydilanger@juno.com.

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