Go and make disciples of all the nations!
As early as 1864, Evangelical families organized prayer meetings in the homes and store-fronts of Huron. The mission: to share the word of God to the German-speaking immigrants. These families built the current structure in 1875. Boardwalks bore up the feet of the faithful and those traveling by horse tethered their animals to the hitching posts. In the next 100 years the church facilities were blessed with continued improvements: stained glass windows, organs, parlor annex, an on-site parsonage, and many other memorial gifts. The congregation also changed name twice, the first being with the merger of Evangelical Church with the United Brethren in Christ Church to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church, or E.U.B, in 1946. The educational wing and adjoining fellowship hall were dedicated in 1966 to accommodate a growing congregation…. and just in time! In 1967, our E.U.B. church merged with Aldersgate Methodist Church, to form the current Huron United Methodist Church, possibly the first merger of these two denominations in the nation.
As the church walked across the threshold of a new millennium, it did so with vision and a well-defined mission. In 1999 the Council adopted the mission statement: to make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ. The church then established a Vision 2000 team whose goals were to assess the needs of our church and make recommendations for well-managed growth in accordance with our mission.
In 2004 it was decided that one of the rooms in the educational wing be turned into a prayer room. The room was repainted, and redecorated. It is centered around one of the original stained glass windows from the church. Church Member Peg Whitehurst disassembled, cleaned, and rebuilt with all new metal, but original glass, and it is hanging in the prayer room, with light from the courtyard shining through it. In addition to the prayer room, the church now has several Sunday School rooms, a nursery for child care during worship, a balcony in the sanctuary, a Youth Lounge, and a Fellowship Hall.
To meet the diverse needs of over 600 members in 2009, the 145th anniversary year of the congregation, the Huron United Methodist Church continues to offer a broad array of ministries. Supplementing a strong Sunday school program, children have opportunities to play bells, sing in choirs, and attend the LOGOS program on Wednesday afternoons designed to make young disciples of Christ. Youth continue their walk with God in the confirmation and senior high programs. Youth have raised funds for retreats with such events as the 24-hour prayer vigil and Super Bowl sub sales. Community-wide Vacation Bible School has been full of enthusiasm. The congregation strongly supports the funding for youth to attend summer youth camps. Adults supplement Sunday school programming with Bible studies.
The church is blessed with strong leadership in nurturing our members through increased opportunities for worship and fellowship. Beginning in summer 2000, the church began offering an additional morning service. This informal 8:00 am worship service of folk music complements the traditional 10:00 am service with choir and organ. The church provides fellowship opportunities ranging from coffee hours and summer church picnics to Adult Fellowship Fun Nights, and Senior Luncheons.
The mission of caring has been highlighted by groups like the Mission Committee. The church contributes to multiple local missions, such as Care-and-Share, Victory Kitchen, and Care Families as well as reaching abroad to the Africa University, Russian orphanages, and the El Salvador Water Project. In summers 2003, 2004, and 2005 youth and leaders attended weeklong work camps for the JOSHUA project in the Appalachia Urban Mission of Steubenville.
As we seek to fulfill our mission, we open our eyes to our Good Shepherd window depicting Jesus and his flock, hearing Jesus’ words, “Feed my sheep.”
Alyson Wilson, the church’s historian compiled a history book — pictured at the left — which is available in the church office for a suggested donation of $5.00.