Grace UMC celebrates 175 years of worship

| April 14, 2015
SONG: Ruth Edwards ended the anniversary celebration with a performance of, “Because He Lives” with Jan Coffman accompanying her on the piano. Grace United Methodist Church is celebrating its 175th anniversary in Coshocton. BEACON PHOTO BY BETH SCOTT

SONG: Ruth Edwards ended the anniversary celebration with a performance of, “Because He Lives” with Jan Coffman accompanying her on the piano. Grace United Methodist Church is celebrating its 175th anniversary in Coshocton. BEACON PHOTO BY BETH SCOTT

COSHOCTON – Members at Grace United Methodist Church celebrated their 175th anniversary on Sunday, April 12 with a special ceremony held after traditional worship services.

The highlight of the celebration was the opening of the time capsule, found in the northern part of the chapel between two floor joists. The capsule was compiled in 1980 and had specific instructions not to be opened before the year 2000.

“We have no idea what’s inside of it,” said Judy Elliot. “We’re going to add some more stuff to it, if it’ll all fit.”

When it was opened, the capsule contained many memories of years gone by including a variety of photographs, a letter from the 1980 congregation to the current congregation, church directory, a variety of advertisements, a copy of The Times Reporter and the Coshocton Tribune, a piece of church stationary, a Boy Scout’s handbook, attendance records, bulletins, and cassette tapes of the service on the day the capsule was buried.

“These photos are just wonderful,” said Elliot to the crowd of people gathered in the fellowship hall. “I know some of you are going to have so much fun going through these.”

Those gathered were invited to view the contents of the time capsule after the ceremony. They will be refilling the capsule with current items and will reseal it to be opened in the year 2040. Some of the items to be included are a copy of the 2015 budget, an edition of The Coshocton Tribune and The Coshocton County Beacon, a directory, a copy of the 175th anniversary worship service, a letter to the congregation in 2040, and a commemorative coin.

The commemorative coin was designed by Tom Havelka and one was given to each church family. Havelka also wrote a song for the worship service especially for the anniversary celebration.

“I want to especially thank our choir director, Leslie Dawson, and Tom Havelka,” said Elliot. “Our worship service would not have been nearly as special without Tom Havelka.”

The ceremony also featured church history books from 1840 through 1940, and one from 1940 through 1980. Another church history book is in the process of being made, but church members wanted to include the 175th anniversary celebration, so the book has not yet been completed.

Elliot personally thanked the planning committee for all their hard work with the anniversary celebrations, Three Rivers UMC District Superintendent Dr. Brad Call and his wife, Sue, and Bishop John Hopkins and his wife, Elaine.

“We have trusted God to lead us in this year-long celebration that we started in January,” said Elliot. “And we trust that He will lead us through the coming years.”

Those gathered then sang the Methodist doxology, “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow” and the event ended with Ruth Edwards performing “Because He Lives” with Jan Coffman accompanying her on the piano.

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Category: Faith, Multimedia, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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