Benld United Methodist celebrates centennial

Benld United Methodist celebrates centennial

Benld United Methodist Church, at 209 South Main Street, has held several activities and events in recognition of its centennial. The most recent was a service of remembrance and catered meal Nov. 2.

Benld United Methodist Church celebrated 100 years of serving Christ in the Benld community with a service of remembrance and a catered dinner on Saturday, Nov. 2. The service and meal were part of several centennial activities the church organized.

It participated in the Black Diamond Day parade in June and held a Star Gazing Party in July. In August, the church took part in a block party that more than 240 people attended.

“In many ways the Service of Remembering and dinner was a homecoming for pastors and parishioners alike,” said pastor Sharon Treptow. “People came from near and far.”

Benld United Methodist Church was founded in 1919 when the Baptist congregation could no longer make the payments to retire the mortgage on their church. Consequently, they sold the building to the Methodist Board of Missions. The Annual Conference Journal of the Southern Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church lists Rev. J.W. Webster as the first appointed pastor on a circuit with Gillespie. There have been 25 pastors to serve the congregation since it began in 1919.

“Benld United Methodist has always been a mission minded church, not only serving the Benld community but also various missional agencies in the state, the nation and the world,” Treptow said.

The church is known for its Groundhog dinner which dates back to February 1977. At that time Rev. Arthur Hurry challenged the church to use Groundhog Day as a day to raise money for missions. Since that time hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to support World Hunger, Heifer International, Victorious House in Kenya, the area ministerial council and various United Methodist missions and ministries.

The church is also active in the local community. They provide volunteers to work at the Caring Center in Gillespie, and they also help in to deliver Meals on Wheels. They have assisted area people in

distress and they have an active Prayer Quilt Ministry. They participate in community events and missions throughout the year, including the school supply drive, Trunk or Treat and Joyful Angels.

Benld United Methodist Church, located at 209 S Main St, Benld, invites all people to join them in worship and fellowship.

Sunday Service begins at 9:30 a.m., Sunday School follows at 10:30 a.m.

For additional information, contact the church office at 217-835-4773.