OLD FORGE — First United Methodist Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary during the month of September.
The cornerstone was laid on April 22, 1892 with 400 people attending. Ebenezer Drake, a member of one of the early families in Old Forge, donated the lot on which the church was built.
For five years, the congregation worshipped in the basement while the sanctuary was being constructed at a cost of $3,000. Four years after the dedication, a great deal of damage was done to the building by a mine cave; however, the congregation responded to the setback and the building was soon repaired.
A faithful and devoted member built the pulpit, which is made out of an old historic tree. The pulpit is still in use at the present time and is dedicated to that church member’s memory.
In 1914, this church joined with the Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church of Old Forge in the “Rendham Charge” and the two churches shared a pastor.
However, in 1980, the United Methodist churches of the area were re-aligned and this church was paired with the Pittston United Methodist Church, again sharing a pastor.
A total of 38 pastors have served the church during the past 125 years. Rev. Susan Hardman-Zimmerman is the current pastor.
To mark the occasion, a special service and anniversary luncheon will be held.
Sunday morning services are held at 11:15 a.m. at the church location on 143 Harrison St.