A Brief History: Community United Methodist Church
Our church was organized on January 24, 1963 at a meeting held in a home on Urbana South just across the street from our present location. For the first few years two homes were used for Sunday School while this home was used for church services. A house was then purchased on Old Line Avenue and served as our church building until our present building was completed. The house then became our parsonage, but later was rented and then sold.
Our present building, built circa 1940, was originally an Army chapel on Fort George G. Meade. It served thousands of men and women in the Armed Forces assigned to Fort Meade through the years. Many were subsequently sent into combat during World War II and later during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The building was moved to its present location in September 1966 where it was reconstructed for our use. Our first service was held on Mother’s Day in May 1967.
Our beautiful organ, a tracker action model, was built in 1910 by the Hinners Organ Company of Peking, Illinois for the First Evangelical Church in Warren, Pennsylvania. In the 1920’s it was moved to the Hillside Baptist Church in Jamestown, New York. In the early 1980’s our church purchased this organ. It was dismantled and moved to our building and reconstruction with adjustments for acoustics was completed in December 1982.
During these 50 years of service to our Lord, we have had the following pastors: Rev. J. William McNally (1963-1965); Rev. William E. Berninger (1965-1967); Rev. James R. Embrey (1967-1970); Rev. Richard D. Thompson (1970-1974); Rev. John W. Zsittnik (1974-1977); Rev. Phillip Lawton (1977-1978); Rev. Mary Ellen Huzzard (1978-1984); Rev. Gladys C. Sloane (1982-1984);Rev. Ramon Reno (1984-1990); Rev. Moses Sangha (1990-1994); Rev. Saroj Sangha (1994-2007); Rev. Douglas E. Fox (2007-2011);Rev. Michelle R. (Thorne) Mejia (2011- ).
The members of our congregation, like our building and organ, have come from other places with varying backgrounds. We have come together as a community and reach out to others both locally and internationally with our planned activities and donations thru UMCOR and other disaster relief programs.
~ LaVonne R. Hanlon, Church Historian