Ebenezer United Methodist Church
Founded 1838 - Sharing God's Love Through Service
Showing God's love through caring for each other, our community, and our world!
Ebenezer, the oldest Methodist church in Westmoreland County, began in 1838 when seven-eights of an acre was purchased for five dollars from William and Martha Jackson for the purpose of erecting a house for the worship of Almighty God. The sanctuary in which we worship today was built in 1859 with bricks made in a kiln on the church grounds. The original pulpit and pews are still being used. A shingle found under the building bears this message. "This church was built by James W. English in the year 1858 or 1859 and repaired and tower built by James M. English in 1900". The tower was first made of wood and was brick veneered in 1951.
Ebenezer was originally a Methodist Protestant Church and remained that until 1872 when it was acquired by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. As stated in the August 1, 1935 Advocate "This transfer was due to the ravages of the Civil War, so sweeping away the fortunes of the members of this organization, that Ebenezer, heavily in debt, was turned over to our denomination who assumed the indebtedness."
Henry L. Thrift gave a plot of ground for the cemetery in 1882. On August 9, 1904, Henry A. Thrift and Laura A. Thrift, his wife, gave one acre of land surrounding the church lot for "members and others in the immediate neighborhood as a place of burying their dead". In 1960, the cemetery was enlarged by an additional acre of land given by F. Bernard Delano and another acre was given by Gertrude Delano in 1988.
On September 21, 1978, our church property was enlarged by a 14 foot strip of land given by James B. English to facilitate access to our cemetery on the southeast side of the church. Two additional acres of property were purchased from Harry L. and Betty N. Arnest in 1990.
On June 18, 1953, the Official Board decided to proceed with a new Educational Wing. Ground was broken on March 13, 1955, construction was completed in 1956 and dedication took place on June 26, 1966. Ebenezer became a station church in June 1965. Prior to this we were on the Westmoreland Charge with Carmel, Kinsale, Edgewater and Coles Point. In March 1977, ground was broken on land given by F. Bernard and Gertrude P. Delano for the construction of our parsonage which was ready for occupancy in January 1978. The stained glass windows in the narthex were dedicated in June 1997 in memory of Bertha Kavaria Solem and her grandparents, Katherine and David Shertzer.
At a late evening meeting in March 2004, the Board of Trustees agreed unanimously to explore the possibility of building an addition to the Educational Wing. During our revival and homecoming in October 2004, our guest speaker, Reverend Bill Sammons donated his entire love offering as seed money for our Building Project. Ground was broken in April 2006 and the addition was completed in March 2007 and consecrated in May of 2007.
Restoration of our historic sanctuary to correct for moisture seepage, fix discrepancies in our Lightning Protection System, re-enforce the floor joists, replace the original wiring and improve lighting was completed in November 2009.
An adjacent 18 acres of land was purchased in June 2010 and placed in the Ebenezer United Methodist Church Cemetery Trust. While a primary purpose of this trust is to honor our ancestors by providing an attractive resting place in perpetuity, the trust also stipulates that any other use of the property must be in accordance with the following: to provide for members of the local community who have spiritual, emotional, educational and physical needs; and to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
On June 12, 2011, we celebrated the dedication of our new addition with worship, food, fellowship and thankfulness for all God has done. We continue to move forward keeping the faith, staying the course, and continually seeking God's evolving vision for our Church.
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by spreading the good news of God's grace and by proclaiming Jesus' commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus' words in Matthew 28: 19-20, 22:37 and 22:39 provide the church with this mission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" and "Your shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself".
At Ebenezer, we carry out this mission by reaching out to others, constantly looking for opportunities to help other people become disciples of Jesus Christ and by always being a welcoming and caring church. We encourage and support members of our church and our community as they enter the mission field to help those who are suffering due to sickness or hunger and those whose lives are not fulfilled because they are trying to live without Jesus. We have a long history of being dedicated to serving others, helping spread the good news and helping bring others to Christ.
Our vision is to help even more people become followers of Jesus Christ, to step out in faith (through prayer, commitment and good deeds) to accomplish God's vision for our Church, to expand our outreach and increase our support for those in need physically, emotionally and spiritually. As we progress along this journey we will look for possibilities that might not be obvious to everyone and we will use our trust in God to turn problems and difficulties into opportunities for us to move forward. We know that it is only by following God's word that we can continue to grow spiritually and continue to make an impact on His world.
What we Believe
As United Methodists, here are some of the beliefs that guide us at Ebenezer: