Three houses of faith still standing 100 years later: Part one: The Central United Methodist Church

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by Trinity Gruenberg

trinity@inhnews.com

    High cathedral ceilings, stained glass windows, pews lining the aisle, a large cross above the altar and a sanctuary filled will people for Sunday service...the church, the house of faith.

    Over the years, churches expand, move to new buildings, remodel their current home, or have to rebuild after a disaster. Having a place of worship, that house of faith, is important to the congregation to have a place to  gather and worship together. 

    It’s common for the church congregation to be older than the building that houses it. There are many unique, timeless buildings in the Verndale area, but this is the story of three houses of faith that have stood the test of time and battled the elements and are still standing and in use 100 years later.

    In a three part series we will take you on a journey through the history of these church buildings, Central United Methodist Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church-Bartlett Township and St. Fredericks Catholic Church and how they came to be and how they are prospering today.

    Part One­—The Central United Methodist Church

    The history of the Central United Methodist Church dates sback to the 1880s.

    “Back in the day there was a community called Central that had a store, a post office, cheese factory and the church and it was quite the little community,” said DeeDee Neal, an 86 year member of the church.

    The small community of Central was formed when Fred Topp and Uria Laksy built a building to house a post office called “Central” and later, farmers established the Central Cheese Association and built a cheese factory and store. Later, the factory was sold to George Schofield. The factory switched hands again and burnt down in the 1920s, rendering the post office obsolete and ending the Central community. 

    “That’s why it’s called the Central Church,” said Neal.

    Named for the Central community, the only surviving component, the Central United Methodist Church, still stands.

    The church is located, near the former location of the cheese plant, north of Verndale.

    In 1880, Mrs. Charles Crocker organized the northern most Methodist Sunday School. Services were held there until the first church was built. . . . 

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