By the 1960’s, we were beginning to outgrow the building at Routes 27 and 80 so additional land was purchased to accommodate for future growth. In 1965, preliminary drawings were prepared and fund-raising began for a building that would house Sunday school rooms, a Pastor’s study, kitchen and a fellowship room. In 1969, it was discovered that a relocation of Route 27 would bring the road within a few feet of the boundary of our proposed new building. Our land was sold and we purchased an 11 ½ acre tract, with access to Route 80, where the present church stands. In 1972 ground was broken and the building was completed in time for Vacation Bible School to be held in June of 1973 and the annual picnic in July. Consecration of the building was held in September of that year.
The new building was known as the Educational and Fellowship Hall building. Worship Services and other activities were still held in the building at the corner of 27 and 80. By late summer of 1974, the congregation voted to begin worshipping at the new location as the nursery and Sunday school had already relocated. The Fellowship Hall served as the Sanctuary along with its other duties of gymnasium, dining hall and activities room. It seemed reasonable to bring most of the activities under one roof, not to mention that we were able to enjoy air conditioning for the first time.
The old 27/80 building was still used for weddings, funerals and other special services. However, in 1976, a fire caused extensive smoke damage to the Sanctuary and structural damage to the Sunday school area. After much deliberation, it was decided to sell that building to another church group.
Using the money from that sale, plus insurance moneys from the fire, we were able to pay off the mortgage on the new building and begin phase 2 construction much sooner than had been planned. Phase 2 would include the Sanctuary, offices, meeting rooms, a Sacristy and formal chapel to be used for small weddings, funerals, retreats and personal prayer. Preliminary designs, for phase 2, were drawn up in 1988 and modified over the ensuing 3 years. Initial designs had the building continuing in a straight line but placement of an acceptable septic field caused us to change to the “L” shape of the current building. Phase 2 groundbreaking was in February of 1991 and the first service, in the new Sanctuary, was held in February of 1992. Formal dedication was in March of that year.
The Building Fund covered excavation and construction of the building. Nearly all of the interior furnishings and accommodations were donated and/or purchased by our gracious congregation. One parishioner went above and beyond by covering most of the cost of a beautiful pipe organ, the last one ever built by the Moller company.
The “Outback” building, located in back of the church, was built in the late 1980’s to provide more Sunday school rooms and much needed storage. All labor to build the facility was donated and, again with generosity of church families, the cost of materials was very small. The building was also used for the Pastor’s office during phase 2 construction and now is used as a meeting venue by our youth groups.
In 1995, five additional acres, adjacent to the property, were purchased for possible future expansion and to provide recreational and sports areas. “Bill’s Memory Trails”, a walking and prayer trail, has now become part of these five acres and is a work in progress to provide a quiet, meditative, prayerful area to feel God’s presence and further enjoy His creation.
In 2000, a pavilion was constructed in the wooded area near one end of the building. An outdoor chapel with stone altar and wooden benches is also located in that area. This provides a beautiful setting for occasional worship services during the summer months.
God has indeed richly blessed this church family. For over 170 years the congregation of Montgomery United Methodist Church has continued to build on history, heritage and family values and have endeavored to “go and make disciples of all men”. We have expanded ministries to local and national levels and have supported missions throughout the world. We are rich in history, serving the present and reaching for the future.