A Historical Church with a Vision for the Future

On a snowy morning in February 2016, I first walked through the doors of Centenary United Methodist Church. I knew that I was to be appointed as the new pastor in July of that same year, but at that time no one knew who I was. I was given a tour of the church and when I first walked into the sanctuary and saw the beauty and architecture of that place of worship, it took my breath away. When I met with the leadership of the church several days later, it was in a room called the parlor. I remember sitting there that night and looking at all the historic memorabilia displayed in that room as we talked about our vision for the future of our church.

I revisited the parlor recently and saw the commemorative items celebrating the church’s 200th anniversary 1802 – 2002. A bible from 1867 sits on one of the shelves, next to that was an old “Alms Box”, and next to that was an old communion set. There were many old photographs of the church that had been taken through the years, especially of the children throughout the history of the church. Recently another church with a rich and vibrant history has now come to join together with Centenary. Christ United Methodist and Centenary United Methodist have become one. We are enriched by the legacy of two very relevant Methodist churches that have had a long history reaching out to share the love and message of Jesus Christ our Lord in the Laurel community.

As I looked over our last photo directory it stated that “We know where we have been… and we know what Christ is calling us to do.” I believe that statement is very true. We are, indeed, An historic church with a vision for the future. It is important that we have a vision for the future. Our vision statement reads:

Centenary United Methodist Church,

A church in the “heart” of Laurel with a heart to reach Laurel for Christ,

Seeks to reach the unchurched and unbelievers with the Word of Jesus Christ.

We seek to equip all people with a faith that works in real life,

And to send them out to serve the world in the name of Christ.


It is with great excitement I look to the future and know God will do great things in our church and this Laurel community. We still are a “a church in the heart of Laurel, with a heart to reach Laurel for Christ.”

I hope these photographs will help you to come to know us as this family of faith as you tell others to come and join us.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dean