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History of Central UMC



History of Central 1

 

Over 175 years ago, a small, white-framed church was built on the site of our current location. This humble structure was Asheville’s first church—and the beginning of God’s great plan for Central United Methodist Church.



Today Central Church remains the city’s longest continuously operating church and is home to over 3,000 members. Through the years, our purpose has remained steadfast: a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and share the Gospel message. 

 

1800
Bishop Francis Asbury, the most famous of the early circuit-riders, visited Asheville and found Methodists here, but they were not an organized group and had no church building. (Asheville had a population of several hundred.)



1824
Circuit-rider Reverend David B. Cumming came to Asheville to organize the Methodists.



1837
A small, white-framed structure was built on our present location and was Asheville’s first church.



1857
An expanding congregation moved into a new, larger, brick structure that underwent several expansions over the next 45 years.



1880
The now Asheville Methodist Episcopal Church South began to establish satellite churches. (The population of Asheville was about 2600.)



1888
The name Central Church was first used to designate the church from the satellite churches of the city.



1890
Central Church had a membership of 475. (Asheville had a grown to more than 10,000 residents.)



1900
Plans were underway for a new house of worship. (Asheville’s population was now 15,000.)



1902
Construction began on the new facility, our current structure.



1919
Nine years after the Boy Scout program came to America from England, Troop Four of Central Church received its charter. It has been in continuous existence since.



1924
Church membership totaled more than 2,000, and a renovation project was in full swing. The sanctuary was enlarged and the balcony added. A wing was added to the south that included the Fellowship Hall and kitchen as well as Sunday School rooms.



1937
Central Church celebrated its 100th birthday in July.



1949
The Chapel was built and dedicated to the 16 young men of the church who gave their lives in World War II.



1967
A three-story Sunday School complex was added on the south side of the Fellowship Hall.



1987
Central Church celebrated its Sesquicentennial Celebration—150 Years: Calling Us into the Future.



1989
The administrative offices were renovated.



1990
The Fellowship Hall was renovated.



1994
The church sanctuary was remodeled.



2006-present
In November of 2006, Central Church and Haywood Street United Methodist Church merged, creating two campuses under the name of Central United Methodist Church.



Central Church has over 3,000 members, and plans are underway for facility upgrades.