YORK — Wesley United Methodist Church in York will hold a 150th anniversary celebration this weekend with special services Friday through Sunday.
The events will begin with a 7 p.m. Friday praise and worship service at the church, 110 W. Jefferson St., followed by a reception.
The observance will end with a 3 p.m. service Sunday, Nov. 3 with the Rev. Jonathan Holston, bishop of the South Carolina conference of the United Methodist Church. A reception will follow.
The church was founded in 1863 by residents who wanted to “cultivate the lives of the African-American population in Yorkville,” according to a short summary of the church history.
In 1865, a few miles away in the Cotton Belt community, another group of Christians were meeting in homes, and a brush arbor was erected in a grove of trees, which marked the beginning of Cedar Grove Methodist.
Also in 1865, trustees with the first church group purchased a lot on Jefferson Street for the ministry of Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church. Five years later, a church was built that would be the first black Methodist church in York County.
The Cedar Grove church also built a new church building.
In 1939, three branches of the Methodist church combined, and the first West Jefferson Street church became Wesley Methodist Church.
In 1950, Cedar Grove completed another new structure, which stands today.
In 1968, the United Methodist Church was formed from two branches, creating Cedar Grove and Wesley United Methodist churches.
In 1998, the Cedar Grove and Wesley Methodist churches merged into a church at the present site. A new fellowship hall was dedicated in 2001.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077