Friday, October 24, 2014

Meadowood Free Methodist celebrates 125 Years

Posted on Oct. 4, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Meadowood Free Methodist Church has served the Elkhart community, the Michiana region and many other parts of the world. Sunday, Oct. 6, marks not only its 125th anniversary as a congregation, but its 50th year on Meadowood Drive.

Head pastor Steve Newkirk said that Meadowood’s biggest achievement has been its survival, especially considering fluctuating attendance over the past century. The congregation of Meadowood sees this anniversary as an opportunity for a new beginning.

“We’re in the process of revitalizing our presence here,” said Newkirk, who hopes that the church services on Sunday will help the church regroup and redefine itself to reach people more effectively.

But the church’s aid has not been absent. Meadowood has served local food pantries, sponsored groups such as Faith Mission, Church Community Services, the Olive Branch Mission in Chicago and Native American Reservations.

Meadowood has also sent workers to Haiti and Mexico, building mobile homes to be used for dental clinics and other services. The church also has sponsored children through International Childcare Ministries in parts of Africa, Haiti, Brazil and Mexico, among other places.

Because of dwindling attendance in the 1940s, according to Newkirk, the Free Methodist Church debated the liquidation of Meadowood when it was located on Princeton Street. As years passed with no decision, in 1960 14 people purchased the lot on which the current church building sits.

Three years later, the church was finished and began to thrive, said Newkirk, which enabled the church to carry out its mission. “By faith, we stand” is the church’s mission statement, and Meadowood seeks to be an avenue of love and service to the community and the world, he said.

Sunday worship will begin at Meadowood at 10 a.m. with guest speaker Dr. Jeff Johnson, conference superintendent for the Mid-America Conference of the Free Methodist Church. There will be a fellowship luncheon, with an afternoon service at 1 p.m. with dessert to follow.

Meadowood Free Methodist Church is located at 56538 Meadowood Drive in Elkhart. For more information call 294-2048 or email office@meadowoodfmc.com.