Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Our History

Stepping Out in Faith...
From its meager beginning, the congregation of this church has stepped forward in faith to bring their visions to reality.  In 1912, a number of families from the Unity United Brethren Church, located southwest of Charleston, envisioned a new church for Charleston.  The first service was held on July 7, 1912, in a room in the Coles County Courthouse.  A lot was purchased on the southeast corner of Fourth and Harrison Streets, where a temporary wooden tabernacle was erected and dedicated on October 20, 1912.  The vision of a beautiful new meeting place was realized in October of 1921 with the erection and dedication of a new permanent structure on the southeast corner of Sixth and Harrison Streets.
The congregation saw the merger of the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren in Christ Church Conferences in 1953.  The local church became known as the First Evangelical United Brethren Church of Charleston.  In 1968, the Conference merged with the Methodist Conference, and our church became known as the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  Around 1968, the congregation started planning for the future and purchased some lots in the Martin Subdivision at the corner of 22nd and Harrison Streets.  In 1972, a parsonage was constructed, and following in 1978, construction began on a new church in the first of a three-phase plan on the lots.  The Fellowship Hall, where services were conducted, was dedicated on April 29, 1979.  Additional classrooms were added to the west side of the building and dedicated on November 10, 1985.  The congregation's vision was completed with the dedication of the new sanctuary on November 25, 2001. 
Where will the "next steps" in our faith journey take us?  You are invited to come along!