Carthage United Methodist Church celebrates 200 years

Carthage United Methodist Church
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - The sound of an organ opens the bicentennial Sunday service at Carthage United Methodist Church.

Jean Haverstock has been a faithful member of the church for nearly six decades. Forty years in the nursery ministry and 30 years as an organ player.

But, what does she love most about her congregation?

“They’re faithful to the church and to each other, and they’re friends,” said Jean Haverstock.

Pastor Frances Hemstreet says the relationships within the church are only a part of what has kept the church going for this long.

“Dedication to this community and commitment to Jesus Christ has been what I have read and what I have witnessed from the congregation here,” said Hemstreet.

It’s a dedication to the community which goes back several generations all the way to 1884, when Carthage suffered the great fire sixty years after the church was first established in 1820.

“The village fire in 1884 destroyed all of the churches in Carthage except ours, so the pastor reached out to those other congregations and said ‘You may worship in our building until you have new buildings built’ and they did that,” said Hemstreet.

To honor the milestone, the church brought in Reverend Bill Gottschalk from the Upper New York Conference.

“It’s great to know that we’ve been able to make a difference here for 200 years, and like I said in my sermon, God’s not done with this congregation yet,” said Gottschalk.

Church officials hope to keep the traditions alive for the next 200 years.

“Will. We have the will to stay together, even when we disagree with one another, we love each other, and we have the will and commitment to each other to stick together, and we have now for 200 plus years,” said Hemstreet.

A sacred place that has witnessed lines of generations and hopes to continue to bring more people together in the years ahead.