A Brief History of Our Church
By: Patricia Spring Hodges, Church Historian
The Palos Heights Community Methodist Church was brought realized in August 1938 with the first Sunday School in the community. In February 1940 the church was officially organized and incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois. Groundbreaking and cornerstone ceremonies were in 1947 with the consecration service in May 1948. The community soon found the church building supplied a much needed use, and most meetings of community organizations took place here, as indeed a number continue to today. In April 1968, due to the merger of the former Methodist Church and the former Evangelical United Brethren Church, The United Methodist Church was brought into existence. Thus the new name, Palos United Methodist Church. The "new" sanctuary was dedicated in 1974. The words on the West outside wall of our church building bids in Jesus' words for all to "Come Unto Me", and may it be so.
Previous pastor Laura Barkley said, "Our hope here at Palos UMC is for this to be a safe place where people can come and wrestle with their faith and life questions as well as worship God. There is always more room. Behind each person, there is a story of how God has working in and through their lives.. It is my prayer that we add more faces; learn more stories as we journey together."
Previous pastor James H. Odom said, "...many people have had a hand in its (PUMC) development. There have been heartaches and joys, low spots and highlights. These all of course, are a part of life. We believe the church has a ministry to fulfill. We believe the church has a ministry to fulfill ...to examine the benefits of faithfulness, prayer, and dedication and become the foundation of society."
We joyfully celebrate God's mercy, goodness, and unconditional love for these past 81 years and look forward to sharing "The Good News" on into the future.
Our elected Bishops have assigned these men and women to be in ministry with us: Ross K. Sweeny, Eugene P. Vandoske, Herbert G. Null, Paul O. Whittle, James H. Odom, Bill L. Bryan, C. Edward Mixon, Eldon Schriver, Kenneth Kortemeir, Kathleen Peterson, Joseph "Joe" Snider, Enyoung Chung, Laura Barkley, Barbara Good, and Caitlyn Nesbit.
The United Methodist Church of Worth
SPANNING THREE CENTURIES OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY AND AROUND THE WORLD
October 1883-September 2015
132 years or six and one-half generations
Our past: 1883 was the year the congregation was established in the community of Worth at the corner of 111th & Depot. The little wooden Methodist Church stood there until a Spring Sunday morning (before worship services) in 1947 flames brought it down. The congregation pulled together, worshipping at the little Worth Public School until they set the church cornerstone at 112th & Depot in 1949. Ten years later the Education wing was added. They must have been big-hearted people of vision, faith, commitment, obedience, dedication, generosity, and a concern for future generations and to Jesus Christ to do something like that so many years ago. They were people who were looking not only at their present, but to the future as well. This is the heritage that we share here at The United Methodist Church of Worth!
Our present: 2015 was the celebration of the 132th anniversary of sharing the JOY of JESUS in our community and beyond in a place to be in fellowship, to worship, to mourn, and to celebrate together.
Our future: 2015 and beyond; we pray that our legacy from the past into the future will continue to be with OPEN HEARTS, OPEN MINDS, OPEN DOORS. So let us continue PREPARING THE TABLE for future generations as previous generations have so faithfully done for us as we joyfully merged with The Palos United Methodist Church in September 2015.
After our first appointed circuit rider, S. W. Lauck, our elected Bishops assigned these men and women who followed over these thirteen decades to shepherd us: D. B. Kellogg, E. E. Lyon, J. D. Leek, W. E. Wilkinson, N. F. Norton, H. J. Harrington, W. P. Leek, C. A. Plac, S. R. Reno, P. S. Lenb, J. B. Long, C.S. Moore, J. J. Lall, J. B. Allen, J. W. Baird, H. J. Pettis, R. B. Van Fosman, E. G. Schutz, J. Lineberger, F. Homan, C. E. Anderson, W. A. Tyler, C. G. Goman, J. Eldridge, A. J. Rinker, F. A. Leek, G. W. Winslow, H. E. Greening, A. H. Wood, N. D. Chew, G. Bradfield, K. Swisher, T. Rudisell, V. Soash, F. C. Knowles, A. J. Tangren, E. L. Stanton, J. K. Benedict, P. T. Sanders, Guy Chester Jones, H. Brett, P. Gilbert, G. F. Courrier, L. D. McGladrey, Lester Combs, Paul Zeman, Tom Hendrix, Raymond Kirk, E. Van Doske, Janet Wilde, Carson Dan Lauffer, Debbie Fisher, Lynn Pries, Phil Bergstrom, Martha Coursey, David Kaller, Karen Hundrieser, and Sung Kown Oh. What an amazing legacy! We are so blessed to have been appointed with a plethora of men and women with such an abundance of knowledge, wisdom, faith, and willingness to shepherd us throughout these years.