Fellowship United Methodist remembers

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday’s worship service will mark the end for Fellowship United Methodist church. - Herald file photo

With the conclusion of the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship, Fellowship United Methodist Church will have held its final church service.

Reflecting on the church’s long history, Fellowship congregation member Joyce Bailey wanted to share her memories.

She was one of the original charter members who participated in the creation of the church in 1958. She said that she and her husband were always proud to have been among those asked to help establish a new church.

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Initially, the church had no chapel, so services were held in the auditorium of Neveln Elementary.

Bailey and her husband both taught Sunday school classes, and they taught 11th and 12th grade together.

“It was a blast. I got to teach two generations. I taught the parents and I eventually ended up teaching their children,” Bailey said.

Eventually the church was able to construct a chapel at 1811 Seventh Avenue Southeast, where it has resided ever since. At the church’s first service on May 12, 1963, over 156 adults and 96 children attended.

Bailey continued teaching at the new location with her husband. She had the honor of having her daughter, Penny, be the first baptism at the church.

Bailey recalls the fond memories she has of all the church events the congregation did together, including the chicken and biscuit suppers, the Halloween parties and the Christmas programs.

“We are a church family,” Bailey said. “Ours is really named well to be called Fellowship, because we do have a lot of fellowship at our church. I think that’s what I’m most going to miss.”

Bailey now faces the difficult task of deciding on which church she now wants to attend. She has strong ties with First United Methodist Church, which she attended before join Fellowship. However, she, like many of the other members, is still apprehensive on where she will ultimately settle.

She said that despite the difficult transition, she still has hope and faith that the future will be bright.

“The church historian, Shirley DeYoung, told me this: Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present,” Bailey said.