Church History, as told by Darrell Swayze on June 15, 1980:

Epworth United Methodist Church was chartered November 14, 1954. The first service of the new church was held in Sunset School’s cafeteria, September 12, and continued there until the congregation moved into its own building at the corner of Walter and Blodgett. Rev. Robert K. Baird was the first pastor, serving until June 1959.

Ground for Epworth’s new sanctuary was broken July 17, 1955. Since then two additions have been made to the plant including the addition of the Christian education wing in December of 1959 and a fellowship hallĀ in January of 1964.

When the congregation was chartered there were 83 members. Now, a quarter of a century later there are 255 resident members with about 79 involved in some form of church service.

Through the grace of God the church building is debt free. The congregation owned a parsonage at 910 Sandia Street, which was sold in 1975 when the present parsonage at 2918 Mountain View Drive was purchased. There is less than $9,000 still owed on the building which houses our pastor.

There have been nine pastors of Epworth during its history. Rev. Baird served Epworth until Rev. Harvey Kaufma assumed his appointment. He served one year and was followed by Rev. Wishard Lemons from 1960 to June, 1963. Rev. Melvin Prather was pastor from 1963 to 1965. Rev. Harvey Carrell served from 1965 until 1967 and was followed by Rev. Robert Whitis, 1967 to 1971. Rev. Carl Crouch served in 1971 until August 1973 and Rev. Jim Welch from August 1973 until June, 1976.

Rev. David Pena came to Epworth in 1976 and is serving as we begin our second quarter century. One of the highlights of the past three years has been the Bethel Bible Series. This opened in 1976 with a two year teacher training course. Each of the teachers is now participating in teaching the congregation and a great many of our members are gaining a fuller understanding of the Biblical story.

Each pastor has brought to the members of Epworth a different and valuable perspective of the Christian faith just as each member has contributed his own unique gifts.

Darrel Swayze, charter member
June 15, 1980

2016 Epworth United Methodist Church.