FLINT — Flint United Methodist Church is spending September in celebration.
Founded in 1869, the church is 150 years old this year and festivities are planned every Sunday in September with a rededication being held on Sept. 29, 2-4 p.m. at the church on Flint Road.
Current Pastor J.L. Horton has spent the last year and a half serving at Flint, something he said he never thought he’d be doing again.
Horton was an independent church minister before taking an extended sabbatical.
He and his wife began attending the Angola United Methodist Church and Pastor Tim Terrell asked Horton if he’d ever consider taking over a Methodist church as a few rural churches had become in need of a pastor.
“I told him no,” Horton said. “We prayed about it and felt God led us to do it.”
About a year and a half ago, he began serving at both Flint and Ashley United Methodist Churches.
“It was a good choice,” he said. “I never thought I would be back in a church.”
Most Sundays, Horton said Flint has a congregation of 25-30 people.
“Small churches have that local flavor and community feel,” Horton said.
Flint was established as the Flint Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869. It didn’t become the Flint United Methodist Church until Jan. 1, 1969.
In its first 100 years, Flint saw the lot the building stands on purchased from Wallace Clark and construction started.
The rafters were up and the money ran out, which caused a delay of nearly a year before the building was finished. Originally the structure sat on a low wall and included a belfry and 80-foot steeple.
The building had a basement added at some point during the ministry of Rev. B.F. Hornady. Other structural changes were later made, including an inside basement entrance in 1953 and restrooms in 1961.
The windows in the church, except the two on the east all, are the same windows that have been in the church since its beginning. The two on the east wall were donated in 1910 by the Ladies Aid Society and Epworth League.
The first ministers to come preach in Flint were preaching in four places: Orland, Nevada Mills, Springfield and Flint. They typically drove horses to the different churches.
From 1980 to now, the church has seen other repairs including adding air conditioners, new carpeting, a new porch and a handicap ramp. An elevator was also installed to give handicapped parishioners access to the fellowship area in the basement.
A handicap restroom was also installed, parking lots had gravel added, new entry doors to the fellowship area replaced the old, paint has been added to areas and a new lighted sign was added with its dedication in October 2007.
Horton makes the 62nd pastor to serve Flint, with the first being E.S. Preston.
“We’re excited about the celebrations coming up,” he said.
Services will feature guest musicians each week leading up to the re-dedication service and reception at the end of the month.