Daleville United Methodist Church
Friday, June 21, 2024
Growing Deeper - Branching Out




                In a “History of Daleville United Methodist Church,” written in October 1963, Elsie Ballinger Richman chronicles our beginning to when a young Allie Gephart of Middletown married Joseph Dale of Daleville.  The Gephart family belonged to the Methodist Church in Middletown but there was no Methodist Church in Allie’s new hometown of Daleville.  Mrs. Dale felt that Daleville needed a Methodist Church, so in August, 1894, she organized one which originally met in her home.

                After meeting in the old E.U.B. Church and in several store buildings, the new church needed a permanent home.  In 1895, Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Dale donated the ground for a new church.  The structure was completed in 1896.  Over the years the frame structure was added onto and remodeled several times.  The original structure had a high steeple, but after it was struck by lightening several times and suffered through roof leaks and nesting birds, it was decided to downsize it to its current truncated elevation.  The building still stands on Walnut street and is now the Church of Christ.


A “Continuation of Church History” by Elsie Ballinger Richman dated November 8, 1964, relates that:

 By 1960-61, we had outgrown, not only our church, but also our parking facilities.  We were literally bursting at the seams.  Many Sundays there were more than 100 children in worship, in the basement, with hardly room for half that many.  Because of so many facilities needed, classrooms, fellowship area, and parking area, the big question was—what to do?  Should we buy properties around the old site, remodel the old church and build on an educational unit; or just what would be best?  The Board of Missions agreed to pay the cost of a new location up to $8000....  In June 1961, it was voted by the Church Board and Congregation to sell the old Church and move to a new location. ..... The Riley Calvert property at the east edge of town was chosen as the best available site.  Mr. Calvert agreed to give the ground to the Church in return for building approved streets.

In April 1962, the first pledges to the Building Fund were made, pledges to be paid in three years.  The amount promised at that time was $46,318.55, which was almost unbelievable to us.... The trustees asked that a permanent Building Committee be elected to serve until the first unit of the Church was completed.... In October 1963, the official board elected the following committee:  Garfield Grove, Chairman, Carolyn Farrow, Harriett Spangler, Irene Wean, Wayne Shirey, Raymond Shirey, Lloyd Barton, Marcus Garrett, and Leon Calvert.

In the fall of 1963, the land had been surveyed, a deed was acquired, and the Church had cut and paved streets around each side of the new site.  (Estimated cost for the new structure was $110,000 to $115,000.)

 The ground-breaking service for the building of the first unit of the Daleville United Methodist Church was held.... on March 15, 1964....Construction proceeded so well that we were privileged to move ahead of schedule, and the Consecration Services were held November 8, 1964.... In May, 1965, we had a special dinner to honor the 42 members who had joined our church during the previous year.
 In 1968 the E.U.B. church and the Methodist Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.  Since we had both a Methodist Church and an E.U.B. Church in Daleville, not everyone was happy about the national merger.  Some of the E.U.B. members affiliated with the new Daleville United Methodist Church, but some decided to form a new church, which they named the Trinity Community Church.  The few remaining members retained the old church building and parsonage, and called themselves the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  They remained a congregation until fall 1970, when they voted to merge with the Daleville United Methodist Church.  Their building was sold to the Lions Club.  With the sale of  the church and the parsonage, enough money was realized to pay off the remaining debt on the new Daleville United Methodist Church building and parsonage.  The old E.U.B.  building  stood in what is now the parking lot of the Masonic Temple.

Looking back, we can see that God has blessed us with a great past—people coming to faith in Christ, believers being baptized, specialized ministries over the years, men and women hearing the call of God to serve Him as our ministries have expanded.  But God is calling us for even greater things.  





Composed by Jerry Murray

Edited by Tricia Williams