In 1887 the Simon Peffley family moved from Phillipsburg area to Englewood (then Harrisburg). Having been members of the United Brethren Church, they wanted to organize a church in Harrisburg. In 1888 a twelve-member charter was signed in the Peffley's dining room. The first meetings were held in the John Nill Hall, located on the northwest corner of Routes 40 & 48.
Plans were made to construct a building in which the church could meet. Mr. Christian Herr donated the building lot, foundation stones from his quarry, framing timber, and a sum of money and building began on the corner of Walnut and Herr Streets. The new church building was dedicated in 1889.
Unable to provide a full-time pastor, arrangements were made for seminary students from Bonebrake Seminary (now United Theological Seminary) to serve. The students would come from Dayton by bicycle or train and stay with church families for the weekend. We have maintained a long-standing relationship with the seminary and served as a "teaching church' for much of our history.
In 1915 the church was remodeled. Heating and lighting were installed and a basement was added at that time. In 1944 the United Brethren Church merged with the Evangelical Church. The education unit was completed in 1956. The current sanctuary, dominated by the stained glass window of Jesus with outstretched hands, was dedicated on January 27, 1967. In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged and we became known as Englewood United Methodist Church.
The original church building was demolished in 1974; its bell is located near the Walnut Street entrance. The sanctuary was remodeled in 2003 to allow for greater visibility.
Our longest serving pastor (1971-1989) is the Reverend George L. Sidwell. Rev. Sidwell is still considered our Pastor Emeritus, continuing to provide care and guidance for our members even though he has recently moved to the Columbus area to be nearer his daughter's family. Our present pastor, Kim Armentrout, came to Englewood UMC in 2009.
The theme for our 125th anniversary celebration during 2013 was "Faith Moving Forward." It has been a good reminder that, as a church and as the people of God, we are called to continue sharing the Good News. As United Methodists, we are to forever be "moving on to perfection." While holding on to the history that has made us strong, we also desire to look forward to where God is leading us in the future, living out our faith in meaningful and transformative ways. Most recently we celebrated 130 years in ministry. God is indeed faithful!
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