Glenwood United Methodist Church (Columbus, Ohio)
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The Original Church
The actual beginning of Glenwood United Methodist Church was on March 26, 1893. A small group of Hilltop Methodists met in a small home. Out of this meeting came the original organization, which would lead to the establishment of the church.
On November 19, 1893, preliminary meetings were held in a brick school house. The Church Board accepted land and the society assumed a three hundred dollar indebtedness. A frame church was then erected on Highland Avenue, September 1, 1895, and became known as "The Little White Church." It served the congregation for a few years, but with the sudden and continued growth of the Hilltop in Columbus, it was soon apparent that a larger structure would be required.
Under the pastorate of The Reverend Postle E. White, the plans were completed, pledges taken and the work of erecting a finer Glenwood was begun. The cornerstone was laid on June 28, 1910. Consecration was in 1911. That building, now Oakley Baptist Church, still stands.
As a result of Glenwood's growth, under the leadership of Reverend Doctor E.L. Motter, a new wing was authorized to meet the church's needs in 1932. This wing was not completed until 1936, under the pastorate of Reverend Doctor O.L. Seward, as funds were hard to come by during the depression years. The new unit provided educational and recreational facilities, choir rooms, junior church chapel and church parlor.
The following two decades brought vast sociological and economic changes. A revolutionary step had to be taken which involved building a new church in another area.
Through a benefactor, Mrs. Helen Hadly Kitzmiller, a site was obtained at North Hague Avenue and Valleyview Drive. Under the leadership of our minister, Reverend Doctor Joseph B. Shellhaas, the "Program of Progress Crusade" was carried through and the funds were pledged to carry out the building project.
Ground was broken for the new church on March 19, 1961, by members of the congregation. After the laying of the cornerstone, "Reverend Joe" Shellhaas retired because of ill health, having given twenty-two years of service to Glenwood. Within a year, the new building was brought to completion. The bell tower rises to fifty-seven feet and is topped by a steel cross thirty-three feet high.
Glenwood's new minister, The Reverend Warren H. Bright, preached the farewell sermon in the old Glenwood Church, February 25, 1962. The keys were then transferred to the Oakley Avenue Baptist Church. First services were held in the new church March 4, 1962.
On March 17, 1974, the building of an educational unit was begun. Led by The Reverend Herman Emmert, members of the official bodies and children of the church school department pulled the plow to break ground. The building was consecrated by Bishop F. Gerald Ensley, February 2, 1975.
Many organizations have been formed throughout the life of the church. Among them were the Ladies Aid Society, Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society, the Epworth League (which is the forerunner of Youth Fellowship), United Methodist Men, The Lamplighters (a singing group), many plays and cantatas, Tom Thumb Weddings, Christian education programs, Christian social groups, sport groups, and Boy Scout Troop 18, which is the oldest ongoing troop in the Columbus area, chartered April 24, 1924. Many more groups and special programs have helped Glenwood grow.
Glenwood has had five men go into the ministry, a missionary go into foreign service, a deaconal minister, and presently a theological student. It has had twenty six senior ministers from The Reverend W.B. Chadwidk to its present minister, The Reverend Doctor Sharon Beattie. It has also had fifteen associate ministers. The goal of the church, as stated by its ministers, is to "devote the next 100 years to teaching God's will and reaching out to the community".