BERLIN — On the cusp of its centennial celebration, Stevenson United Methodist Church is asking members of the community to bring in photos of the building and its congregation throughout the last century as well as requesting attendance at a special 100th anniversary worship service on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.
The worship service will include a number of musical solos, as well as feature the band Sacred Sounds, a “Southern Bluegrass Gospel” ensemble. Rev. Thomas Gross, who conducted services at Stevenson from 1993-1999, will serve as a guest preacher during the event.
To illustrate the church’s historical significance to Berlin, all of the photos collected will be scanned and formulated as a slide show, which will be displayed after the service.
The physical body of the church is an impressive sight. Composed of granite, ground was broken for the church at its current location on Aug. 1, 1912 with the official dedication coming nearly a year later. It has traditional stained glass windows and oak pews that can seat up to 350 worshipers, as well as several adjoining rooms for things like Sunday school classes.
But the church’s relationship with the community and the town of Berlin extends beyond the walls of the building, according to Stevenson Pastor Ron Schatz. He explained that Stevenson focuses on community programs like its “spirit kitchen”, charity food pantry and hosting youth groups and consoling programs.
“We’re hoping to grow through outreach, mostly,” said Schatz.
Stevenson also has a history of collaborating with other area churches, even those of different denominations, in an effort to bolster community projects and spread awareness of the worship of Jesus Christ. Schatz hopes that the church’s centennial will help in that regard as well. A pastor at Stevenson since last July, Schatz said that he loves the area and the relationship and history the church has with Berlin, a town that he’s very fond of.
“It’s a nice, laid back town,” said Schatz.
With the event approaching, Schatz reiterated that it is both free and open to the public. After the service, attendees will have the chance to tour the sanctuary and observe Stevenson’s “unparalleled original stained glass windows.”
For more information on the celebration or to submit memorabilia, contact Vicky Nock at 443-735-9222 or Schatz at 410-641-1137.