November 22, 2014

Alger church celebrating 100th birthday this weekend

Tim Barnum
A photo of the Alger United Methodist Church, circa 1950.
Courtesy photo
The Alger United Methodist Church, circa 2012.
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By Tim Barnum
News Editor | news@ogemawherald.com
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ALGER — The Alger United Methodist Church is opening its doors to the community Saturday, Aug. 18 to celebrate its 100th birthday.

The birthday celebration starts with a program from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, followed by an open house that runs from 2-5 p.m.

Barb Wuepper, who has been attending the church since 1980, said there will be singing and readings during the program.

“There’ll be two songs. We have a choir put together for it,” she said. “We have a reading planned on the history of the church.”

Following the program, Wuepper said guests can go through the church and check out some other historical items.

“They can walk through,” she said. “We’re going to have posters and stuff. We have books on history we found. We have the original deed for the building.”

According to Wuepper, the church is the same building and in the same location where it was built in 1912. There have been some additions to the church, she added.

“They built the fellowship hall,” she said. “The porch wasn’t on in the beginning.”

Wuepper said the fellowship hall was built in the 1950s and is used for church dinners, Bible study sessions, after-church coffee and funeral dinners. It includes a kitchen where people using the hall can prepare their meals, Wuepper added.

The sanctuary at the church has also been renovated, she said.

“The sanctuary just got redone this spring,” she said.

The church’s pastor, Jim Payne, said he is looking forward to learning some history during the celebration, as he has only been preaching at the church for a couple of years.

“Actually, I’m looking forward to hearing some of the stories,” he said. “My time is split between three churches, so it’ll be nice to get to know that.”

Payne, who also serves as pastor at Sterling United Methodist Church and Garfield United Methodist Church, said invitations to past parishioners and pastors were sent out, but anybody is welcome to attend the celebration.

“It’s for everybody,” he said. “We specifically sent out invitations to past pastors and parishioners, but we have right out on our big sign that people are welcome to join us.”

Payne added it is right for the church to include the whole community, as the church and community have a strong relationship.

“I think it’s a good focal point, and they do a lot of ministering locally,” he said. “I think it’s very important to the community.”

Wuepper said she thinks the birthday celebration will be a great time for the community.

“I think it’s just very exciting, and we have a happy church,” Wuepper said. “It’s just joyful.”

This will be the second big birthday celebration for Payne, and he said it is an honor for any pastor.

“It’s always an honor,” he said. “My previous church, they turned 150 when I was there.”

Sunday, Aug. 19, the celebration will continue with the church’s worship service, according to an event flyer. The service begins at 9 a.m.

Those attending the service Sunday can expect a packed house for the birthday weekend service, Payne said.

“The Sterling church will be joining them for worship on Sunday,” he said.

Alger United Methodist Church is located at 7786 Newberry St. in Alger.

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