Union United Methodist Church

This profile was last updated in 2005

Activities and Schedule

Sundays:
– 8:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M. Worship services
– 9:15 to 10:15 A.M. Sunday School classes (2 year olds – adults)

– 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. Youth Handbells

– 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. Youth Choir and Adult Handbells

– 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Youth Fellowship

Wednesdays:
– 6:00 P.M. Family Fellowship Dinner followed by a spiritual program

– 7:45 Adult Choir Practice

Every Easter: The week preceding Easter, 75 members of the church are cast in the annual passion drama – Easter Alive! This drama is a reenactment of Jesus Christ’s ascension into Heaven, and it is free to anyone who wants to view it.

Every Christmas: During the first or second week in December, a reenactment of Biblical times, which ends in Jesus’ birth, is performed by hundreds of church members. The costumes and sets are all hand made. The show takes place in the parking lots, and viewers can drive through and view the scene for free.

Every Halloween: Held the week of Halloween, the Fall Fun Fest provides an alternative to trick-or-treating for children of the community. Children don traditional Halloween costumes, and participate in such activities as cake walks, hayrides, games, and food. Admission is granted with the donation of one can good to the church’s outreach ministry: Sharing God’s Love.

Every Fall: The church’s Celebration of Faith program, also called the Revival services, takes place in the fall – usually in September. Revival services have more contemporary worship songs, and they place emphasis on the evangelistic aspect of the church. Services are held Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday night, and Tuesday night, and a guest pastor is brought in. Complete meals are served before each evening service. The revival week serves as a time in which believers are revived in their faith, and nonbelievers are encouraged to accept the teachings of the church.

History

A History of Union United Methodist Church was published in March of 1979. The book details the different buildings that Union has occupied. In 1857, a one room log building was built on land located at the intersection of Wescot Road and Nursery Hill Roads. This little log building was called Kennerly Chapel, and it was the beginning of today’s Union United Methodist Church in Irmo, South Carolina. In 1869, Preston C. Lorick donated a three-acre tract of land on which to build a new church. A one-room frame structure was erected on this land. This location is where Union’s current chapel, which was built in 1965, is located. The community renamed the church from Union Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church South, Lexington Circuit, to Union United Methodist Church in 1968. The change was contemporary with the merger between the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren denominations. The community at Union grew from a membership of 205 in 1963 to 2,339 at the end of 1993. In response to the rapid growth, on Sunday, March 1, 1992, the present sanctuary building was consecrated.

Demographics

The members of Union United Methodist are primarily upper-middle class. There are a variety of age groups represented, with equal numbers of children and elderly members.

Description

Union has three main buildings. The first is the sanctuary, which is only ten years old. The church has gone into considerable debt as a result of constructing this building. The second building is the Wesley Center, named after John Wesley. This building is complete with classrooms surrounding a large carpeted gym. The final building is the old chapel. This is the location of the former sanctuary, which can no longer accommodate the growing demands of the church congregation. There is also a prayer garden which is located beside the two church playgrounds.

The main sanctuary not only houses the two Sunday worship services, but also contains classrooms underneath the sanctuary which are occupied by Sunday School classes, a library, a music room, a social hall, and clerical staff offices. The Wesley Center is home to the Union United Methodist Preschool. The church basketball teams hold games at this facility, and rainy day recesses are still a treat for the preschool children, as they can ride around on tricycles in the gym or play other games. Smaller activities, such as the presentation of Easter Alive!, the occasional Youth-run worship service, and the Thanksgiving Services are held in the small chapel. Additionally, the Asbury Hut is a small building on the premises which serves as a Sunday school class for Confirmation as well as a Boy and Girl Scout headquarters. Union hosts numerous troups of Scouts, ranging from Cub Scouts/Brownie Scouts to Eagle Scouts.

Food

Communion is served every three months at the 10:30 service. At the 8:30 service, which has less attendance, communion is served once a month. The Fellowship Dinner is held every Wednesday, and families must make their reservations by Tuesday at noon. The meal is provided by the church cook, a member of 13 years, named Gene Springfield. Gene owns his own catering company, and he prepares a variety of meals at a reduced cost. The meals are $5 for an adult and $3.50 for a child. The menu for the meal is available online, as is the schedule of programs which follow the meal.

In 1984, Union established a local cooperative ministry called “Sharing God’s Love.” This program, now supported by several area churches, provides clothing and food to families emergency situations. Volunteers collect food, money, and clothing and distribute them to those who need the help. Every year during Super Bowl weekend, the Youth gather outside the doors of the church while people file out and collect dollar bills for the “Souper Bowl.” Every member is asked to give at least a dollar if possible. The money goes to Sharing God’s Love, which buys food for those in need.

Research by:

Elizabeth Shirk 12/6/2002