2017-2018 Bicentennial

2018 Bicentennial Logo

Bicentennial Special Events:

Creating memories, Reviving old memories, 

Making our history come alive! 

Sunday, September 23rd – All Church Picnic with a Brush Arbor Service

     For this Bicentennial year, our church wide potluck will be held at the Jefferson County Historical Village with guest ‘circuit riding preacher’, Rev. Matt Henson, providing us with a historical Brush Arbor Service. With a nod to the past, we will feature fried chicken and we are suggesting all side dishes brought to this potluck to come from one of our own church cookbooks! Church cookbooks from different years will be available for your perusal in the Church Café. Children’s activities will include horse rides and old- fashioned games.

History of Brush Arbor Services

     In keeping with our Bicentennial theme for 2017-2018, the Bicentennial Committee authorized a Brush Arbor service as a portion of our all-Church picnic this year.   These old time revival meetings were usually held between “laying by and gathering’ time for crops and mostly took place around the turn of the late 19th century.

     According to Jack M. Willis, Journal Correspondent, “…(Brush arbors) were first constructed for crude shelter from the weather. They were usually first built when settlements were being formed into viable communities as temporary residences, and later converted to outdoor churches when a need for spiritual enlightenment was deemed necessary by the village elders.”

     Donna Scott, author, adds this: “Trees and brush were used to build a temporary out-of-doors shelter for the people who came from miles and miles around to hear the word of God. The meetings became more numerous and people attending grew in numbers. The meetings were so popular that as people moved west into the Ozarks the idea spread. Settlers came from all over for religious inspiration, companionship and sometimes just out of curiosity. At times, so many gathered that two, maybe three of the arbors had to be built to accommodate the crowd. When the circuit rider would pass through people all over would come hear them, regardless of his denomination His preachings were harsh. He spoke time and again of fire and brimstone, Hell and damnation, repentance and salivation. Because of the intensity of emotion built up in the congregation, people wept for their souls, cried out for mercy and shouted for joy with their salvation.

History of Brush Arbor Services, http://www.thepineywoods.com/BrushArborJly07.htm

Donna Scott, https://thelibrary.org/lochist/periodicals/bittersweet/fa75d.htm

Save these dates! 

Saturday, September 29th – Mount Vernon Fall Festival Parade

 Mount Vernon Fall Festival Parade. First United Methodist will again have a Church float, representing our 200th birthday! Walkers – get out your red Bicentennial shirts, or, pick one up through our Bicentennial store—and come out to join the fun of being in a parade. Bring large bags of candy to distribute. Commemorative photos will be taken with the float!  We so appreciate the leadership of Mike and Kyle Bevis and Linda and Jay Woodrome on this Bicentennial project.

Sunday, September 30th – Bicentennial 5th Sunday Event: 

Class of 2018 Bicentennial Confirmation:  Nolan Armstrong, Jaci Elliott, Ashtyn Gillespie, Morgan Goodheart, Roman Harrison, Corey Jenkins, Briley Kirgan, Spencer McGhee, Brian Nunnery, Lucy Rains

Our church family will welcome these outstanding youth into membership on Sunday, September 30 during our special 10:00 Fifth Sunday service. A reception honoring these newest members will be held in Bryan Dycus Hall immediately following the service. A basket will be available for congratulatory cards.


Bling Store Offers Logowear, Memorabilia

Do not miss the opportunity to purchase these one of a kind Bicentennial Keepsakes!

First Church logo wear, jewelry and more will be available each Sunday. 

Prayer Beads for $10


 During the renovation of our downstairs children’s area part of the original stone foundation of the church was removed.  These large sandstone blocks were transported to Effingham, IL, to the Pyramid Marble Co. where they have been cut down to a 4″ x 4″ size stone with a chiseled cross in the center. This stone cross keepsake is an actual piece of our church’s history — our church’s foundation.  To the best of our knowledge, this stone foundation dates back to the tornado of February, 1888 when the church was destroyed, rebuilt, and dedicated in December, 1888.  Quantities are limited.

 A First Church Silhouette cutout has been crafted from wood and is a small replica of our current 2017 church, including our magnificent steeple–which serves as a beacon to all. Quantities are limited.

Also available for sale:  Commemorative bluetooth speakers as well as Bicentennial sweatshirts and tshirts.


                                                           Store Location: First Church Café.

 Store hours: Sundays, 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Cash, check or card accepted. 


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