Old Church Photo from VHP File - New Church Photo by Zilla Spencer
THE VARDAMAN METHODIST CHURCH
Part 1 - Compiled by Essie Cochran
At the time the Methodist church was organized in 1909 the charter members were the Lecornus, Mr. Bob Young, Una Richard, Sue Gaines, Mrs. Sisler, Mae Gaines, Mr. & Mrs. Rufe Moseley, Gertrude Gilder, Alice Scarbrough, Mrs. Pounds - daughters Lottie & Virgie McCollough - Mr. & Mrs. Dowdy, Dr. and Mrs. E. B. Young, The Canadas, K White, Hannah - Crawfords, Daughterys, and Rich Ferguson, Mr. & Mrs. Levi Ferguson. Those are the families I remember. there may have been others. The Baptist would go to the Methodist church every other Sunday since they had church only two Sundays a month.
I remember Bob Young was the song leader for the song service then later Bee Canada.
The Methodist Women had ice cream suppers, box suppers, and quilting to raise money to pay for a new church.
The new bell was hung in Methodist Church tower at Vardaman Sept. 1, 1909.
Over at the Baptist church, Mr. Sam Hawkins was song leader and Mrs. Bennett Morrow was the pianist.
Part 2 - Author unknown
In 1909 when the town of Vardaman was about four years old, the site where the Methodist church now stands was bought from Mr. Alfred Gilder and the first Methodist church of Vardaman was built and was in service for nearly 60 years.
In 1958, the congregation began to dream of a new church building and went to work to promote the financing by soliciting donations, sweet potato Lordís Acre, and the sale of miscellaneous articles. Almost $5,000 was raised by these methods.
In 1960 a building committee was appointed and given the task to submit a plan for the new church suitable for the location and the congregationís needs. Approval was obtained from the quarterly conference at this time to permit the building. However, nothing more was done to proceed with the building program until 1964 when Rev. Ben Goodwin and his wife Nancy were sent to us. With their leadership and physical effort a new set of plans was submitted to the building committee and was approved. With the able assistance of architect, Marlon Blanton, the specifications were worked out and the entire committee unanimously approved them. The bids were sent out in July of 1965 and the low bid was made by Gradder and Nabors in the amount of $32,500 which did not include the stained glass or the kitchen appliances.
Removal of the old church was begun September 1, 1965, and completed November 15, 1965. Shortly thereafter, the foundation was laid and the cornerstone was set which contains a new 1965 half dollar.
Immediately the building fund began to grow due to tremendous efforts by all members.
During the time the new church was being erected our services were conducted at Youngís Chapel at Ellzey which was a part of the Vardaman Charge.
On May 14, 1966, the new church was ready for occupancy and a funeral for one of our members was held on that day. Sunday, May 15, 1966, the first worship service was combined with an open house. By this time all the money had been raised but $10,000. The Trustees secured a loan for this amount thinking that it would take ten years before it could be retired. However, we were blessed in that we were able to retire this debt on Feb. 17, 1968. A note-burning ceremony was conducted Feb. 18, 1968 during the Sunday evening service.
[At the time that this was written] the Vardaman United Methodist Church had 116 members which included 16 non-resident. As a result of a lot of prayer, faith, good leadership, work and cooperation by the entire congregation, we proudly erected a beautiful new church building and a new parsonage for which we are indeed thankful and give God all of the praise and glory.
The Vardaman UMC Charge, consisting of the Vardaman, Bailey Memorial, and Young's Chapel United Methodist Churches, published a pictorial membership directory in October 1992. The link below is to the Vardaman UMC pages of that directory.
The Vardaman UMC Pictorial Directory
Churches and Cemeteries
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