Kenova United Methodist Church
Kenova United Methodist Church was established in 1894 as a mission church of the Ceredo Methodist Church and remains one of the oldest congregations in the region. The congregation was located at Sycamore Street in its early years before moving to its present location in the 1910s. The current sanctuary, the church's third building, was constructed in 1980 with an educational facility added in 2003. At present, the church has over 600 members and is active in the community with a variety of programs.
Backstory and Context
The Kenova Methodist Church had its origins as a branch of the Ceredo Methodist Church. It was one of the earliest churches in Kenova; the town itself was established that same year. In 1896, the congregation built their first sanctuary, a small white frame building at Sixteenth and Sycamore Streets. Around 1911, the church building was moved to a new lot that had been purchased at Fifteenth and Poplar Streets. In 1921, the original building was demolished upon the completion of a new larger sanctuary.
In 1922, the Kenova Methodist Church South was organized. The South church is the result of a split between the national Methodist Church into northern and southern factions in the 1840s. During its short existence, the South church held services in a sanctuary on the 1600 block of Poplar Street. In 1940, it merged with the main Kenova Methodist Church following the reunification of the national Methodist Church a year prior. The South church building on Poplar was later used by the Kenova Church of God. In 1968, the Methodist church was renamed the Kenova United Methodist Church after the national church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.
The church gradually expanded and eventually outgrew its building. In 1980, a new, large, brownstone structure was built at a cost of over $400,000. It included a larger sanctuary, a larger choir loft, two fellowship halls, a kitchen, and elevator. The original 1921 church sanctuary, standing adjacent to the new one, was converted into a small chapel and classrooms. This building was finally demolished in 2003 and replaced with a new educational center. The Kenova United Methodist Church is one of the larger congregations in the area, with an official membership of over 600.
The church runs a pre-school academy named The Training Station. The Training Station offers an affordable, safe Pre-School Academy for young children ages 2-4. The program focuses on the child's development and milestones, such as learning the alphabet.
The church is also involved in a variety of different functions in the community. Brenda Lions has been an active member of the Kenova United Methodist Church for over 30 years. Mrs. Lions and many other church members are involved in functions such as church dinners for the community every Wednesday night called SPLASH, outreach, missions, and works in disaster units. She also works in the nursery every Sunday. She explains how the church has changed from a small congregation with empty seats, to a church that now has around 200 plus people at the Sunday morning service. The Kenova United Methodist Church is one of the larger congregations in the Ceredo-Kenova area, with an official membership of over 600.
“1993 Centennial Directory of Kenova United Methodist Church.”
Maynard, Grey. “Condensed history of the KENOVA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.” 2006. Accessed October 16, 2018. http://www.kenovaumc.com/history-of-the-church-2/history-of-the-church
McKeand, Florence C. “A Brief History of the Kenova United Methodist Church.” October 28, 1979.
Rosenberger, Bill. “Kenova United Methodist 120th anniversary is a testament to the people of the church.” Herald Dispatch. September 27, 2014. http://www.herald-dispatch.com/features_entertainment/kenova-united-methodist-th-anniversary-is-a-testament-to-the/article_ebf53bf1-8098-5924-8ec6-8c4351325be9.htmlKenova United Methodist Church. . Accessed December 09, 2018. http://www.kenovaumc.com/.