The United Methodist Church of Carthage celebrates its 200th anniversary

CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) – The sound of an organ opens the bicentennial Sunday service at Carthage United Methodist Church.

Jean Haverstock has been a faithful member of the church for nearly six decades. Forty years of maternal pastoral and 30 years as an organist.

But what does she love most about her congregation?

“They’re loyal to the church and to each other, and they’re friends,” Jean Haverstock said.

Pastor Frances Hemstreet says relationships within the church are only part of what has kept the church going for so long.

“Dedication to this community and commitment to Jesus Christ has been what I have read and witnessed from the congregation here,” Hemstreet said.

It is a dedication to the community that goes back several generations until 1884, when Carthage suffered the great fire sixty years after the church was established in 1820.

“The village fire in 1884 destroyed all the churches in Carthage except ours, so the pastor reached out to those other congregations and said, ‘You can worship in our building until you have new buildings built’ and they did,” Hemstreet said.

To honor this milestone, the church brought in Reverend Bill Gottschalk from the Upper New York Conference.

“It’s great to know that we’ve been able to make a difference here for 200 years, and like I said in my sermon, God isn’t done with this congregation yet,” Gottschalk said.

Church officials hope to keep the traditions alive for the next 200 years.

“Sera. We have the will to stay together, even when we disagree with each other, we love each other, and we have the will and the commitment to each other to stay together, and we have been doing it now for over 200 years,” Hemstreet said.

A sacred place that has seen generations pass by and hopes to continue to bring together more people in the years to come.

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