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Flanders UMC Celebrates 229th Anniversary

Featured Flanders UMC Celebrates 229th Anniversary

The Flanders United Methodist Church celebrated their 229thAnniversary as an organized church on October 21, 2018. The Reverend Meekyung Choi Kim presided over the celebration starting with the worship service and ending in a festive lunch for all in attendance.  The congregation invited Mark Shenise, Associate Archivist for the General Commission on Archives and History, to give the sermon.  The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference Archives provided historical documents related to the church for a display.

Shenise said, “Flanders United Methodist Church has a unique place in Greater New Jersey Annual Conference history.  The church is a registered Heritage Site for the annual conference. Flanders is the site where Asbury preached outdoors to nearly 1,000 persons on June 24, 1787.  As a result Methodists began to be formally organizing themselves in churches within the surrounding region.  Two years later Flanders was recognized as part of a circuit by the Philadelphia Annual Conference.  Besides being the ‘mother church’ in the region the church is also known for building the first Methodist meeting house in the vicinity.  The building became an architectural example for future meeting houses the nascent denomination.  Asbury’s experience with Flanders also shifted his idea on the role of local church trusteeship as well.”