Weirton’s Christ United to mark 60th on June 2

BY THE CORNERSTONE — Pastor Carol McKay, left, and Beverly Myers, chairperson of the 60th anniversary celebration for Christ United Methodist Church, Weirton, stand by the 1961 cornerstone of the church. The anniversary celebration will be observed June 2. -- Contributed

WEIRTON — Founded in 1959, Christ United Methodist Church on Weirton Heights will celebrate its 60th anniversary on June 2 with a special worship service followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall.

On April 11, 1959, a group of 12 people met with members of the Pittsburgh Conference Board of Missions and the Methodist Church Union in the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. A. McCartney on Clearview Avenue, Weirton, to explore the establishment of a new Methodist church to serve the rapidly growing Weirton Heights area.

“Things moved along swiftly for the new church,” a spokesperson noted, explaining that suitable temporary quarters in the vacant Eagle’s Lodge at 1707 Pennsylvania Ave. was rented along with an adjoining apartment for housing a pastor and family.

At the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Church in Baldwin, Pa., on May 29, 1959, the Rev. James Howard Moore was appointed to serve as full-time pastor of the fledgling church.

The first Sunday morning worship service was held June 7, 1959. On July 19, 1959, the congregation adopted the name Christ Methodist Church, and 107 people received charter membership. Six days later, the church became a member of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Church.

The following year, the growing congregation found that more space was needed, and the Pittsburgh Conference acquired the present 4-acre site at 3598 Pennsylvania Ave. The groundbreaking service was held May 2, 1961, with construction of the building beginning that summer. The cornerstone was laid Sept. 19, 1961, and the new building was completed early in 1962. The first service was held in the new building March 4, 1962, and the building was consecrated April 1, 1962.

Two months later, the church became a part of the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist church, and six years later, with the unification of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches worldwide, the name was changed to Christ United Methodist Church.

Additional milestones in the church were the purchase of the parsonage on Circle Drive in 1964 and the 12th anniversary celebration in 1971, which included burning the mortgage and dedicating the church building. Anniversary celebrations also were held in 1979 (20th), 1984 (25th) and 2009 (50th).

In 2004, the West Virginia Conference of the UMC placed Christ UMC on a charge with First UMC on West Street in Weirton and appointed a pastor to serve both churches. Later, the Pleasant Valley UMC joined the charge.

Pastors who have served CUMC during the past 60 years are: James H. Moore, John Q. Geiger, Jr., Harry P. Light, Cecil Shepherd, Ronald Talkington, Joseph G. Stump, John Tenney Jr., Thomas L. Aitken, II, Gregory A. Godwin, James W. Lawson, Julia Morrison, Charles “Chuck” Jerman and Tim Conrad. The Rev. Carol McKay currently serves the Weirton United Methodist Charge.

There will be a covered-dish luncheon after the service. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish to share. Chicken, cake and beverages will be provided. Those planning to attend can RSVP by Wednesday by calling the church office at (304) 748-6680.