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Our History

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Methodist Episcopal Church South (1933)

Methodist Episcopal Church South (1933)

The history of Central United Methodist Church of Rogers is made up of two churches: The Methodist Episcopal Church, South and The Methodist Episcopal Church, North or First Methodist as it was called. The Methodist of the area were first a part of an interdenominational group which was formed at New Hope (a community that was formerly located in the area of New Hope Road and the present Highway 71) after the Civil War. 

Following the founding of the City of Rogers in 1881, twenty-five members of this group formed a Sunday school which became part of The Oakley Chapel Circuit of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. It met in a building on North First Street. In 1882, with membership of about 100, the group built a frame building on North Second Street on property deeded to them by F.F. Sikes. In 1890, a brink church was built on Cherry Street between First and Second and later property nearby was acquired for a parsonage.

By 1907 the congregation felt that the location near the railroad livery stables and other businesses was not suitable, so plans were made and carried out to build a new church at Third and Elm. Because of its new location it was named Central Methodist Church. It was opened in 1909 and dedicated in 1916.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church, North was organized in 1883 by Rev. O.R. Bryant. The first church was built at North Second in 1897 and a brick building at Second and Chestnut was completed in January, 1908. On the Sunday of the opening ceremonies, $8,000 was still needed to meet the total cost of $15,000. By Monday afternoon the $8,000 had been pledged and the building was dedicated that night.

CUMC Centennial Celebration in 1981.

CUMC Centennial Celebration in 1981.

In 1925 almost 100 members of First Methodist joined with Central Methodist and in 1937, two years before official unification, the two congregations united and retained the building of Central Methodist. The first major remodeling was done after the fire in January 1941 which did extensive damage in the building. In 1952, an annex known as Randle Hall was built west of the church property formerly occupied by the parsonage. In 1955, Graham Hall was added. A new parsonage was built in 1959 and Fellowship Hall was completed in 1969.        

The Rogers Methodist was host to the North Arkansas Conference in 1920 and 1957. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church united thus creating the United Methodist Church. Central Methodist Church officially became Central United Methodist Church.

In the early 1990s, the idea of adding on to the current building or moving to a new location was discussed. The congregation voted to move and 38 acres was purchased on New Hope Road and 26th Street. With the prospect of the downtown building being sold, a group of members formed First United Methodist and purchased the downtown facility. The church once again became two viable congregations and Central came back to New Hope Road. Ground was broken for the new facility and in August 1997 the church moved to its present location.