Wayne UMC celebrates 60th anniversary

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Updated Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:35 am

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While growing up in Maryville, Robin Freeman Kirtley attended Sunday School, Methodist Youth Fellowship and was married at Wayne United Methodist Church. She was one of approximately 200 members, former members and guests attending the 60th anniversary this past Sunday.

“Over the years, Wayne has experienced its share of growing pains and concerns; however, there has remained the strong core of dedication and commitment which first inspired the founding of Wayne Methodist Church in Maryville in 1954” recited by Franklin Ward as he told the history of the church.

With growth expanding in 1953 into the Maryville area, a survey was was conducted to determine the feasibility of a new Methodist church. Attending the first meeting were Mr. & Mrs. H. A. Thompson, Mr. & Mrs. R. C. Griffith, Mr. & Mrs. Erik Svedberg and Mr. & Mrs. John Dawson. After much planning the first church school session was held on April 4, 1954 with 140 adults and children attending. It was determined by this group to organize a new church.

Franklin Ward recognized the charter members who continue to be active with Wayne along with those who could not attend.

The name Wayne was chosen for the new church from Georgetown native William Wayne who graciously offered his house for a church service to Francis Asbury in 1785. The house was located on the corner of Orange and Highmarket Streets where a sanctuary was later built and eventually became known as Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church.

Rev. Bell and Trammell conducted the first services at Maryville Elementary School with a charter membership of 120. The first pastor was a Divinity student, Rev. Ted Morton, Jr. who served during the summer months. In September 1954, Wayne received its first full time minister, the Rev. C. D. (Red) Williams.

A ground breaking ceremony was held on February 27, 1955 on a large lot that had been purchased for $1,000 on Henry Street (later to become Wayne Street). Construction began on the sanctuary/fellowship hall, 6 classrooms and a kitchen. A house next door was also purchase for use as a parsonage.

In November 1956, a 70 foot extension was approved for additional classrooms and a church office. This completed the building of the fellowship hall and educational building as it stands today.

Over the course of years, a new sanctuary has been built, two lots across the street have been purchased and a prayer chapel added. Wayne has sponsored Brownie, Cub, Girl and Boy Scout Troops, Vacation Bible School, craft workshops, United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, local, state and worldwide missions.

Chimes were added in the 60’s which gong the hour and three times a day, ring sacred religious music for the Maryville area. Special music was heard from the chimes Sunday afternoon between 5:30-6:30 to commemorate the 60th anniversary.

“We’re happy to be celebrating our 60th anniversary said Pastor Danny Chamblee and we have to remember we’re not here to be proud of what we’ve done but we’re here to celebrate what God has done. Today we celebrate Wayne’s history but the bulk of our service is to look forward and see where we’re going.”

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