Carmel United Methodist Church celebrates 175 years of ministry

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Carmel United Methodist Church invited the community to enjoy a Sunday dinner Nov. 5 as it celebrated the congregation’s 175th anniversary.

More than 200 guests attended the celebration, which also included historic displays and tours. Former and present leaders shared about the history of the congregation as guests enjoyed a fried chicken pitch-in meal.

According to Jessica Stevens, CUMC connections minister, the church started with just 12 people in 1848. The group included Daniel Warren, who is regarded as one of Carmel’s founding figures.

“They met in the old blacksmith shop downtown on Main Street, and then it grew,” Stevens said. “They built a concrete building, and another building was at the corner of Main and Range Line. In the 1950s, this site was built.”

CUMC has been at 621 S. Range Line Rd. since 1957. It now averages 350 attendees at each weekly service.

Marcia Stumm, the church’s longest-standing member, has been attending since moving to the area from Brazil, Ind., in 1954. She and her husband, Skip, got married in 1957 soon after the church relocated to its current building.

“We (attended) the Methodist church in Brazil forever,” Stumm said. “The old church was the only Methodist church in Carmel. Next year it’s going to be 70 years that I’ve been a member.”

Skip Stumm said that in the 1950s the church had roughly around 100 members. According to Stevens, CUMC has approximately 600 members and has welcomed more than 40 new members this year.

Looking to the future, Stevens said she is hopeful the church will remain in the heart of Carmel for generations to come.

“We’re living into a legacy,” Stevens said. “We’re part of a greater story and this is just a moment in time.”

Learn more at CarmelUMC.org.


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