Miller's United Methodist Church
Source: Millers United Methodist Church 1885-2010, One hundred twenty five years, DVD.
(Many thanks to Rodney Leese for use of the DVD and his assistance on this page)
The first church was built upon land donated by Aaron Miller, a farmer in Manchester. It was built by George Barber. The groundbreaking was done on December 26, 1884. Prior to the building of the church, it is thought the people of the community met in their homes. The church was not painted until 1893. It was heated by woodstoves and lit by double kerosene lamps. The church was built at a cost of approximately $600-$800. The dedication was held on August 29, 1885. There is mention of a pump organ in 1898.
The steeple and the bells were added in 1893 and the woodstoves were replaced by a ‘coal’ furnace in 1924. Also, in 1924, the pews were purchased from Greenmount Church, which purchased the pews in 1871. Electric replaced the kerosene lamps in 1929. Believe it or not, there were no restrooms until renovations done in 1957. Until that time, outhouses were used.
There has always been a Sunday School. Initially it was called Miller’s Evangelical Brethren Sunday School and was established in 1894 with its own set of by- laws and its own constitution. There were many times in the churches history that the Sunday School membership/attendance was higher than the church. The Sunday school held many functions including a Children’s Day each June and picnics. In fact, Picnic Woods was purchased in 1893 from Aaron Miller for a cost of $106.42. The agreement states that the land can never be sold.
There was also a ‘Ladies Aid Society’ initially called the MITE Society. They have held so many fundraisers throughout the years and have supported the church through their flea markets, quilt sales, strawberry festivals, etc. They were also involved with missions, NESAP and New Life for Girls. They have always been active not only in the church, but in the community.
The church also had a ‘youth’ group. It has been strong in some periods and non-functional in others depending on the children in the community. It was initially called the ‘Young People’s Christian Union of Miller’s United Brethren Church.
There have been alterations and updates, especially in 1957 when there was an addition built on the back of the building and also included a basement with Sunday School rooms and bathrooms. The groundbreaking was held on October 21, 1956 and it was done at a cost of $13,000. In 1969, the exterior was covered by stone and a new cornerstone laid. The cost of this update was $15,000. Air-conditioning ws added in 2003 and ‘stained glass’ windows in 2006. They purchased a lot of 3 acres in 1987 and it was paved to be used as a parking lot. There is a trailer on the lot that serves as Christian education rooms. The goal of the church is to build a ‘new Christian education building’ on the lot.
The church has had four parsonages, which have served 37 pastors. The latest parsonage was built in 1966 at a cost of $23,000.
The church was originally a ‘United Brethren’ church and in 1946 it merged with ‘Evangelical’. Another merger occurred in 1968 when it merged with the Methodist church and the name was changed to what it is today.
The Pastors of Miller’s