Mead Memorial United Methodist Church
55 Years of service - from June 2, 1963 to June 3, 2018
“We rejoice in the glorious privilege of providing a new channel of inspiration through which people of our beloved area can truly find Christ as Saviour and maintain the ‘warm heart’ experience. We of Mead Memorial enthusiastically dream of that precious moment in the near future when God through our efforts will provide a lovely church structure on the beautiful 12-acre tract of land given by the Russell’s and appropriately located on the new highway 29 near its intersection with 78 (N).” - Rev. Robert J. Callis, Jr. (Pastor, 1963-1967)
This dream began with three dedicated laymen felt the call to start a new church on 29 between Lynchburg and Altavista; as there was none. On Sunday evening, April 28, 1963, approximately 100 people gathered for a worship service in the Lyn-Dan Ruritan building. At the end of this service, the dream began with a steering committee selected to lead the way.
The name of the church was suggested as Mead Memorial in remembrance of The Rev. Stith Mead who organized Methodism in Lynchburg and solicited funds for the first Methodist Church in the city.
On June 2, 1963, a constituting service was held in the Lyn-Dan Ruritan building presided over by Dr. Potts. A great boost was given to the new church announcement that Mr. & Mrs. W.B. Russell had given a tract of 12 acres on route 29 upon which to build. Three additional acres were given later. The dream continues… A ground-breaking service was held on July 12, 1964, and on Easter Sunday, 1965 the first service was held in the new building. The parsonage was then built in 1967. By 1975; with the blessing of God and the giving of His people all indebtedness was paid off. A note burning and Dedication service were held in November 1976.
The first service in the new building was Easter Sunday 1965 with an Easter cantata and the Rev. Robert Callis, Jr.; minister of the church, speaking.
Designed by architect Charlie Vail Jr., the church has a boat shape with irregular projections on each side. Tall stained glass windows are set into the end of each projection so that motorists passing, especially at night, see a row of lighted windows, then two tall windows in front and another row of windows on the side.
The pews and other furnishings of the church have been specially designed for the building and were a gift from the Winebarger Corporation.
The altar, which has a three-dimensional carving of The Last Supper incorporated into it, was the gift of Mr. & Mrs. William B. Russell, who also contributed the 15 acre-site to the church.
In 1972, the steeple atop the church was donated by Mrs. W.B. Russell. in memory of her husband.
The lovely stained glass window above the chancel area was installed in 1976; another gift from the Vaughn H. Winebarger family.
Through the years, the church had undergone many physical changes and has been blessed with pastors who have each brought their own uniqueness to the church. The church continues to be the church with the ‘warm heart’ as its ministry does not stay within the walls of the church.
Mead Memorial UMC is very active in reaching those outside the church through its ministries of preparing meals for the Salvation Army and for the Parkview Mission; the backpack ministry for Yellow Branch Elementary school providing food for those in need; food baskets; ringing of the Salvation Army bell at Christmas; the music ministry with the choir singing for the mission.
Although the church has had its ups and downs; it continues to be the church with the ‘warm heart’ opening its heart to all. We desire to keep it that way.
We are proud of the progress we have made here at Mead Memorial. Through the love of God and his grace, we have been able to grow. We pray for God’s guidance for the future of Mead Memorial United Methodist Church and thank Him for the blessing He has bestowed.
Many “thanks” go out to the ministers who have served Mead Memorial:
Rev. Robert Callis, Jr. 1963-1967
Rev. Robert Consolvo 1967-1969
Rev. Robert Turner 1969-1970
Rev. R. Lee Nuckols 1970-1972
Rev. Roy Munns 1972-1975
Rev. Emory Ellmore 1975-1982
Rev. Wade Sirk 1982-1983
Rev. Robert C. Hoover 1983-1984
Rev. William Moon 1984-1985
Rev. Gary Alvis 1985-1989
Rev. Louis Timmons 1989-1993
Rev. William E. Olewiler 1993-1996
Rev. Terry Clark 1996-1999
Rev. Robert P. Winston 1999-2003
Rev. George D. Hatmaker 2003-2013
Rev. Dr. Alex Duncan 2013-2014
Rev. Steve Turner 2014-2016
Rev. Robert Woodfin 2017
Rev. Keon Huh 2017-Present