The History of Kingston UMC
The following excerpts are taken from a paper presented at the 100th anniversary of the Kingston United Methodist Church in April, 1978, entitled, History of Kingston United Methodist Church, by Mr. Richard Wheeler, church historian:
During the month of February 1878, the people of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Rocky Hill had an evangelist, Miss Lizzie Sharp, come and conduct revival meetings in their church. The result of these meetings was a great religious awakening among the people and there were some sixty or more that professed to be reborn of the spirit.
There were some twenty or more of Kingston people who attended these meetings and were brought under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Kingston people walked on the railroad tracks to Rocky Hill, which is a little over two miles.
On April 11th, a prayer meeting was held at Brother Durling’s. There were forty-five people present. Brother J. E. Swan was leader and there was great interest manifested. At the close of the meeting, Brother Swan called for a meeting of all those present to determine their opinion in regards to building a Methodist church in Kingston.
Brother Swan was elected chairman of this meeting and Henry R. Hight secretary. After some discussion of the matter, Brother John Perdun made a motion and it was unanimously adopted. Brother Durling moved that a building committee of ten members be appointed. It was so ordered that the following be appointed: Rev. J. E. Swan, Charles Green, Charles Stenes, N. M. P. Durling, H. R. Hight, Charles R. Robinson, William Bunn, James D. Harris, and John Perdun.
This committee met on April 12th at Brother Durling’s home. Brother Swan was elected president, H. R. Hight – secretary, and Charles Robinson – treasurer.
Mr. Robinson moved that there be a committee of four appointed to look for a site (and to suggest) a place to build the church. This committee consisted of Charles Green, T. L. Reed, J. E. Swan, and N. M. P. Durling.
On June 3rd the building committee met at Brother Perdun’s. Brother Durling reported that he had seen Nelson Conover about a lot, and that he was willing to sell it for $250.00: one-half cash and the balance on time. Brother Durling moved that we buy it at once; and it was so ordered. Brothers Swan, Durling, and Robinson were made a committee to buy it.
The work of getting all the plans satisfactory was accomplished. A young man named Vorhees Durling was hired to cut and rake off all the weeds and potato vines that were then on the lot.
On August 12th the ground was broken. Mr. Jacob Gilchrist dug the trenches and on August 14th, the corner stone was laid. The mason work was done by Ira Pullen and S. B. Bastedo, the father of Mesdames Totten and Grove. Messrs. Pullen and Bastedo worked for $2.00 per day, and boarded themselves. On August 29th the lumber was contracted from J. W. Fielder Company for $600.00 to be delivered by boat at Kingston Basin on September 14th.
Brother Swan was the architect and superintendent of the work. The building was raised on Friday, September 20, 1878, and it was finished and dedicated on Thursday, January 30, 1879.
Pastors since 1978
The following pastors have served Kingston UMC since 1978:
Rev. Michael Smith 1978 to 1986
Rev. Byron Leasure July 1986 to January 1997
Rev. Carole McCallum January 1997 to June 2001
Rev. Marion Sanders July 2001 to June 2005
Rev. David Mertz July 2006 to June 2008
Rev. Stephen Cady September 2008 to June 2012
Trey Wince July 2012 to January 2016
Werner Ramirez February 2016 to 2017
Jessica Winderweedle February 2016 to present