Our Congregation’s History
Former church building located on opposite side of Rt. 11 (next to cemetery)

Former church building located on opposite side of Rt. 11 (next to cemetery)

2014 marks the 136th anniversary of the founding of Verona United Methodist Church! We are a group of Christ-followers with deep roots in the Wesleyan movement of the 18th century. That movement swept through Great Britain and America with an emphasis on 1) God’s love and saving grace made available to all persons through Jesus Christ; 2) small groups as a way of forming relationships based on our common faith and desire to grow in the knowledge and grace of God; and 3) an ecumenical spirit that sought to create Christian fellowship across denominational boundaries. Verona UMC was originally established in the 1870’s by members of the United Brethren Church (more formally known as Church of the United Brethren in Christ), a church whose origins were also in the Methodist movement of the eighteenth century. In 1943, the United Brethren Church merged with the Evangelical Brethren Church to become the Evangelical United Brethren Church. With thousands of other congregations across the United States, the Verona EUB congregation merged with The Methodist Church in the late 1960’s to become today’s Verona United Methodist Church. We believe our deep roots are about more than nostalgia. They hold us up in tough times. They nourish us so we can keep growing. And they remind us that we didn’t sprout up overnight; that we owe much to those who blazed the trail for our own spiritual journey. In 1878, the Rev. J.B. Hott called together a small group of dedicated folk who began meeting in an old washhouse at the northern end of the community of Verona. From there, they migrated to a small log house, and then built the first frame church in 1890 for the tremendous sum of $800! As the congregation continued to increase in spirit and numbers, a second church building made of concrete block was completed in 1908. Then, in the years following World War II, the congregation once again outgrew its building. In 1951, the present sanctuary was constructed and dedicated. An educational wing and fellowship hall were added in 1981. With a membership of 850 and worship attendance of 250 per Sunday, in 2002 our congregation purchased a six-acre tract of land adjacent to the church to accommodate future expansion needs.
More recently we purchased a house to the rear of our church building to use as a food pantry to help serve the needs of the area’s lower income families and individuals. This ministry serves up to 60 clients a week, providing food for the hungry in the example of Jesus. And in the summer of 2012 we purchased a trailer in a nearby mobile home park as the first step in establishing a transitional housing program.
In August of 2015 a Church Conference at VUMC voted to create a community center for Verona and to plant a new faith community at the community center. This new ministry site will be located across Rt. 11 in the former Shenan Arts Center.

We are grateful for our heritage and how far God has brought us since our humble beginnings in 1878. We are thankful for those who have gone before us; who were faithful in spreading Christ’s light to our community and world. They have left us a tremendous legacy. We ask for God’s strength as we continue to bear the torch of this faith forward to this generation and generations to come!