WOOD RIVER — First United Methodist Church, 30 N. Sixth St., is celebrating its centennial year in 2017.
In honor of the occasion, there will worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, followed by a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
In the early part of 1917, the Rev. M.A. Souers, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Godfrey, was asked by his district superintendent, Dr. C.C. Hall, to come to the home of Charles W. Raines, a former resident of Godfrey and member of the Godfrey church. Hall requested Souers to make a religious survey to determine the number of Methodists living in Wood River. There were a few people called Methodists who agreed to gather for worship service once or twice a month and Souers brought inspiring messages. As the weeks went by, a church was formulated and at the 1917 Annual Conference in Marion, Ill., under the leadership of Bishop Quale, the Rev. Samuel Thero was assigned to the Wood River Charge.
On Jan. 10, 1918, the Ladies Aid Society was organized with 16 members. The women of the Ladies Aid worked faithfully and helped carry the financial burden of the new church. For several years they cooked and served meals to the public. They helped pay for the real estate and the first church building, a one-story wooden tabernacle.
The 100th anniversary turkey dinner will be in memory of the Ladies Aid Society. Proceeds from the dinner will go to a 100th Centennial Fund for further celebrations this year.
For information, call (618) 254-1921.