Celina United Methodist Church
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!

Church History

Tennessee Conference records suggest that there was a Methodist presence in the area prior to the Civil War, but most likely the services were held in members homes and the circuit riders could only be present at the interval that depended on how many other churches were on the circuit, which could be as many as five or six.  The church has been part of the Tennessee Conference and for a short time the Holston Conference.  The changes in Conference relationships were changed because it was determined the circuit riders from the Holston Conference had better accessibility due to the river crossings that had to be made. Celina UMC is currently on a two point charge with the McFerrin UMC in Timothy.  These two churches have been on the same circuit since the late 1950's and prior to that time were part of a five point charge which included churches that are no longer in existence. Sometimes the charge was called the Celina Charge, for awhile it was the Overton Charge, and for awhile it was the Dale Hollow Charge, even earlier it was the Celina Mission. 
 
The Celina Methodist Church was formally established in 1899 on land purchased from William and Elizabeth Hull. (Tennesseans might know this, these folks were the parents of Cordell Hull who started his law practice here in Celina, and celebrated a very accomplished career serving as our nations longest serving Secretary of State during the F.D. Roosevelt Administration.) A two story frame weatherboard building was erected on the square in Celina with a steeple that was visible all over town. The first worship in this church building was believed to have taken place as late as 1904.  The church bell rang each Sunday morning to announce the church service.  The first floor of the building was used by the church; the second floor was used by the Celina Masonic Lodge and the Celina Eastern Star.
In 1954, the church decided to build a new sanctuary. They sold the building on the square to the Celina Masonic Lodge for $200 and the land on which it stood to Karl Napier for $7,000. The church trustees at that time were Rachel Langford, W. H. Hayes, Roy Maynard, and Sue Sidwell. The pastor was R. D. Davis. On March 12, 1954, land was purchased from Mrs. Hattie Coffee for $2,250.00. A modern brick sanctuary was built with stained glass windows and double front doors on the new property on South Brown Street in Celina. Members of the church purchased walnut pews for the new building. These members were: Mr. and Mrs. Grady Sidwell, Betty and John Teeples, Paula Sidwell, Rachel and Thomas Langford, Dillard and Zettie Sparks, Roy Maynard, Dick and Betty Roberts, Karl and Reba Napier, The Flora Collins Family, Mr. And Mrs. Edward Swan, Lee Ann and Lisa.
 
The church has received many gifts from the members of the congregation, including a baptismal font donated by David and Sue (Langford) Stooksbury in memory of her grandparents, Bob and Trudy Riley; a steeple was placed on the church by Sue Sidwell in memory of her husband W. Grady Sidwell. The original organ was purchased with money given by the Haskell Howard Estate. In 2008 a new keyboard was given by Mr. and Mrs. Ike Bonecutter in memory of their parents.