Solon United Methodist Church History
1957 Conference - Solon was growing and a group of interested Methodists held a meeting at the fire station to start planning for a Church in Solon. They organized a youth fellowship, a women’s society, and a Methodist men’s group.
1959 With Rev. Keith Metzger, student pastor, a church was formed on June 26th and became the First Methodist Church with 70 charter members. They rented space in the Solon High School and baptized their first baby.
1961 Members purchased the 23-acre property at S.O.M. Center Road & Cannon Road to build a church.
1963 The original building plan would cost $500,000. Church members had a “Building Crusade.” Each of the 132 members was visited in this funding crusade. Cost increases forced reductions in the original building plans and the fellowship hall became the first sanctuary. Due to this major financial crisis, many of the original members left the church.
1964 Ground breaking begins in March.
1965-67 Rev. James Henderson became pastor. Financial and morale issues continued.
1967–79 Rev. Phillip Stillings became pastor. In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist denominations merged and the church became Solon United Methodist Church. It sold 6 acres in order to purchase a house to become the new parsonage. It was moved to its present location and its mortgage of $120,000 was paid off. At that time, the church had 283 members. They started a 3-year Bethel Bible study for adult couples and had a retreat each summer to make plans for following year. Plans also began for the building of a sanctuary and educational wing.
1979 -85 Rev. Ben Magee became pastor. Stained glass windows were designed and installed. The large 8-panel front window is a contemporary design titled “Light of the World” and the small window in the back is titled “The Bread of Life.”
June 21, 1981 The first service was held in new sanctuary.
1982 A storm causes the steeple to fall and the damage so extensive (welds torn loose) that it had to be replaced. A hunger garden was started and a fundraiser was held for the parking lot and sewers.
1984 The church celebrated its 25th anniversary.
1985-87 Rev. Larry Bryan became pastor.
1987-95 Rev. Karl Stonebraker became pastor. The church had 320 members. In 1988, members made their first mission trip to John’s Island, South Carolina.
1995–06 Rev. Dana Flemming became pastor. During his tenure, a contemporary 2nd service was started.
June 7, 1998 The 2nd church mortgage was retired and plans started for a new addition for new classrooms, a nursery, larger bathrooms, and storage areas. A major building campaign held and the building completed in 2001 with first service held on Nov. 25.
2006–16 Rev. Scott Low became pastor. Church started the Play and Prep preschool. Scott took a 3-month sabbatical and to Liberia (Chris Martin became the interim pastor). Space was rented to Trinity Christian Church for 4 years – an African-American church. Relationship between the churches helped to break down invisible racial barriers.
2009 The church held a 50-year celebration. It was also the beginning of Good Works Missions.
2016 Rev. Cindy Theobold became pastor. Church began intensive self-assessment to realize true mission of the church.