A Brief Church History
Trinity United Methodist Church started over 150 years ago. The earliest record of the Swanton Methodist Church comes in the form of minutes kept by trustees of the Centerville Methodist Episcopal Church on June 1, 1863. The day, it was resolved to build a meeting house.
On May, 29, 1886, with Rev. O. Shreeves as chairman, it was decided to purchase three lots from J. H. Miller for $250 to be used as a building site for a new church. The new church cost about $4,000 and was dedicated on Dec. 1, 1889.
Just two years later, the church burned and was unusable. A new church, with a similar construction was completed and dedicated on December 18, 1892 (pictured below).
The groundbreaking service for the new (current) church sanctuary (costing approximately $305,000), was held June 17, 1966, with the cornerstone laying by Rev. I. C. Wynn and Rev. Benjamin Edwards on Oct. 23. Consecration Services were held on July 2, 1967.
Since that time, our congregation has experienced seasons of great vitality as well as periods of decline. Our most recent effort to restore vitality has been to employ the service of the UMCteam1 pastoral team. Initially led by Rev. Mark Montgomery and now our current Lead Pastor, Rev. J.T. Bean, our church is working to grow its membership and enhance its effectiveness in all areas.
The most observable difference with this team is the preaching rotation of pastors from the UMCteam1 “sister churches” to fill the pulpit and provide strong, biblical messages each Sunday.
Known ministers at Swanton/Trinity United Methodist Church:
Rev. George Miller – 1863
Rev. John Houghtley – early 1870s
Rev. H. E. Pilcher – 1874-1875
Rev. L. D. Boyer – 1875-1876
Rev. O. Shreeves – 1876-1888
Rev. B. N. Boardman – 1888-1891
Rev. M. C. Baumgardner – 1891-1895
Dr. N. B. C. Love – 1895-1898
Rev. J. D. Simms – 1898-1901
Rev. William Boyers – 1901-1906
Rev. C. R. Davenport – 1906-1915
Rev. D. P. Holt – 1915-1917
Rev. Frank L. Hook – 1917-1920
Rev. S. A. Beall – 1920-1922
Rev. W. J. Green – 1922-1925
Rev. Calvin Horn – 1925-1928
Rev. J. C. Plummer – 1928-1932
Rev. Purdy Van Wicklen – 1932-1937
Rev. Wayne Snider – 1937-1939
Rev. Benjamin Smith – 1939-1942
Rev. R. A. Stillings – 1942-1944
Rev. Paul M. Niswander – 1944-1949
Rev. I. C. Wynn – 1949-1959
Rev. Benjamin Edwards – 1959-1968
Rev. Earl Biggers – 1968-1978
Rev. James Duvall – 1978-1985
Rev. Dr. Duane Smith – 1985-1993
Rev. Maurice Bailey – 1993-2003
Rev. John Schlicher – 2003-2008
Rev. Barbara Jean Pope – 2008-2013
Rev. Mark Montgomery – 2013-2015
Rev. J. T. Bean – 2013-Present