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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. 

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Since that time, our congregation has experienced seasons of great vitality as well as periods of decline. Trinity continues to seek to live into the mission of the United Methodist Church to "make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

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 – 2013-2021

Rev. Justin McCall – 2021- Present 



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