ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church kicked off their 175th year celebration this morning with a circuit rider reenactment.
The original Pleasant Grove Church was built in 1842, just down the road from their current location, and Pastor Linda Morrow says this is an opportunity to recognize all the past and future blessings bestowed upon their church.
“Well this year 2017 is our 175th anniversary, as you mentioned, so we wanted to find a way to celebrate both the way God has worked in the past for the congregation, and how he will continue to work through the congregation. So we tried to put together 6-months of activities sharing how Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” said Morrow.
The first activity the church had planned was the circuit rider reenactment performed this morning by former Pleasant Grove Pastor Allan Teter.
“James B. Finley actually served this area twice, once as a circuit rider from about 1810 to 1814. And then later in his life came back again as the District Superintendent of the Zanesville District and Pleasant Grove Church would have been part of that area,” explained Teter.
Teter also explained what exactly circuit riders were and what role they performed. “Their occupation was to ride and preach. They left their family in once place, and the rest of the time they spent riding, preaching, and finding a place to stay and sleep.” Circuits would often take up to a month before the riders would return home to their families.
Pleasant Grove also has wedding vow renewals planned for June 25th. Any couples who were married there or are now members that want to renew their vows can do so on that day. Additionally, guest pastors will be attending Pleasant Grove to preach throughout the summer with “food and fellowship” following each of those services. Finally, the Bishop will attend in September, followed by a balloon sendoff in October to complete the celebration.
Pleasant Grove has a timeline displayed in their sanctuary, along with additional items created by members of the church both past and present that display and honor their 175-year history.
Pastor Linda Morrow welcomes all community members to visit their church and view the work or take part in their celebration. They are located at 400 Pleasant Grove Rd. Worship services are held on Sunday from 10:30-11:45AM.