our history

Our church and community have always been mutually intertwined. The ministry of our church began in 1859. At that time a small group of religious pioneers organized what would become the Grove City United Methodist Church of today, commonly referred to as “the Church with the Purple Doors”.

The city of Grove City was founded in 1852. The Methodist in the area of Grove City met in the same building used by the Presbyterians. Our congregation built their own church, a small frame structure, at the corner of West Park Street and Front Street in old Grove City near the current railroad tracks.

Our church membership grew and in the late 1880’s the frame building was moved to the corner of West Park Street and Lincoln Street. One of the reasons listed for the move was the closeness of the original building to the railroad tracks created a disruption to worship and frightened the horses.

By the turn of the 19th century our church membership had grown to 300 members and the dream was for a new church. The old church was moved again to another location on Park Street and on April 16th, 1905 a “new” church was dedicated.

The new church was beautiful and built in a Romanesque style of pressed red brick, the interior was artfully frescoed and had a large finished basement, a furnace, elegant pews and a massive chancel accented in brass. The boy’s Sunday School Class purchased the bell for the new church.

On Sunday, December 17th, 1917 the temperatures stood at two degrees above zero with seven inches of snow on the ground. In the stillness of that cold night, the church caught fire and very little was saved.

Our congregation made the decision to rebuild and the construction reflected the beauty of the previous building. The building today serves as the Masonic Hall in Grove City.

Our congregation and denomination continued to grow in the community and the nation and in 1939 the Methodist Episcopal Church (our local affiliation), the Methodist Protestant Church and the Methodist Church South united to form the Methodist Church. In 1943 our first full time minister began serving the congregation.

During World War II, the church was remodeled and redecorated. After the war our church and the larger Grove City community grew rapidly. A larger building was needed and 4.8 acres of land was purchased on Columbus Street. At that time the area was considered to be in the country.

On Palm Sunday in 1957 our congregation broke ground for a new building. Temporarily our congregation worshiped in the local high school’s gymnasium while the building was under construction. Then on July 6th, 1958 the growing congregation held it’s first worship service in the current sanctuary. In 1962 a new parsonage was completed. That building now houses the Grove City Food Pantry and Community Services.

Our congregation continued to grow and new offices, the Fireside Room and additional classrooms were opened in the late 1960s. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church united to become the United Methodist Church. Our growing congregation continuing to develop new ministries needed more space and additional classrooms, offices, an up to date large kitchen and the Family Life Center were added. They were completed and dedicated in 1984.

Our ministries included the development of new Contemporary Worship Services (now called “the Path”). The traditional worship services and a dynamic youth and children’s education program continued to be a vital part of the offerings of the church.

The growth of contemporary worship required the congregation to open a new more spacious worship area for those services in 2003. The new 500 seat Worship Center/Multi Purpose room was dedicated and with it our café, nursery classrooms, the cafe and the Great Hall area opened.

The Grove City United Methodist Church has been an integral part of our community and its continued growth. We welcome all people to join us in worship. Our mission is to connect, serve, and transform our community for Christ.