West Fork UMC History
The West Fork United Methodist Church was first known as the Ebenezer Evangelical Association Church of North America. The first meetings were held in the school houses of District No. 2 and 4. In 1889, it became a part of the Sheffield charge. In 1893 an acre of land was purchased for $22.50 and a church was built with William Banker, Henry Nolte, and Emmanuel Esslinger constituting the building committee. In December 1893, under the pastorate of Rev. H. Sassman, a dedication service was held. In 1914 the basement was built and a coal furnace and gas lighting installed. In 1922 there was a merger with the United Evangelical Church and the name was changed to the Ebenezer Evangelical Church of America. In 1938 electric lights were installed and later an oil furnace was added.
On October 10, 1943, the West Fork Evangelical Church celebrated its Golden Jubilee with Rev. Park E. Miller as pastor.
On November 16, 1946, the Evangelical United Brethren Church was born with the merger of the Evangelical Church and the Church of the United Brethren of Christ.
On April 6, 1966, 95% of the members voted to construct a new church building. On Sunday June 4, 1966, the ground breaking service was held and construction began the next day. Loving hearts and dedicated hands labored faithfully. Many volunteer hours were given by the men and women of the community. $1.50 an hour was allowed for the men’s labor toward the final cost. The new structure cost approx. $41,000.00. The entire cost was paid by friends and members of West Fork with the mortgage burning in May 1975.
The laying of the cornerstone service was held October 9, 1966, and the house of God was dedicated on October 22, 1967. Rev. Paul Miller served as pastor during 1963-1967.
In April, 1968, at the General Conference in Dallas, Texas, the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.
In 1971, The West Fork and Hansell churches became one charge.
In 2007, Sheffield UMC joined the West Fork and Hansell charge.
In 2011, Hansell church closed it’s doors, and the charge was Sheffield UMC and West Fork.
Through the years dedicated pastors have led the people. Memorials have been given and all the organizations of the church have combined their giving and works to support the work of God. Thus, the West Fork United Methodist Church continues to witness her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.