Ten persons gathered to start the United Methodist Church of Orchard Park. Plans for the formation of the Orchard Park Methodist Church came in May 1956.
Orchard Park is the town founded by the Quakers. This is a United Methodist Church.
When meeting in the house (which was next to the present church), needed a cross, candles, and lectern which were provided by charter members. For communion the church needed a rail & kneeler which were made.
Early Sunday School Picnics at Johnston’s with volleyball, etc., and swimming at Sweet’s across the street.
Worship services begin on October 7, 1956, with meetings in the Grange Hall (White Orchard Home Furnishings 4203 N Buffalo St.).
Some of the charter members provided the communion plate and cup for the services.
The first minister, George Haley, a bachelor, was assigned to the church June 1957. (The Haley Room is named after him.)
Rev. George Haley, lived in the house and services were held in his living room. Sunday School classes were in his bedroom upstairs. Nursery care was provided upstairs, also.
There were snakes in the basement of the house. When the minister married, his new wife, Carol, was afraid to live in the house!
On April 20, 1958 the first Fourth Quarterly Conference was held and the church formally became recognized. Under the direction of the Methodist Buffalo District Church Extension Society an architectural firm, Highland and Highland, of Buffalo, was asked to draw up preliminary plans for the new church building. The architect was a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright.
When the people were ready to build the church building the arches came to town on a flatbed railroad car. Some members went to the station to see them.
On October 4, 1959 the Cornerstone for the new church was laid at a special outdoor service.
In the cornerstone of the new church building an enveloped was placed with a penny, nickel, dime, quarter & half dollar of the year in it.
Ground was broken for the new church on Palm Sunday, March 22, 1959.
Members planted flowers and shrubs around the building.
Easter egg hunts were started for the boys and girls.
Fish Suppers started early. The fish were precooked and had to be warmed up in the oven. They could not keep up with the demand.
More and more persons joined the new church.
Christian worship and programs were spirit-filled.
Persons put their hearts into the building of this new congregation.
Prayer was very important.
Many meaningful Christmas Pageants have been produced in the church.
Vacation Church Camp began in 1972.
In mid-February 2009 the wind blew the cross down from the steeple. The church replaced it the following year.
Other improvements were made that year, including a new floor and new sliding door in fellowship hall.
OPUMC is a blossoming church community that strives to journey closer to God through Jesus Christ with all who walk through our doors.
Pastors of Orchard Park United Methodist Church
|1.||George Haley||1957 - 66||9|
|2.||Jack Brewster||1966 - 76||10|
|3.||Dan Berry||1976 - 78||2|
|4.||Al Kraatz||1978 - 85||7|
|5.||Jean White||1985 - 90||5|
|6.||Wendy Deichmann||1990 - 94||4|
|7.||Hal Babb (retired)||1993 - 94||1|
|8.||Greg Franklin||1994 - 05||10|
|9.||Bong Hee Sung||2005 - 08||3|
|10.||Allyn Foster (interim)||2008 - 09||1|
|11.||Janet James||2009 -|