FRANKFORT, Ind. - St. Matthew United Methodist Church of Frankfort, Indiana celebrated its 175th Anniversary Sept.21-23. On Friday evening, previous pastors were invited to a reception and to share memories of serving here while Saturday saw a golf scramble, potluck supper and camp out.
Sunday was a joyous day of celebration with one worship service. Lafayette District Superintendent the Rev. Kate Walker spoke of other events of the 1830s and led the dedication of the "Ark of Legacies," the gracious gift of a grand piano by Ann Mitchell, the carillon and lettering on the front of the church, both funded by the current congregation. Bishop Michael Coyner's sermon title was "How Old Are You?"
The first Methodist meeting in the Frankfort area was held at the cabin of John Douglas in 1830, a time when Circuit Riders were serving the spiritual needs of Indiana's sparse population. In 1832 plans were made to build the first free standing Methodist church building. A 30 foot by 40 foot frame building, at the cost of $400 was erected on a $50 parcel of land. Among the charter members of this church were Jacob and Lucinda Blinn, ancestors of the Rev. Lori Blinn Gibson, who once served St. Matthew.
Church growth demanded many additions and changes in this downtown location until 1966 when the present building was erected on several acres at the edge of the community.
The Revs. Jean Brindel and Zach Washler serve the 600-member congregation. Chairperson of the 175th Anniversary Committee is Nancy Harshbarger whose family has attended this church for six generations.