July 17, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Chelsea Anouncements, Community, County, Events, Michigan, Washtenaw County

A Historical Celebration at the Waterloo Village United Methodist Church

The church that is now home to the Waterloo Village United Methodist Church was built 150 years ago as a place to serve the new settlers in the area. Over time, the building saw some changes, but throughout, it has remained an important place for the community.

The church is now taking some time out on July 13 to celebrate this historical anniversary. To do so, they are having a bigger than normal Ice Cream Social/ Car show from 3 to 7 p.m. on July 13 to celebrate.

The Sun Times News connected with church member Nancy Hughes to learn more about the church building’s history.

“150 years means a time to celebrate being a big part of the Waterloo Village community for 150 years,” Hughes said. “We are considered the Waterloo Church by many. We have had many joyful weddings, baby and bridal showers and community events. We have also had many funeral services to comfort those in the area.”

The building was built for the United Brethrens in 1874, she said. They used bricks made at the brick factory in Waterloo. It was a 33 feet by 48 feet building that cost $4,000. It had 76,963 bricks that cost $94.19. Bishop Edwards from the United Brethren church officiated.

As an interesting note on the building’s beginning, Hughes said the day before the grand opening of the church, it was raining very hard.

“The people were upset and went to Bishop Edwards with their concerns,” Hughes said. “Bishop Edwards told them to pray to the Lord to turn the wind and stop the rain.”

She said earnest united prayer was offered, “and in the night the wind turned, and the rain stopped.”

It’s remembered that, “Sunday was a very pleasant day,” she said, and Bishop Edwards preached a sermon from Hebrews 11:16 to a filled house.

The Methodists took over when they merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 to form The United Methodist Church. Rev. Wilbur L. Silvernail was the pastor at that time, Hughes said.

They have had 14 ministers and a couple of student pastors since they opened the doors as Waterloo Village United Methodist Church.

Over the years the church has had to do some updates on the building, such as a new roof, but in 2003, Hughes said they did their biggest update. They added an addition of a big Fellowship hall with a kitchen, bathrooms (up until that time they had no bathrooms, only outhouses behind the old Schoolhouse next door) and a full basement with six rooms (to be used as an office and five Sunday school rooms and a larger room for meetings) as well as a bathroom and furnace room.

There’s a good-sized Atrium to connect the Hall with the church.

“Since our children have all grown and others haven’t become involved,” Hughes said. “We are using our basement as a Mission Project. We have turned it into ‘The Creator’s Closet Free Store’ to help all in need in the Waterloo area.”

To mark this anniversary, the church will be celebrating by having more family events this year. They have had a family movie night (and plan more), but the biggest event is their Annual Ice Cream Social/ Car Show.

“We are adding old fashioned games, a Magic Show, and face painting,” Hughes said of the big event. “Pastor Mary will be doing a blessing of the cars, tractors, motorcycles, and horses. It is on July 13th from 3-7 p.m. We are also planning game nights starting back up in January, Trunk or Treat for Halloween, a Harvest Dinner and Holiday Bazaar in November, and Holiday Spirit Music At the Village in December. We are very excited to be celebrating serving the Village of Waterloo for 150 years.”

The church is located within the Village of Waterloo at 8110 Washington St., Grass Lake (Waterloo).