.A Brief History of Our Church:
When Dubois was named Rumbarger, a part of Brady Township Methodists in the area were under the leadership of pastors assigned to the Luthersburg Charge. Methodism in our community began as early as 1869, with occasional preaching in the home of John Rumbarger. As interest and participation outgrew the homes, the services were moved to the White School and later to the Truxell Glasgow Hall. Following a revival meeting in 1870, a Sunday School Class was organized with John Shaffer as the class leader. This class became the nucleus of our first church established in DuBois. It was John Rumbarger who donated two lots on Franklin Street and the first church was built on that site at a cost of $4,500 which was dedicated in 1877 and named the Rumbarger M.E. Church of DuBois. Later a parsonage was built, but both structures were destroyed by the Great Fire on June 18, 1877.
Meanwhile the congregation met in temporary buildings until 1889, when the present church was begun and completed at the cost of $20,000 a year later. This first structure was small; so when both the membership and the Sunday School attendance increased and the dept was entirely cleared, a full basement was constructed under the main body of the church. This provided room for classes and a kitchen, making the church better suited for the needs of a growing congregation of 600. About the same time, a pipe organ was installed.
In 1928 the church received the gift of a beautiful parsonage from Mr. and Mrs. John A. Groves and Mrs. Groves' parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Olmstead of Ludlow, PA. This parsonage was built adjacent to the church and presently houses the church office, the pastor's study, and the parlor.
When the church in 1941 held its 50th Anniversary celebration, the church property, including the parsonage, was valued at $9,500 and was free of debt. The membership in 1940 was 867, with a Sunday School enrollment of approximately 750. In 1950 after noting that the support timbers of the church were in a state of deterioration, the congregation voted to completely remodel the sanctuary, and a financial drive culminated with pedges of $100,000. Construction began October 1959. The worshipers were back in the new Sanctuary for services on November 27, 1960. The last major building project, construction of a two-story educational center, was begun after another successful financial drive of $90,000, which was completed in 1970. With their faithfulness and support of the building program, the congregation liquidated a debt of $100,000 within seven years, and the new wing was dedicated on December 12, 1977.
Thus far in this cameo the focus has been about bricks and mortar, but the structure is but a part of what our church is about. We should look at our organizational structure, our program and spiritual heritage as a real part of the gift we received. As a church we became a part of a much larger body, Methodism. Later major changes were made in its structure, and it was at that time we became the First Methodist Church of DuBois. Another big change came with the merger of the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
As to the future, it rests with each of us to continue in the tradition of those members who preceded us. Their faith, witness, vision and service have become our inheritance. May we prove to be worthy of their gift by continuing their mission as the hands of Jesus.