Celebrating 150 Years at
Kirkwood United Methodist Church
April 18, 1869 – April 18, 2019
On April 18th, 1869 Reverend W. D. Shumate took charge of eighteen charter members to form a new Southern Methodist Church in Kirkwood. Since that date, three different buildings have stood on our property, making Kirkwood United Methodist a thriving part of Kirkwood for 150 years as of 2019!
Happy Birthday KUMC! 
April 18, 2019 was Kirkwood United Methodist Church’s official 150th Anniversary date.  It was declared Kirkwood United Methodist Church day in Kirkwood, Missouri by Mayoral Proclamation in honor of the occasion.
Volunteers needed! 
There are so many fun ideas and activities planned for our year long celebration and your help is needed!  Would you like to be a part of the 150th planning committee?
Contact Nancy Adelsberger to Volunteer! 
Help Represent  Kirkwood United Methodist
in the Greentree Parade
KUMC is participating in the Greentree Parade on Saturday, September 14th to commemorate it’s 150th Anniversary. There will be three convertiables carrying the three longest members of the our congregation in the parade and we would love to have as many members of our congregation to walk alongside those vehicles to show the many faces of KUMC. Be a part of the celebration, and volunteer to walk in the Greentree parade here.
What’s Happening Right Now?
Kirkwood United Methodist Church Celebrates its History
What do you know about KUMC’s History?  Now is a great time to learn more about your church as we celebrate this anniversary and retell the tales of its past, the people, and the events.  Here are a few history lessons for you below, and be sure to comeback as it is updated during the year long celebration. 
50 Year Time Line on Display

 Look for the 150-year time line on display in the lounge to learn more and to find some artifacts on display on the table in front of the time line too. 
Pivitol Moments of
Kirkwood United Methodist Church History
Here is the skit presented March 31 at THE ONE service telling of KUMC’s founding and other key moments in time in the life of our church. 

Get a 150th Anniversary T-Shirt! 

Show your pride on with a 150th T-shirt!
They are on sale in the lobby on weekends
for $10. 
What’s Coming Up?
150 Years is a long time to celebrate, so Kirkwood United Methodist will be celebrating through out 2019. There are special events planned for each of THE ONE services in 2019. THE ONE is a single worship service planned on the months where there is a 5th Sunday. It is a one worship time for the entire congregation to come and worship together in a blended Contemporary and Traditional service, followed by a pot-luck in the Gym. This year there are two more dates: September 29 and December 29. 
150th Celebration Events
September 29, 2019
A Celebration of KUMC Mission Work
and Welcoming Back Previous Ministers
Join us Sunday, September 29th for Worship at The One and stay for the Pot-luck after in the Gym and another 150th Celebration.
  • Be sure to see the displays in the Lounge displaying the history of KUMC and  new proclamations collected this year honoring our Anniversary.
  • Plowsharing Gifts will be here in our lobby with a special pop-up shop. Proceeds from your purchases will go to KUMC Missions. Be ready to shop for a purpose on that Sunday morning! 
  • See the completed 150th Birthday Cake decorated by artists Jane McDowell and Kathleen Barnes on display in our lobby.   
A Celebration of Art
Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 4 pm

As part of our 150th anniversary celebration, KUMC is also celebrating the significant works of art that we have collected throughout the years. On Sunday, Oct. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m., the church family and the community at large are invited to an art festival open house featuring key pieces of art from KUMC’s collection, dating from the late 1800s to the present. Docents will be on hand to provide insight into the history of each piece. The event will also include new pieces of art recently created by church members of all ages around the theme, “One Touch.” Make plans to attend and bring the whole family! For more information, contact Lee Meyer (meyer1980@att.net) or Dolan Bayless (dolan@kirkwoodumc.org).

December 29, 2019
A Celebration looking back on the year, 
and forward to KUMC’s future
Wow! We’ve celebrated our past all year long and have a lot of fond memories to recall. But end of the year has everyone looking forward to new beginnings. What are your dreams for KUMC’s future? Let’s record those dreams and visions in a special way!  
How KUMC has Celebrated this Year

Celebrating Artistic Creations for our Sesquicentennial

 Over the coming months, KUMC’s 150th birthday cake will become an artistic confection in the hands of professional artists Jane McDowell and Kathleen Barnes. The artists are collaborating to paint the large wood and plaster cake to celebrate the church’s past, present and future. A colorful stained-glass swirl, inspired by the church’s distinctive windows, will connect the three layers, each of which will feature favorite hymns.  Because of the cake’s size and weight, it’s being painted in place in the church foyer, so check out the ongoing progress over the summer. 

The birthday cake itself, about 4 feet tall, was constructed by Don Pavelka and served as a cupcake stand for our inaugural 150th celebration in March. We look forward to displaying the finished cake at upcoming events. 

Catching the light in a window above the birthday cake is a stained glass panel commemorating the church’s 150 years, a gift from stained glass artist Jim Daues. The panel features the church’s unique façade and roofline as well as the United Methodist cross-and-flame symbol. It is also the first time Daues has used text in one of his designs. In a nod to the church’s history, he was able to incorporate some pieces of stained glass saved from the old stone church in the light blue sky. He estimates the piece took about two months from conceptualization to completion.

Kirkwood United Methodist Church History

 THE FIRST 50 YEARS (1869-1919)

As the nation’s reconstruction period after the Civil War was taking place and the city of Kirkwood was being founded, so were ideas forming for the founding of our Kirkwood United Methodist Church.  In 1868, Thomas Axtell, John Kennard and Dr. H. E. Peebles brought together seven Methodists for a meeting in Armentrout’s Hall at Clay and Main Street (now Argonne Drive). After this meeting, the Reverend W. D. Shumate took charge and our congregation was organized on April 18, 1869, as a Southern Methodist Episcopal Church.  There were 18 charter members.  At the Annual Conference of St. Louis in September,1869, Kirkwood was made a station on the Mt. Olive Circuit and the Reverend John Robinson was appointed pastor.  By 1871 our church membership had grown to 57. In 1872, a frame church was erected at Washington and Clay at a cost of $8,000.  Within 5 years, during the time of the Great Depression, the frame structure was lost due to financial difficulties.  A plot of ground at Clay and Adams was given by Dr. John Pittman and an edifice was erected in 1877 called Boyle Chapel.  Our congregation worshipped here until 1885, when it moved back to its previous home.  At this time KUM’s membership was 78.  In 1894, this building was destroyed by fire.  A new building was dedicated on the same site in 1895, known as the stone church on the corner of Washington and Clay.  The church was enlarged in 1915.  By this time there were 223 members. To Be Continued…
Bishop Robert Farr Officiated for our 150th Anniversary
April 6 -7, 2019
All Worship Services
On this weekend, Kirkwood United Methodist Church celebrated its official birthday with Bishop Robert Farr preaching at all services. 
Following each service there was a birthday cake reception in The Gathering Place.
KUMC’s History
The 150 Year Committee presented a skit to tell the history of Kirkwood United Methodist Church at Sunday’s THE ONE service on  March 31, 2019.

Mayoral Proclamation
Sunday, April 7th
10:30 am 
Mayor Tim Griffin presented KUMC with an official mayoral proclamation making April 18th, 2019 Kirkwood United Methodist Church Day in Kirkwood! 

THE SECOND 50 YEARS (1919-1969)

Entering into our second 50 years, we were worshipping in the “old stone church.”  The “Sunday School Annex” had been added.  The church congregation numbered 301.  Kirkwood’s population was about 5,000.  Our pastors were A. Mather, H.H. Johnson, W.E. Sullens, John Taylor, H.O. Isbell, M.T. Workman, F.M. Bailey, H. Anglin, and V.B. Strader. In 1934, the Tatman bells were dedicated, given by Grandpa Tatman to celebrate his three grandsons, Henri Chomeau IV, Spencer Tatman Gould and Bernal Tatman Chomeau. In 1945, the Board of Stewards voted to excavate the basement of the stone church to create an assembly room and additional classrooms. In 1950, the church acquired the Hickman residence on Clay and Adams which became known as the Wesley House.  This gave us extra classrooms and a parking lot.  The education building attached to the stone church was built in 1956.  The sanctuary was enlarged by including the former classrooms on the Washington Street side.  The choir loft was enlarged and the organ (originally built and installed in 1901) was rebuilt. The population of Kirkwood was now 18,640 and still growing.  KUMC’s membership numbers 1,188.  Sunday School attendance averaged 270.  In 1957, under Rev. Harvey Anglin, we consecrated an educational building addition that included a gym, youth lounge and Sunday School rooms.  In 1964 the present sanctuary was built on the Wesley House site and a 3-story education building was erected on the stone church site.  It was consecrated on February 2, 1964.  Our pastor was Val Strader.  The Tatman bells were moved to the new bell tower and a fourth Tatman bell was donated by Aunt Hattie (Harriet Tatman) for the fourth grandson, David Chomeau. The church property sat on 2.6 acres with total building square feet worth $3,000,000.  The sanctuary had a seating capacity of 650.  There were 32 Sunday School rooms and nine administrative offices.  Church membership was 1,400; envisioned growth was 3,000 members

Missouri State House Resolution
Sunday, June 30
10:00 am 
Local State House Representative, Deb Lavender presented KUMC with a State House Resolution honoring Kirkwood United Methodist Church’s 150th Anniversary.
KUMC’s History
(1919 -1969)
The 150 Year Committee presented a skit to tell the second 50 years of of KUMC’s history THE ONE service on  June 30, 2019.

June 30th – A Celebration of Marriage, and Women and
Children’s Groups and School at KUMC
June is a popular month for weddings, and KUMC has a long history of those. We celebrated with a display of Kirkwood United Methodist Wedding stories and perhaps even a wedding dress from long ago.
Another “Building Dressers, Furnishing Hope Mission” Project was sponsored on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3.  This mission event produced 50  new Ikea dressers for Home Sweet Home to be able to provide their clients, giving each child a dresser of their own!
Sunday, November 10, at 4 pm, the Music Ministry of Kirkwood United Methodist Church presened a hymn festival concert.  In celebration of KUMC’s 150th Anniversary, the concert featured hymns from each of the 50 year segments.
All of KUMC’s choirs (Chancel Choir, Journey Youth Choir, the children’s Celebration and Cherub Choirs) and Bel Canto’s Women’s Vocal Ensemble participated in the concert. Musicial accompaniment was provided by the contemporary band, piano, organ, Wesley Bells and a brass quintet. Organist Dana Self and Pianist Jan Bays played hymn arrangements for the organ and piano including one duet.