History

The church now known as Pendleton Center United Methodist Church got its start in the early 1800s as the First Methodist Episcopal Church, with a gathering of a few families that met in each other’s homes to study the Bible and worship God. The congregation grew large enough, and on April 12, 1851, agreed to build their first church building. The property was located on Bear Ridge Road. For the next 100 years, they were a small, but committed country congregation that served the farm families around the hamlet of Pendleton Center, New York and shared a pastor with many different surrounding Methodist congregations.

In the 60s, new families were moving to Pendleton, and the church had a thriving Sunday School with around 100 children. On April 29, 1969, the ground was broken for a new church building at 6864 Campbell Boulevard to house the flourishing congregation with young families, which included a modern two-story structure with a large sanctuary, kitchen, and fellowship hall. Pastor Gordon Voght was pastor of the church during this time and stayed for 16 years.

In the 1980s, the church had a series of pastors and changes, and the congregation declined to about 40 people in attendance.

In 1990, Rev. Thomas M. Kraft, was appointed to lead the congregation. The church began to grow again, and in 1997 the current sanctuary was constructed.

In the ensuing years, the congregation continued to grow into the largest United Methodist Church in the area. As the ministries expanded, it became apparent the congregation needed more room for the varied ministries of the church. In 2006 grand opening was held for a new Family Life Center adding space for ministries from music to movies, art to adult Bible studies, dancing to dining and people ages one to one-hundred!

In July 2020, Rev. Dr. Cathy Hall Stengel was appointed to lead the church, beginning her appointment admist a pandemic.

While many things have changed over the years, Pendleton Center Church is still, in many ways, like a small country church. We still have church dinners and small groups; we care about each other and want everyone to feel like they belong.