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A brief history of Oxford UMC

August 29, 2012 - In this section of Oakland County, Methodists began meeting in people's homes in 1834, but it wasn't until 1837 that they formally organized in Oxford.

It's to this group that the modern Oxford United Methodist Church (OUMC) traces its lineage. However, it didn't become a United Methodist Church until 1968. Prior to that, it was called Oxford Methodist Episcopal Church.

Services were held in a schoolhouse until the first church was built in 1843 on N. Washington St. near Church St. in the village. The church was moved in 1858 to the east side of N. Washington St., about a half block north of Burdick St.

A new church was constructed in 1868-69 at 21 E. Burdick St., the site where OUMC would spend the next 143 years.

A violent cyclone hit the Oxford area on Aug. 2, 1934. The church's towering steeple was blown off, causing heavy damage to the front of the church. The steeple landed on the sun porch of a home on the other side of E. Burdick St.

Services were held in the high school auditorium until the rebuilding was completed. Worship resumed at the church in January 1935.

A two-level educational building was constructed behind the church in 1960-61 to accommodate growing Sunday school classes and fellowship activities.

In the 1970s, OUMC moved its sanctuary into the educational building and held services there. After standing for 109 years, the historic church building was finally demolished in 1978.

In 1999, OUMC built a major addition to the existing educational building/sanctuary, which resulted in the church folks see and use today.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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