Our Rich History
Berwyn United Methodist Church boasts a remarkable history that spans over a century, beginning in 1881. Our commitment and devotion to our Lord and community have remained steadfast throughout the years.
In 1881, Reverend Andrew Cather organized a Sunday School in Devon, held in a small frame chapel called the Eagle Methodist Episcopal Church. Unfortunately, a storm demolished this building in 1883. Subsequently, services were relocated to Berwyn Hall in 1884, where the church officially established itself as part of the Salem charge. Thus, 1884 marks the official founding date of our church.
The Methodists acquired a lot extending from Church Avenue (now Main Avenue) to Waterloo Road in Berwyn in 1884. Ground was broken for a new building in 1887, and it was completed and dedicated as the Berwyn M. E. Church in 1888. Over the years, this church underwent several additions and improvements until its eventual sale to the neighboring Trinity Presbyterian Church in 1961. Today, the structure serves as the home of the Footlighters Theater.
In 1956, the congregation purchased the current church property on Waterloo Avenue from the Misses Coates. Construction of an education building, fellowship hall, and a parsonage took place, and these were dedicated in 1958. Subsequently, in 1961, eight new classrooms and a kitchen were added to accommodate the growing community.
The groundbreaking for our new sanctuary took place in 1966, and it was consecrated as Berwyn Methodist Church in 1967. In 1968, our church's name was changed to Berwyn United Methodist Church. As a testament to our continued growth and dedication, a new parsonage was constructed on the church property in 1984.
The Facilities Improvement Project of 2000-2004 was born out of our congregation's recognition of the need for an improved and expanded physical structure. With the support of a $1.5M capital campaign, groundbreaking occurred on March 17, 2002, for a family life center—a versatile auditorium, dining hall, and sports court, complete with a state-of-the-art institutional kitchen. Additionally, the entrance/parlor area was enhanced and expanded, featuring a new library, renovated offices, meeting rooms, and a fine arts/choir room. The project was completed in late 2003, and the new family life center was named Schieck Hall, after the former Fellowship Hall.
Today, as we revel in the accomplishments of our recent building project, we give thanks for God's providence in the life of our church and the wider community. We are grateful for the steadfast leadership and unwavering support of our congregation and pastors throughout the remarkable history of Berwyn United Methodist Church.