Members of the First United Methodist Church of Glendale recently celebrated the completion of a renovation of the building’s exterior.
About 115 years ago, a group of Glendale residents started the church with a wood-frame structure at Wilson Avenue and Dayton Court.
By 1914, a new building was needed because of the growth of the church, so, in 1917, a red brick building was built at the corner of Kenwood Street and Wilson Avenue, according to church officials.
A third sanctuary was needed for continued growth so, in 1953, a building campaign was started. In 1961, a new sanctuary was completed, and it now stands at the corner of Broadway and Kenwood.
About three years ago, the church’s trustees decided they wanted to open the front of the church to be more visible to the community.
The congregation, at that time, raised $1.34 million for the project, according to Steve Cameron, chair of the building committee, in a statement.
What followed were a new door for the front of the church, and the 15-foot-tall front wall was torn down to make way for the new exterior, he said.
Also, flowers, plants and small trees were added and a side yard for preschool students was created, Cameron said.
“People driving or walking by will be able to see the beauty of our church sanctuary,” Cameron said in a recent Verdugo Views column by Katherine Yamada in the Glendale News-Press.
“We recognize that the church has been hidden to those walking or driving along Broadway,”said Richard C. Garner, the church’s current senior pastor in the same column.
Taking down the wall means that “the congregation will need to create more ways to be in contact with the community even as it moves out into the area to offer itself in ministry,” he added.