Our Journey of Faith
Boone Methodist Episcopal Church South was chartered in 1866 and began meeting as a congregation in the county courthouse. As the church family grew, the need for their own building became evident. In 1877, a “barn” building was erected on West Queen Street. Over the next decade, this congregation continued to grow and develop, so in 1897, the church relocated to a new frame building on what is now 410 West King Street.
Continued growth caused this building to be inadequate, and a new site for the church was purchased in 1918. Opening services were held for the 247 member congregation in June 1923, at what is now 341 East King Street.
The church united with three major branches of Methodists in 1939, and the name became Boone Methodist Church. In 1964, the Wesley Foundation building was constructed for the Appalachian State University students who had been using church facilities. By 1956, the church had grown to 393 members. An additional educational facility was built and dedicated in 1958 for $87,000.
In 1968, the Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United Brethren. The church family became known as the Boone United Methodist Church. By 1981, the congregation was 700 members strong. On July 1, 1981, while the roof was being repaired, a tar pot exploded resulting in the destruction of the sanctuary by fire. Immediately a building committee was named, and a new building on the same site was begun in 1982 at a cost of over $1.2 million. The new edifice was completed in 1984, and the debt was paid within seven years!!
From 1984 through 1992, the church served the Kingdom from 423 West King Street. Continued growth had increased the congregation to over 1,100 members, which was straining the available parking and church facilities.
Relocating the 1,100 member congregation to 471 New Market Boulevard was the largest challenge the congregation ever faced. It was through the vision of the Holy Spirit and an enormous amount of prayer that made it successful. By the time the new facility was erected and equipped for ministry, the cost was over $8 million.
A 14-foot cross, hanging in the sanctuary, was custom made by two church members from trees that were removed from the site. The communion rail was fashioned into prayer rails. A new circular stained glass window was created to complement the existing stained glass windows and is a focal point in the sanctuary.
The structure offers over 40,000 square feet of education and recreation space. Although a child development center has been a part of our ministry since the 1970’s, the new facility has allowed for our preschool (BUMP) and other ministries to be expanded.
In the fall of 2007, a merger between BUMC and Blackburn’s Chapel, in Todd, was unanimously approved, allowing weekly worship services with guest speakers and special music. Attendance and fellowship opportunities have flourished. Gerry Coffey says, “The congregation of Blackburn’s Chapel are grateful to the Boone United Methodist Church for their step in faith.”
The Holy Spirit continues to work within our congregation and leadership. Many of our “Visions” from the past are now a reality. Allowing the community the use of our facilities is one way our church is expanding God’s Kingdom. By listening to God’s will and hearing His vision for us now, in the present, our Journey of Faith continues into the future with New Visions to expand His Kingdom.