By Portia Williams
SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — A century, equating to 100 years for anything, is a very long time. The congregation of Sunshine United Methodist Church (UMC), located at 16 Tygarts Bend Rd. in South Shore, Ky. will be celebrating 100 years of ministry, from 1915-2015 on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, at 10 a.m. in church sanctuary.
Rev. Bob Sweeney is the current Pastor of Sunshine UMC, Charles Mallory, said he was asked to sort of head up the putting together the historical information aspect of the event. Mallory retired from pastoring Sunshine UMC in 2008.
“The church was formed in February 12,1915, by a group of local people that had attended a revival service and it was determined that they needed to have a church out in the community called , ‘Sunshine,’” ? said. “It was a South Shore address, but the community was called Sunshine. There was a revival meeting in the Sunshine School house, and it was Rev. James Rayburn that headed it up, and he became the first pastor at Sunshine.”
According to Mallory they had 70 charter members at the time of the establishment of the church.
“They took up a collection, and they got the process started to build a wood framed church,” he said. “That church building actually burned down in 1922, so they only had it about seven years. But they rebuilt on the same foundation and used it until about 1954. What they did is raised a church up just a little bit, and moved it back and built a brick church. That is the building that we are in now.
Since that time, he said they have added on the the church building, and have acquired a few houses that land was on to avoid being land-locked.
He said it has been by the grace of God that the church has been able to maintain for so long.
“It has been the Lord Jesus that has sustained us, and taken us this far, ” ? said. People need to have him as their Lord and Savior.” That is part of the commission that Jesus gave us, to reach out to people with his love and his grace, and his forgiveness. It is through his unconditional love and acceptance of all people, and down through the years that is what has brought many people into the church.”
During the years, even before I came to the church, there was a singing group, and we traveled around to different churches doing a Christmas Cantata,” he said. “That evolved into more of a witnessing opportunity. “It also brought in other people who wanted to sing from other churches, who joined us. One of the highlighted years was under Dr. Phil Brown, a local dentist, and one year we did about 15 performances, traveling to different churches, and that really kept us busy.
One of the other activities which the church has been active in and maintained, has been a youth camp at Camp Tarhe that would meet during the summer, which was started by a member named Sam Filmore.
“Many of the members have kept that camp going over the last several years now,” he said. “It is out in the Blue Creek area.”
He said the church is continuing to be impactful, and is still vibrant and growing.
“We average about 80 or 90 people weekly, and the people are still active and very involved, We are still studying the Bible, helping others, and then helping out in the community,” he said.
Rev. Farley Stuart will be bringing the message for the 100th year celebration, and there will be special singing and favorite memories will be shared throughout the day. Nursery will be provided.
The celebration will conclude with dinner immediately following the service which will be approximately at noon. Meat drinks, rolls, dessert and table service will be provided. He said everyone is invited to come out and celebrate with Sunshine UMC on Sept. 13, at 10 a.m.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.