MORLEY -- The Morley Wesleyan Church is celebrating its 170th birthday this month.
A “Back to Church Sunday” will be held Sept. 15 at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon.
The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Morley opened its doors Sept. 23, 1843 as part of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America, an offshoot of the Methodist church.
The Methodist church’s views on slavery caused Rev. Orange Scott, an abolitionist, and others to split into a new group.
A group had been meeting in Morley for several years under the leadership of John Byington. Byington attended the conference at which the Methodist split occurred, and the local congregation decided to affiliate with the splinter group, leading to the creation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Morley.
Rev. Lyndon King, a circuit preacher, was the first pastor.
The church still meets in the same building, built in 1843. The church parsonage next door to the church is also original, built in 1845. It is rumored that the parsonage was a stop on the Underground Railroad, according to the church’s treasurer Ralph Williams.
The church was recently renovated, with a new roof, windows, and siding. The interior was also completely renovated. A community room was added, and the sanctuary received new sheetrock, oak wainscoting, paint, and carpeting.
The church has partnered with the Morley Library, Morley Fire Department, and Morley Heritage Grist Mill to hold the Morley Summer Fest in recent years. The group also hosts hunter safety classes and held a Trunk-or-Treat last year, with a repeat anticipated this season. A soccer camp and vacation bible school was offered in July.
For more information visit www.morleywesleyanchurch.org or visit the church’s facebook page.