History

Maize Manor Methodist Church was organized by the Columbus District of the Ohio Conference, and held its first meeting on September 15, 1956, at Northridge Elementary School, 935 Northridge Rd.  The Rev. William Ervin was appointed Pastor.  On the same day, the lot at 3901 Maize Rd. was cleared and a sign was erected to show this as the future site of the newly organized church.  The building site was provided through the generosity of the Columbus District Methodist Union and Dr. Norris Lenahan.  On Oct. 28 of that year, Dr. John Dickhout, District Superintendent, received 30 charter members into the newly organized church, and the Women’s Society of Christian Service was formed.

 

In June 1957, the Rev. Robert Meredith was assigned to serve the new church.  A building committee was appointed, and a successful campaign conducted.  A parsonage was purchased at 3900 Maize Road.  The first meeting of the WSCS (now United Methodist Women) was held March 24, 1957, with 30 charter members.

 

On April 25, 1958 Maize Manor Methodist Church was incorporated in the State of Ohio as a non-profit organization.

 

In September 1960, a merger was completed with Grace Methodist Church, which was located on Fifth Ave. On April 23, 196l, ground was broken for a new building at 3901 Maize Rd., and the cornerstone for the first unit was laid on May 28, 196l.  The first service was held in “Grace Chapel” (now Fellowship Hall) on November 12, 1961.  On Dec. 10, 1961, the new building was consecrated by Bishop Hazen G. Werner, assisted by District Superintendent Louis Wolters.

 

The first Homecoming was held May 26, 1963, and the art window in “Grace Chapel” (Fellowship Hall) was memorialized in the name of O.W. Ford, a former Pastor of Grace Methodist.  In June of that year the Rev. George Brown was appointed as Pastor.

 

The Methodist Men were organized on March 29, 1966 with 50 in attendance at their first dinner meeting.  In February 1966 a fund drive raised over $123,000 and plans were made to build the sanctuary and parlor unit. Ground breaking was held on April 16, 1967 with the congregation participating by outlining the new building and breaking ground together.  Over 500 were in attendance on Christmas Eve, 1967 when the new sanctuary was consecrated.   Our preschool was established in 1967.

 

In 1968 we became Maize Manor United Methodist Church through the merger of the E. U. B. and Methodist Churches. In August 1969 D. Richard Harrold, a student at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio became our first Student Assistant Minister.  In October 1969, the Friendship Guild was organized.  Dr. George Beebe became our first Associate Minister in August 197l.

 

The Rev. O. Gene Wells was appointed Senior Pastor in June 1972.

 

In October of 1972 the new parsonage at 1010 Janet Dr. was completed and a consecration service was held on November 5.

 

In April of 1974 the Rose Garden was established in memory of Florence L. Bowman and her parents, Hazel and Lewis Ray Venneman.  The Bell Choir was formed in January 1976.

 

In September 1978 the Rev. Wilbur Vorhis came to Maize Manor as Minister of Visitation, a position he continued to fill until his death in 1984.

 

In June 1979 the two lots at the corner of Maize and Norris were purchased with final payment being made in March 1983.

 

The Rev. Lowell Nelson was appointed Senior Pastor in June 1980.  In the fall of 1981, the decision was made to add a full time Associate Pastor to our staff, and in June 1982 the Rev. C. David Long was appointed to that position.

 

In June 1983 the congregation approved the purchase of a second parsonage at 995 Overbrook Service Drive, and in October our Associate Pastor and his family moved into the newly acquired home.  In September of that year we celebrated the final payment on the sanctuary with a Mortgage Burning ceremony.

 

The Rev. James N. Spears was appointed to the position of Associate Pastor in June 1985, when Rev. Long was moved to a new church.

 

New playground equipment, provided by the preschool, plus other gifts and donations, was installed by many volunteers from the church in September that year.  Funds borrowed from the savings and loan to purchase the second parsonage, including all reserve funds used for that project, were repaid in March 1985, so at the end of 1985 the church was completely debt free.

 

A Building Committee was elected in June 1986 to develop plans for expansion of our educational facilities.  Expansion was completed in 1988, along with remodeling of the existing building.  Air conditioning was added to the sanctuary, parlor, and chapel.  The Rev. Larry Smiley was appointed Associate Pastor in June 1988.

 

Dr. and Mrs. Norris Lenahan, our neighbors to the north, donated approximately one acre of their land to Maize Manor in the fall of 1989.  This ground became immediately available for any use we might see fit.  A shelter house and picnic area was soon completed in this area.

 

The Rev. Rich Thomas was appointed Senior Pastor in June 1991.  In June of 1992 Rob Dauber was hired as Student Associate Pastor, and Rev. Jim Stevenson as Minister of Visitation.

 

In 1993 we became active in the Interfaith Hospitality Network, hosting homeless families for a week, every 12 weeks.  Maize Manor reaches out with food, shelter, and compassion for those who need help.  A shower stall was added in the handicapped equipped restroom to accommodate these guests.

 

In November 1994, Cynthia Danals was assigned to our church as our new Student Associate, replacing Rob Dauber, who had completed his seminary training.

 

The Rev. Rich Thomas and his family were transferred to Milford, Ohio and replaced by the Rev. Webster G. Cox and his wife Sherry in November, 1995.  They were replaced in 1998 by the Rev. P. James Freshour and his wife, Mary Kay.

 

In June, 1996 Cynthia Danals was assigned to her first charge in the North Canton area.  She was replaced by Amy Wood and her husband, Joel.  In 2002, Rev. Wood was replaced by the Rev. Becky Piatt, and her husband Cameron.

 

On September 14, 1996, Maize Manor celebrated its 40th Anniversary, with many of our former pastors attending.

Some of our extremely successful events continue to be the Mother/Child Event, Spaghetti Dinner, Ice Cream Social, Rummage Sale, Friday Night Live youth event, Bible School, and Corn Roast.

 

A new sound and media booth were completed in December 2001, and an ascending screen added in 2004.  Other developments include adding a Contemporary Service in the sanctuary at 9:45 a.m., begun in September 2002.  We call this the Lighthouse, with music provided by our worship team.  It has a relaxed atmosphere, with a variety of drama, media and other unique elements that are used to tell the biblical story of the day.

 

As we wind up the 2005/2006 year our Associate Pastor, Becky Piatt, was appointed as Senior Pastor of Church of the Savior in Westerville, Ohio.

 

The Rev. P. James Freshour retired on June 30, 2010 and The Rev. Gloria B. Brooks became our Senior Pastor. Rev. Brooks retired on November 30, 2013. During the interim period from December 1, 2013 to December 1, 2014, The Revs. Colleen Ogle, David Hood and Sara Thomas served as our pastors.

 

In 2014 we began fund raising to update our playground. The new playground was dedicated on June 14, 2015.

 

On December 1, 2014 we welcomed our new pastor The Rev. Ryan L. Grace, his wife Mariellyn and his three children, Will, Eva & Lily. Pastor Grace comes to us from The Church of the Messiah. On December 28, 2015, a new daughter arrived at the Grace home. Laurie Ellyn Grace.