Warren County church celebrates 120 years of serving its community

White's Chapel UMC has been in the same spot since 1902.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:47 AM CDT
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DRAKE, Ky. (WBKO) - On Sunday, White’s Chapel United Methodist Church will be celebrating its 120-year anniversary with a Sunday morning service, food and live music.

Over the years, the church has seen many families and generations pass through its doors, some of which are still there today.

“We have a member that has just turned 92, and she joined when she was 12 years old. So she has been a member for 80 years,” Terry Regan, a member of the church said. “We have several members that have been members for 60 and 70 years that still attend.”

White’s Chapel UMC, originally started out as White’s Chapel Episcopal Church, in the Drake community of Bowling Green in 1902 and has been in that spot since.

“September 8, was really the birth of the church,” Pastor Marc Clark said. “At that time, the deed signed over was [for] two acres of land. And what they said is 60 square poles of the property. I’m not sure what 60 square poles of property means.”

The church sits on the same deeded property from its start with a few new additions over the years including indoor plumbing, the fellowship hall beside the main church, additional classrooms in the back, and parking.

While the building was torn down in the 1950s, to better preserve the structure, the original wood flooring is still part of what stands today.

“They tore it down to the floor, put the foundation under it, and then rebuilt a much taller, higher, higher roof. You can look and see that when you try to drive a nail, it’s real wood,” Reagan said. “It’s solid oak. And it’s been here through a lot of storms and a lot of winters and hot summers. We didn’t have concrete blocks in the 50s, we did. So when you look at the foundation, now it’s sitting on concrete blocks.”

In addition to the other changes made over the years, the church also added a steeple in 1995.

For members of the church, like Reagan, the building is more than just a place to visit for a few hours on a Sunday morning.

“We grew up in this church and, it does mean something to the community,” he said. “As our pastor says, all the time, it’s a special place, you can feel the Holy Spirit here. And you can, you can remember those that aren’t with us anymore.”

The church has served and continues to serve its community in many different ways, including going on missions and doing visitations at homes or other places in the community. They have also hosted a variety of different things at the church including weddings and other social gatherings.

“Ministry can take on a lot of hats,” Pastor Clark said. “We try to fill as many as possible. It’s challenging in today’s world because there are so many needs.”

Sunday’s celebration will start at 4 p.m. at the church on the lawn behind the fellowship hall. Hot dogs, chips, and other snacks will be served starting at 4:30 p.m., and music from the South Union Bluegrass Band will start around 5:00 p.m. The event is free for the public.

The church still remains in its original 1902 location off highway 622 in Drake, Kentucky. For more information about the church or the event on Sunday, visit its Facebook page.

Warren Co Church Community Celebration Flyer
Warren Co Church Community Celebration Flyer(White's Chapel UMC)