KUMC set to celebrate 90 years

Kalem United Methodist Church will celebrate its 90th anniversary on Sunday, August 5.

“It has been 90 years of a church that has loved the community, helped the community and has always been there for families that come to learn God,” said  Scott Adcox current KUMC pastor. “This church has been vital to the community and a crucial part of many families living in the community and surrounding areas.”

In 1928 the Zion Grove Methodist Church dissolved and left the community with no accessible Methodist church. Kalem United Methodist Church was founded in August of 1928 with M. M. Black as the first pastor. On August 5, 1928, Reverend Black took to the pulpit for the church’s first service which was held in the old Concord School. The newly founded church embraced several members from the former Zion Grove Methodist Church and received eight local members through a profession of faith and KUMC was officially born.

Since those days 90 years ago the church, and its congregation, have witnessed a lot of changes in Kalem. During that time the church has remained a backbone in the community always having its doors open to those looking to find God or just looking to find help.

The church was named Kalem United Methodist by charter members Beatrice Stevenson, Annie Marler and Merle Herring Horne, and the original church was built in 1930. The church has grown throughout its 90 years and been through numerous building projects in order to adequately fit its congregation.

On September 12, 1954, the Resident Bishop of the Jackson Area of the Methodist Church, Bishop Marvin A. Franklin, formally dedicated the building housing the church for worship of God and the service of men. By 1969 the church went through some growing pains as many of the congregation’s children and young adults had grown up and left the community. As a direct result the church went without Methodist Youth Fellowship services for close to 20 years. By September 1985 the community and the congregation had grown to the point that the church started regularly scheduled Sunday School, Sunday evening Bible study and choir programs for children, youths and adults. These fellowship services have continued uninterrupted since 1985 and the church is happy to have five regular Sunday School classes every Sunday morning. 

Throughout its 90-year history KUMC has not only survived it has thrived and played a instrumental role in keeping Kalem a close-knit community. “The church is excited about the 90th anniversary celebration which will include former pastor Dr. Wally Carson and Drew Herring who is the current Youth Minister at Batesville United Methodist Church,” says Adcox. “The service is going to be great as we celebrate the church’s life and the future to come.”

The celebration service will begin at 10:30 a.m. A potluck lunch will immediately follow the services and all activities will be at Kalem United Methodist Church located at 8320 Hwy 80 in the Kalem Community.