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A SHORT HISTORY FROM THE 40-YEAR MERGER CELEBRATION - HELD MARCH 2015
The current Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 757 Willow St., (the corner of 8th and Willow Streets) in Lebanon, evolved from the merger in 1975 of Centenary United Methodist Church (formerly Centenary Methodist Church) at Eighth and Willow Streets and Trinity United Methodist Church (formerly Trinity Evangelical United Brethren Church) at Ninth and Willow Streets.
Centenary Methodist Church, founded in 1840, was the first Methodist church in Lebanon. The year 2015 marks 175 year of Methodist in Lebanon due to the founding of this church. Trinity EUB, originally formed as a German-speaking church in 1867, became the first English-speaking EUB church in Lebanon. Both denominations have illustrious histories in the formation of formal religious education in Lebanon County.
Trinity and Centenary became sister United Methodist churches in 1968 when the Methodist and the Evangelical United Brethren denominations merged, resulting in two churches of the same denomination gathering within a block of one another. Under the caring leadership of Rev. Thomas Anderman (Centenary, 1968-1975) and Rev. Harold Beamesderfer (Trinity, 1962-1975), the congregations engaged in community projects that revealed their common love and service to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the people of Lebanon. The congregations of both churches voted to merge with one another and create one United Methodist Church. Rev. Anderman and Rev. Beamesderfer prepared their churches well for the merger.
Following the merger, the congregants of these two churches made the decision to keep the name Trinity, and to build a new church at the site of Centenary Church, with a first floor sanctuary (at the time the church had a second floor sanctuary). Demolition began in the fall of 1977, and the first concrete block was laid in February 1978. The fist service in the new church was held on September 9, 1979.
With the merger, both Rev. Anderman and Rev. Beamesderfer were appointed to other churches within the Conference, and the Rev. Dr. John S. Carter took over as the first pastor of the merged Trinity UMC. Rev. Dr. Carter served as pastor from 1975 to 1987. Now retired, Rev. Dr. Carter resides at Cornwall Manor with his wife, Phyllis, and attends Trinity when not serving the Conference as a pastor for other churches.
Recent pastors who have served include: The Rev. Charles Bartolett (1987-1991); The Rev. Glenn Fisher (1991-1998); The Rev. Edward Tucker (1998-2004); The Rev. Mark Young (2004-2008); The Rev. Alice Ann Bonham (2008-2014); and The Rev. Lynn Hackman (2014--), who is currently serving as Trinity's pastor.