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Kansas City church celebrates 100 years in community

Posted at 1:57 PM, Oct 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-27 05:53:36-04

A Kansas City church is celebrating 100 years in the community.

Avondale United Methodist Church was established near North Bellefountaine Avenue and Walnut Road in 1914 by 20 people.

Jim Prather’s grandparents were among the original members.

“I'm going on 75, it was the first church that obviously I knew and I got baptized here,” he said.

The first church was a small white building. In 1958, the congregation moved just a few blocks down the road to 3101 NE Winn Rd. The new building is much larger and can accommodate the now 350 members.

“Well, it's amazing, it really is,” said Prather. “To come from this little church to the big church.”

On Oct. 26, 1958, church members marched from the original building to the new one. On this same day in 2014, members did the exact same thing.

“Rejoicing that God's been active in our lives and our congregation has sought to be faithful in God's guidance,” said Senior Pastor Gary Ponder Williams. “Rejoicing in all the connections that people have made through the years.”

Many families have held celebrations in this church.

“Patsy and I, my wife, were married there in the big church and both the girls have been married there in the big church,” Prather said.

Williams said now that they have reached the 100-year milestone, he hopes for many more to come.

“Look forward to seeing how what all who have gone before us have provided as a solid foundation,” he said. “We're building on it for all the years to come and rejoicing in the connections with the community.”

The church is also celebrating $100,000 raised through its thrift store this year. It also operates a food pantry that is open one day a week for families in need.