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In March 1874, a Methodist Episcopal Conference was held in Strathroy and Rev. A.E. Griffith was appointed to go to St. Thomas to build a mission. He arrived in May to find no building and no congregation. He held his first service in the ladies waiting room of the Canada Southern Railway Station. Five people attended, three men and two women. Services continued at that site for six months.
More people began attending and a site for a church building was chosen at the corner of Moore and Wellington Streets, and on October 15, 1874, Central Methodist Church was dedicated. When the building was twelve years old, a addition was needed, and by 1894 the membership had reached 700 and further expansion took place. In 1897 a famous team of evangelists, Crossley and Hunter were stationed in St. Thomas and began attending worship. They were the first to give financial backing toward building a "new church" on the site at Moore and Wellington Sts and the building that stands there today was built.
In 1925 the "new churches name was changed from Central Methodist to Central United.
Expansion continued and in 1950 the 'Memorial Hall' was built on the West side of the main building and in 1960 a 'Christian Education' wing was built over the Memorial Hall to accommodate the church offices, Sunday School classrooms and the Upper Parlour. New ramps allowing for easier access were added in 1981 and 1986. During renovations in 1997 many changes were made to make the building "barrier free" one of which was a lift that would provide access to all parts of the church.
Central United is known for its beautiful stained glass windows which have been featured in many magazines and books. As well, the sanctuary of the church is noted for having "amazing acoustics" and has been referred to as a "mini Massey Hall". Not surprising, as both Massey Hall and Central United Church were designed by the same architect, Sidney R. Badgley.
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