Congregants at in Wildwood this month are celebrating the church's 50th birthday.
Starting as Ellisville United Methodist Church before being relocated to its current, larger Wildwood location, the congregation has been in existence since in 1962.
Following is a historical recap from the church's website:
On January 7, 1962, Living Word’s first worship service was held in its temporary home – Ellisville Elementary School. Our church had 115 charter members. In September 1962, groundbreaking ceremonies were held at 15977 Clayton Road in Ellisville. On June 2, 1963, the first worship service in the new building was held. From 1962-2007, the church was known as Ellisville United Methodist Church and was renamed Living Word United Methodist Church as part of the transition process which officially took effect for the Church and the Early Childhood Center in 2008.
Growth has always been a part of our history. There were dramatic increases in worship and Sunday School attendance, and the budget had grown to $33,000 in the mid-1970’s as Living Word broadened its ministries to the community. Groundbreaking for expanded facilities, including a fellowship hall, conference room and offices, was held on August 24, 1975.
Living Word continued to grow and add church ministries and staff. In October 1988 groundbreaking for new construction began, which included a new sanctuary. The very successful Living Word Early Childhood Center (LWECC) began with a Mother’s Day Out program, and in 1993 a preschool was added. This important children’s ministry of Living Word, LWECC, continues to be a wonderful outreach ministry to our community.
Early in 1999, the church’s Administrative Council established a committee to study the needs of our ever-growing church population. In May 2000, the congregation voted to take the first step toward moving the church to a new site for expansion. On January 5, 2001 the church purchased the land for our current home in Wildwood, Missouri. Soon after, the Building Committee was formed and the architects began dreaming with ministry leaders and staff to design our new facility. The Shine Jesus Shine (building campaign) began in April 2001. In 2002 the planning continued with the city of Wildwood and St. Louis County and the name “ Living Word United Methodist Church ” was chosen. Construction began on our new Living Word facility in July 2006 and our Grand Opening Celebration took place on April 6, 2008.
Living Word representatives host a variety of community service projects, and the church building serves as a West St. Louis County hub to several types of programs. For example, more than 450 leaders will gather at Living Word for the Willowcreek Global Leadership Summit Simulcast Aug. 9 and 10. The summit includes some of the best speakers from around the world. Registration to participate is $75 each.
Another annual event attended by many in the area is the Celebration of Women Banquet. This year, it will be May 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Support groups also meet at Living Word during week nights.
A robust offering of Bible study units, children camps, youth activities and adult programs are available. The on-site Living Word Early Childhood Center services children 15 months to 6 years old.
A variety of causes are supported by Living Word. One example is a $201,157 raised in the Ghana Project Christmas Miracle Offering.
Congregants held a birthday cake social for the 50th birthday last Sunday.
For more details about Living Word's programs, worship times and ministries, click here.