150 Years of History
The Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church dates back to 1852, when Wayne Township residents began to meet for worship in Montgomery Chapel, at the corner of Chambersburg and Endicott Roads. When, in 1871, Montgomery Chapel was destroyed by fire, the brick structure that is still being used as our Chapel was built on Taylorsville Road, just east of the settlement known as Sulphur Grove. In 1935, a brick parsonage was erected on the adjacent lot west of the church. The population of Wayne Township had increased to such a point in 1951, that a brick classroom and fellowship addition was added, replacing a small, frame back room.
In the mid-1950’s the development of Huber Homes began. By 1961, it was necessary to add a second addition to the church structure for more fellowship and education space, converting part of the 1951 building to overflow seating for worship.
Wayne Township officially became the City of Huber Heights in 1981. The development of Huber Heights, with new construction here and in neighboring townships, continues to this day. The Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church has always believed this to be God’s church, and that all persons are welcome here. The natives were quickly outnumbered, and Sulphur Grove took on a community church atmosphere.
In the 1960’s, it became necessary to have two worship services. The pattern of growth leveled off late in the 1970’s, but as the 1980’s unfolded, the upward trend was seen again. In 1981, a new parsonage was purchased a mile south of the church. The former parsonage was converted to an office in 1982. When three Sunday worship hours were instituted in 1984, it soon became clear that the earlier service was not the answer to Sulphur Grove’s space problems. The 10:45 service continued to strain the sanctuary’s 225-seat capacity.
Throughout the 1980’s, Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church experienced a net growth of 331 persons with 59% of the new members joining on Confession of Faith. At the end of the decade, membership passed 1,000 with an average Sunday worship attendance of 476. The predominately Caucasian church has welcomed Black, Asian and Hispanic families. The church continues to mirror its forefathers’ thinking, believing that this is God’s church, and that all persons are welcome here.
In 1984, a Study Committee was appointed which, based on community data, including new home construction forecasts, determined that Sulphur Grove could reasonably expect to grow to be a 1,500 member church. In 1985, a Building Committee was elected. Preliminary plans were drawn in 1986 and fund-raising was underway. Final approval to proceed with building a new sanctuary and gathering space was given on June 27, 1988.
The decision to build was crucial as the Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church opens its doors to the expanding community that would worship here. Sulphur Grove is the only thriving congregation in the Huber Heights community with a history pre-dating the building of Huber Homes. Accordingly, it is the only church with a “landmark” kind of building reflective of a traditional architectural style. The mid-western Gothic sanctuary is an invitation to many who pass this way, for it reminds them of what churches used to look like.
The 1989 sanctuary duplicates the south elevation of the 1871 chapel, expanded by one-third, and copies the brick work and the shape of the windows. The sanctuary seats 500. The Gathering Space, between the old and new structures, is suitable for persons to be together in an informal setting. 75% of the entire facility is accessible by persons with handicapping conditions.
We thank God for the privilege and opportunity of being in ministry together in this place at this time. We are blessed with a growing community and an increasing interest in the hunger for the kind of faith family Sulphur Grove Church has been and continues to be. The Kingdom grows at Sulphur Grove.