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Christ United Methodist Church will observe 125 years of ministry in the Salt Lake Valley come Sunday, April 23.

Pastor Jean Schwien says all are welcome to join the congregation at 2375 E. 3300 South in celebrating the historic anniversary.

A 9 a.m. reception is planned in the church's gymnasium, followed by a worship service at 10:30 a.m. to be led by Schwien and several former CUMC pastors. Performances from all of the church's musical groups, including two vocal choirs, two handbell choirs and the congregation's youth praise band, also are on the program.

"We are excited to celebrate this special day," Schwien says."This church has been a powerful witness to God's love as we have worked to care for folks who are at risk for hunger, homelessness and poverty. I am proud to serve a congregation that welcomes all people from all walks of life."

The church's Utah origins stretch back to 1892, when it first launched with a tent service near 400 South and 700 East as the Liberty Park Methodist Church, under the Rev. E. G. Hunt. The church's first building was dedicated Oct. 30, 1892, at the northeast corner of 900 South and 800 East.

In 1952, the congregation bought and temporarily moved into the Crest Theater, 2021 E. 2700 South. The church then bought 1.6 acres at its current 3300 South site, erecting its first building the following year and expanding the campus with additions through 1963. In 1966, a new sanctuary opened; a gymnasium and additional classrooms were built in 2005.

Utah's Methodist presence predates even its predominant Mormon faith — to 1826, when Jedediah Smith, a lay preacher, fur trapper and explorer, arrived in the territory. Before construction of the first Methodist church in the Salt Lake Valley, the faith was known for its tent revival meetings and school programs for the region's children.

For more information about the 125th anniversary celebration or the church, call 801-486-5473.

Bob Mims

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