Whaley United Methodist Church in Gainesville is celebrating its 125th year of presence in the city with a weekend of fellowship, reunion and worship.

Events are open to the public and are set for Aug. 25, and Aug. 26, at the church, 701 Rosedale St. in Gainesville.

The Whaley church started in Gainesville as the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church on Broadway Street, just across from where the Tom Thumb supermarket is now.

After a fire destroyed the original building, Whaley Memorial Methodist Church was built on the corner of California Street and Grand Avenue, where Pro Cuts now sits. The current building, on Rosedale Street, was built in the early 1970s.

Some of the highlights of Whaley’s ministry are the annual chicken spaghetti dinner and country store, with proceeds benefitting local charities, and the annual Thanksgiving meal served at the Stanford House, free to anyone who needs a place to enjoy a holiday meal. For children of the community, Whaley also provides a “Trick or Trunk” event on Halloween, and, in 2012, celebrated Easter with the first annual “Bunnypalooza!”

The weekend celebration will begin with a rehearsal of the Whaley Reunion Choir at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Anyone who has ever had a connection with the Whaley Choir is welcome to join in. Two anthems will be learned and prepared for the Sunday morning worship service. At 6 p.m., all Whaley families, past and present, will join for an indoor picnic and gospel singing led by Jayne Austin.

The celebration will continue on Sunday, with Sunday School classes meeting at 9:15 a.m., a time of fellowship at 10:15 a.m., and the celebration worship service at 10:30 a.m.

The service will include the music of the reunion choir, special guest speakers, a brief history of Whaley and recognition of people and families with long Whaley ties.

Following the service will be a luncheon to round out the celebration.

For more information, call (940) 665-5588.


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