Our History

Our History.

Greencastle Church of the Nazarene was organized in 1917.  We are one congregation of a Church of the Nazarene, which has members in more than 150 nations around the world, whose mission is "To Make Christlike Disciples in All the Nations." 

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The Greencastle Church Of The Nazarene was organized on October 7th 1917 with 36 charter members. The charter was left open for a short time and a few more joined.This organization was under the direct leadership of Rev. Harry J. Elliot of New Castle, Indiana, and under the district leadership of Dr. U.E. Harding. The organization was the result of a revival meeting held under a tent located in Greencastle. The meeting was conducted by Rev. Guy McHenry, platform manager; Rev. August Neilson, Evangelist; Rev. and Mrs Jack Sanders, Song Evangelist, and Miss Juanita Carter, Pianoist. 

The first pastor was Rev. Guy McHenry. A place for worship was secured over the drug store on E. Washington Street, and became the home of the church for two years. In the fall of 1919 the Old Hotel on 217 E. Washington Street, was purchased and the upstairs was equipped for living quarters for the pastor and the downstairs was prepared for the worship. The church continued at this location for 18 years. 

In 1937, under the leadership of Rev. E.F. Singhurse, ground was purchased on N. Jackson Street, and a new church was built. The church and parsonage were arranged under one roof. 

During the depression, the Nazarene church would prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for all the hungry children in Greencastle. This outreach created a great opportunity for enlarging the children's minsitry. The church has the largest congregation in  Greencastle. Just the sunday school alone was over 300. 

In the fall of 1945, during Rev. Jesse Towns' leadership, an eight room parsonage was purchased on W. Washington Street, which made a comfortable home for the minister of the congregation.

In 1947, under the leadership of Rev. C.A. Newby, a program began to make new additions to the N. Jackson Street church building and also to remodel the entire structure. Four new Sunday School rooms were added, two vestibules were constructed and the entire church was veneered with Bedford Limestone. Fourteen art-glass windows were installed and a concrete drive was laid on the northside of the church. 

The first church bus was purchased in 1947 and during that time the church offered free bus service to all children of the city desiring to attend the church school. A second bus was purchased in 1959. 

June 15th 1952, Greencastle Church Of The Nazarene celebrated its 35th anniversary. The sermon was led by E.F. Singhurse of St. Bernice, Indiana. The congergation went to the city park for a picnic basket lunch upon returning to the church that afternoon for special singing and testimonials. That evening Mrs. Neva Bell York held an impressive service in the memory of all deceased members. 

In 1956, under the leadership of Rev. Mark Hamilton, an apartment building that was located in the rear of the church was purchased with the plan in mind to tear it down and make it into a parking lot. Also new pews and pulpit furniture was obtained. 

In 1959, under the leadership of Rev. Samual Schimpf, a building program was begun for a new education unit of 11 new rooms, plus an 18 foot extension for the upstair auditorium, plus an assembly room downstairs for the primary department. The labor was largely donated and was under the supervision of William Andrews who was the superintendent of the new building program. 

July 17th 1960 the church held a dedication service for the completion of the educational unit. The sermon was led by Dr. L.C. Davis, district superintendent of the Southwest District. Special singing was by the Gaither Trio from Alexandria, Indiana. 

In September of 1965, The official board of the Greencastle Church Of The Nazarene recommended that the parsonage purchased in 1945 located at 307 W Washington Street, be sold, and a new parsonage be purchased or built. The membership of the church voted approval of this action.

 

On October 18th, 1967, the official board purchased a lot at 510 Ritter Ave for $1600.00 

On June 10th 1968, the official board voted to build on the lot owned and appointed a subcommittee consisting of Vernon Abbott, Chairperson, Neve Belle York and Julian Jarvis to bring plans and recommendations for the parsonage back to the board. After very careful and prayerful study, the subcommittee presented two basic building plans to the official board on July 24th, 1968 and the board accepted these plans. Elmer Wells and Sons Bid was accepted for the construction of the parsonage for $24,500 at 510 Ritter. This home still stands today. 

On March 10th 1969, Rev O.W. Wilson and his family moved into the almost completed parsonage. On Sunday May 18th, 1969, the church held a dedication service for the newset parsonage. Rev. Paul Byrns, a former pastor and Rev. W. Charles Oliver, Disrtict Superintendent of the Southwest District, assisted in the dedication. 

On May 24th, 1978, Church Board Meeting with members present; Rev. Shuck, Julian Jarvis, Vernon Abbott, and Lilliam Abbott, Theron and Neva Belle York, and Myrtle Cundiff voted to accept the bid from Travis Kidd on the construction of the new church on Round Barn Road. The contract was $309,000.00  

January 1978, Rev. Shuck was voted outstanding religious leader by the Greencastle Jaycess. 

The church on N. Jackson Street was sold for $64,000.00 The church moved out of the N. Jackson Street facility on Febuary 1978. Services were held at Northeast Elementary School from Febuarary 1978 to August 1979. 

In January 1979, a church meeting was held to select a new name for the church. Three names were presented; 

1.First Church Of The Nazarene..........1 Vote. 

2.Greencastle Church Of The Nazarene..........27 Votes. 

3.Cross Lakes Church Of The Nazarene..........14 Votes. 

42 Ballots were cast. 

In July 1979, the board accepted an offer on the parsonage on Ritter Street for 58,000.00 

November 4th 1979, The Greencastle Church Of The Nazarene held a dedication service for the new church building and parsonage. Vernon Abbott opened the service in prayer. Dedication address by B.G. Wiggs, dedication led by Pastor Schuck. 

Services were held in the new church school building August 1979. 

The property is graced by a 2.5 surface acre lake. The lake is fed by 2 springs. The cost of the lake construction was $11,000.00 

The church has survived two tornados. The 1990 storm did extensive damage. 

On January 13th 1991, the church celebrated the mortgage burning ceremony. The sermon was by Dr.. B.G. Wiggs. 

A brief history of the church was read by Neva Belle York. Special singing was provided by Cherri Biggs and Rosie O'Neal. The trustees on the mortgage were Vernon Abott, Willard Bumgardner, Julian Jarvis and James York. 

October 5th 2008, the church celebrated and worshipped in a debt free house of the Lord! 

The Lord is continuing to work even today at Greencastle Church Of The Nazarene! 

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