original art by Nancy LeTard 2009
An organized Methodist Society existed in Westlake, between 1873 & 1918. A church had been built on the corner of Miller Avenue and Pilley Street during the early 1890’s. The church was destroyed in the 1918 hurricane leaving the Westlake Methodists churchless until 1939. At that time a group of area residents reorganized and built a church – and from this date the Westlake United Methodist church begins it’s 76 year existence.
Charter Members included:
Mrs. S.P. Arnett
Mr. & Mrs. J.M. Guillory
Mr. & Mrs. E.R. Dixon
Mrs. Sarah Grout
Mrs. Laura Grout Appleby
Mr. & Mrs. J. E. Pilley
Mrs. R.E. Benham
Mr. & Mrs. E. L. Fry, Sr.
Mrs. Lewis Laughlin
Mrs. Charles(Annie) Pomroy**
Rev. Clay Shaw
Mrs. Dela Shaw
Mr. & Mrs. O. C. Smith
Mrs. Wanda Sutherland
Mr. & Mrs. R. W. White
Names were taken from available records. We apologize if any names were omitted.
The church was called “The Chapel in the Pines”.
THE LITTLE WHITE CHURCH
by Eddie Fair
just off the old highway,
Where friends I meet throughout the week,
will go to church today.
Gray moss drips from off the trees,
that have stood there many years,
And have stared into the windows at laughter,
and at tears.
I’ve watched the people come and go,
some now are dead and gone,
And others still the pathway walk,
older and alone,
Remembering those who by their side,
in previous years have trod,
The worn old pathway to the door,
within, to worship God.
Children play in the pine trees’ shade,
and birds nest in the boughs,
That hold the gray-moss streamers high,
through which the wind sighs,
As it sweeps in off the ocean through these pines,
so tall beside,
The little church I worship in,
and I pray that God will guide
Us safely through another week of life,
with toil and play,
And bring us back next Sunday,
to worship and to pray.”
“…I have heard your prayer,
I have hallowed this Temple which
you have built and have put my
name here forever. I will constantly
watch over it and rejoice in it…”
I Kings 9:3
Westlake United Methodist Church Timeline
1939 October: First part of present property purchase with the proceeds from the sale of the Miller avenue property.
1940 A one –room wooden church was built.
original art by Linda Smith 2009
1949 November: groundbreaking ceremony held for the construction of a brick sanctuary.
original art by Bill Hess
1955 A six room, wooden education building was built and the first parsonage, located on Goos Street was purchased.
1958 Brick education annex and fellowship hall added to sanctuary.
1967 Present parsonage on McKinley was purchased.
1985 Pomeroy Center, an additional classroom and office renovations completed.
1986 Renovations to sanctuary completed
**Special recognition to Mrs. Annie Burges Pomeroy, who upon her death in 1954, willed trust funds for several Methodist organizations, including the Westlake United Methodist Church. Our church owes much to the memory of this lady, who’s gift has been the church’s lifeline many times over. Our Pomeroy Center is named in honor of this generous lady.
Sources for this brief history are taken from several histories written over the years by various Westlake United Methodist Church pastors, and parishioners.