Marston Memorial Historical Center

Good news! After months of construction and loud noises, one aspect of the Marston Memorial Historical Center has been completed. Everyone is welcomed to stop by and see the renovated 1910 replica chapel.

On Oct. 13, the Zahniser Chapel in the Historical Center was dedicated in honor of the five Zahniser preacher brothers. The Historical Committee was joined by World Ministries Center staff, Board of Administration members, and other guests to celebrate this event.

The dedication included an opening and welcome by Dr. Howard A. Snyder, grandson of Rev. Jacob Jay Zahniser, who also shared some remarks about the Zahniser Legacy. Following this, Mindi Grieser-Cromwell, chair of the Committee on FM History and Archives, read scriptures from Jeremiah and Acts. Cathy Robling, director of the Marston Memorial Historical Center, provided remarks about the historical center; while Bishop David Kendall shared remarks considering the history for today. The dedication was concluded with a prayer by Dr. A. H. Mathias Zahniser, grandson of Rev. A. H. M. Zahniser before the Zahniser Chapel’s official opening.

“I’m very exciting to see it all come to fruition,” said Grieser-Cromwell “The goal of the redesign is to use the space to tell the Free Methodist story.”

The Historical Center is increasing in its access of resources and material. Not only, are all the historical books being digitized for online availability, but the library is slowly taking on its larger shape in order to house more books that have been donated by Free Methodists. Soon, individuals will be able to review a full card catalog online.

Due to popular demand, the Light and Life Hour display has a new studio in the works. In the future, the space could be used by Light and Life communications for recordings or visitors to share stories and experiences in the Free Methodist Church.

“More plans are coming together for the display area,” Robling said. “You may be able to use an iPad to view photos, read a sermon while standing at B.T. Roberts’ pulpit desk or listen to a sermon while sitting at Bishop Marston’s desk or standing at the pulpit where Bishop Ellis preached.”

The ultimate goal is for the Historical Center to be an interactive display area. A museum for individuals to come, experience and learn from the past.

“The Historical Center is here to tell the FMC story to all,” Grieser-Cromwell said. “[It’s] a physical and digital space; even if someone can’t get here, they can still see and hear from far away.

You can partner with us in telling the FMC story by giving one at and by accessing the Historical Center resources online at

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