The Barstow FMC had lots to celebrate Sunday, January 6, when we kicked off a yearlong celebration in honor of our 100th year. Our drama team put together an outstanding presentation featuring Mrs. D.C. Henderson — the church’s amazing benefactor, who, in 1913, gave the church the use of a hall she owned in town. This gift enabled the house church to grow, secure its first pastor and align themselves with the Free Methodist Church.
Barstow’s local newspaper caught wind of our 100th-year milestone and published the first of what we believe will be a series of feature articles. The first, “Free Methodists to Celebrate 100 Years,” hit the front page this past weekend and can be accessed online at the Desert Dispatch. The newspaper article suggests that the early history of our town is very much related to the early history of the Barstow Free Methodist Church. Imagine that!
As interesting as our history is, we are just as excited about the new thing that God is doing in us as a congregation. There is a growing enthusiasm to reach not only Barstow and respond to the escalating poverty here, but to also impact many of the other desert and mountain communities of Southern California. We believe it’s providential that our 100th year is coinciding with our church’s refocusing and rejuvenation efforts. Many of you are familiar with David L. McKenna’s book on Free Methodism: “A Future with a History.” It has inspired the Barstow leadership to morph the title a bit and begin to talk of ourselves as having a history with a future! Amen!
So, when you think of your brothers and sisters in the upper reaches of California’s Mojave Desert, rejoice with us — not only for our 100 years of ministry, but also for our belief that our best and most fruitful ministry is still ahead!