Washington was settled in 1825 by Wm. Holland from North Carolina and was known as Holland's Grove until 1832 when it became Washington.
In 1828, a circuit rider by the name of Jesse Walker came to Holland's Grove. It was at this time that Walker met with Holland and they set up the first church in Washington. It was called the "Methodist Church."
In 1833, a church building was constructed at the corner of North Main and West Jefferson St. In 1870, after the Civil War and the country was getting back on its feet, a larger church was built at the corner of Walnut and South Elm Streets. It was a massive structure, measuring 65 feet to the top of the bell tower, which was 50 feet wide. It had an organ built by Hinners of Pekin, Illinois and was operated by water power to drive the blower motor. The church also had a 23-piece orchestra and a capacity of 300 people.
The beautiful bell was constructed by George Coffin Bell Works of Ohio. The bell was originally placed in a church north of Eureka. (The name of the church has long since gone to the sands of time!) It is made of solid bronze with a bit of silver added for tone. It weighs about 300 pounds.
In 1924, a storm struck Washington and damaged the bell tower and the church, causing the bell to be knocked to the ground. If you take a close look at the bell, you will see a twist in the frame, which was caused by the 65-foot fall to the ground.
In the latter part of 1925, a new church was constructed where the church of 1870 stood. The bell was placed back up into the bell tower, where it stood until September, 2002 when it was removed and restored.
April of 1928 saw the Washington Methodist Church celebrating its centennial. Following the lean years of the depression, the town of Washington and our church experienced expansion. The 1950’s and 1960’s were years of growth in attendance. The basement annex was added, as well as an addition to the upper part of the building.
In 1956, saw the name was changed from Washington Methodist Episcopal Church to Washington Methodist church. Another change came in 1968 with the name Washington United Methodist Church. Major expansion and remodeling came about in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Educational Building was dedicated and significant improvements and additions were made to the church.
Church attendance continued to grow until we made the decision to move from Elm Street church to our present location at the corner of North Main Street and Bypass Route 24. The first service in our new building was held on February 11, 2001. We changed the name of the church on June 1, 2005 to Crossroads United Methodist Church. June 10, 2007 marked the day for groundbreaking for our new addition, including a new nursery suite, additional classrooms and a new sanctuary. On November 23, 2008, we held our first Sunday worship services in the new sanctuary, with over 1000 in attendance.
Several of our 50 year members have submitted their memories, which have been compiled into a booklet. Click here to view The 50 Year Member Memory Book.