Vision of Hope was officially launched as a “re-start” church in September, 2004, with a renewed mission and zeal to embrace our community with the love of God and God’s people. We moved to a nearby elementary school for two years in the effort to establish a new identity, seeking to discover what God would have us to be and do for the 21st century. We have truly been blessed with a growing and vibrant congregation! And yet, we also give thanks to God for our cherished roots which lie in the former Mt. Sinai United Methodist Church.
A Brief History of Mt. Sinai UMC
Mt. Sinai UMC was built in 1875 on grounds donated by Mr. Calvin Miller, who served in official capacity for many years. It was dedicated by Bishop Edwards and was served as part of the Dayton Circuit until 1888, when it became part of Cross Keys, and at this time was half of the Pleasant Valley Charge.
About the year of 1905 the church was repaired and a vestibule belfry added. In 1936 while Rev. Forrest Racey was pastor, a social hall was built. This provided space for Sunday School rooms and social activities.
Early in the history of the church a Union Sunday School was organized and held in the summer months only, beginning as early as 9:00 am. It became an “evergreen” organization in about 1900 with Sunday School in the morning and worship services at 3:00 PM. By 1935, worship services were being held in the morning.
A Christian Endeavor Society was organized about 1905 and was active for many years. This organization was instrumental in the training of some of the present* members of the church. This society was followed by the Youth Fellowship which is still active at the present. Also, about this time the women of the church formed the “Ladies Aide”, the name of the society now called the United Methodist Women. Through the years, missionary interest has been carried out in various ways through this organization, one member having assumed support of a missionary of a number of years.
In May, 1958, ground was broken for a new sanctuary and a basement with Sunday School rooms and a kitchen added to the church. The newly enlarged and remodeled church was dedicated on December 6, 1959. Approximately 6 1/2 acres were purchased from Mrs. Nellie Dean on the corner of Valley Blox Road and Port Republic Road, across from the church on November 26, 1968. (An additional 2 acres were purchased in 2005.)
In 1969 under the leadership of Rev. Lee Bowman, Mt. Sinai EUB merged with the Methodist Church becoming Mt. Sinai UMC.
In Feb. 1979, ground was broken for the parsonage to be built across the street from the church. This was a big step for Mt. Sinai. The current parsonage was completed in Sept. of the same year when Mt. Sinai was officially recognized as a “station” church. From that time to the present Mt. Sinai has endeavored to become a Vision of Hope for the community and world, spreading God’s word and sharing the blessings of the Holy Spirit.**
*The above passage was taken from the program for the Centennial Service in 1975.
**Taken from “Old Fashioned Days” handout, June 8, 2003