Our 150-year History

Having celebrated 150 years of service in 2019, we value the people and events that have shaped LUMC’s history over the years. See how we celebrated our sesquicentennial anniversary, take a look at the contents of the 50-year-old time capsule we opened, and learn a little about our history.

A Brief History of Lenexa United Methodist Church

Five women formed the class that was organized at Lenexa on July 18, 1869, the same year the town of Lenexa was founded. At the time, there were eight appointments on the circuit and Amos Avery was the preacher in charge. During the year, the church membership increased to fifty. Services were held in a schoolhouse one mile south of town.


The church was incorporated on May 31, 1870 as the Lenexa Society of the Methodist-Episcopal Church.  Also in 1870, property was secured on the southwest corner of 3rd & Hickory (now 91st Terrace and Caenen Lake Road, the same corner the church occupies today) for a parsonage, which was completed in November, when the pastor, Rev. G. R. Houts, moved in.  There were approximately 200 members on the circuit at the time.  In 1878, the congregation built the first church, a white frame building, next to the parsonage at a cost of $1,200. The Methodist Episcopal Church was the first church founded in Lenexa and the first church building erected.


In 1910, a new, two-story brick parsonage was built next to the church to replace the original parsonage. Even though there had been earlier discussions, a more definite movement for a new church building started in 1922.  Construction of the new building begun in February 1924 when the old church was moved to the back of the lot so the new church could be built in the same location.  The new church, built at a cost of $25,000 and much volunteer labor, was dedicated on November 15, 1925.  The congregation still worships in this sanctuary today.


Rev. Charles E. Schneeberger, the first full-time pastor to serve the church, came to Lenexa in 1951. In his six years of pastoral service, membership increased from 197 members to more than 500. With the rapid rise of population in northeast Johnson County and the growth of the church, building expansion became a necessity. The Church School and Fellowship Hall addition was dedicated on June 24, 1956.  After the death of Rev. Schneeberger in 1973, the fellowship hall was renamed Schneeberger Hall.


In 1964, a new parsonage was purchased on 96th Street, making room for another building expansion. Ground was broken for a $225,000 building addition that included offices, classrooms, library, new main entrance and narthex in 1968. Major remodeling of the sanctuary also took place. The additions were arranged to form an atrium, creating a courtyard. On October 5, 1969, the centennial of the church was celebrated with the consecration of the new addition.  The church had grown to more than 750 members with an average of over 250 in one of the two worship services.


In 1989, ground was broken for the addition which completed the quadrangle shape of the building.  It provided a large classroom, a music room, a youth loft, handicap accessible restrooms, and an elevator. This $641,000 addition was dedicated on March 11, 1990.


Before both the 1969 and 1989 additions a long-range planning committee was formed who evaluated the needs of the church and community and both times, made a commitment to stay in Old Town. In 2003, the possibility of moving to another site was again investigated and the decision, once again, was made to remain in Old Town and upgrade existing facilities.  Ground was broken on the $3.2 million new education building on August 24, 2008.  “Uniting Our Past with Our Future” was the theme for the 140th anniversary of the church and consecration of the new Education Building on November 8, 2009.


On June 30, 2019, the congregation celebrated being a vital presence in Old Town Lenexa for 150 years with the theme “Journeying Together for 150 Years.”  The congregation awaits the challenges of the next 150 years.

Cover of the book "Old Town Lenexa: The History of the Lenexa United Methodist Church"

Methodism in Old Town Lenexa: The History of Lenexa United Methodist Church 1869–2019, which was written in celebration of LUMC’s 150th anniversary, is available now. This book contains over 200 pages and 300 photos chronicling the events of LUMC’s 150-year history, the people who experienced them, and more.

The Time Capsule

On February 23, 1969, as part of the centennial celebration of Lenexa United Methodist Church, a time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the building addition that was under construction at the time. Fifty years later, on June 30, 2019, the time capsule was opened as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the church. The time capsule contained many items from the church, as well as from the Lenexa community as a whole.


The highlight of the time capsule was the series of letters written from the congregation of 1969 to the congregation of today.  There are letters from the pastor, the district superintendent, the lay leader, a member of the Centennial Steering Committee, missionaries, and the teacher and members of the 5th and 6th grade girls’ Sunday school class. Those letters are below.

Placing time capsuleOpening time capsule

Time Capsule Letters

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