In 1864 the German Methodist Episcopal Church decreed it would start a "double institution" in Warrenton, MO. This institution would serve as an orphanage for children who had lost their parents in the Civil War and also as a "higher cultural institution of learning for youth of our church in the west." This need was strongly felt by our founders who "considered the orphans who were neglected through the cruel Civil War and those in need of the church's help as a matter that went right to the heart."
This institution later became known as Central Wesleyan College and Orphan Asylum in 1869. The college functioned in Warrenton until 1941 with the present sanctuary built in 1912 being an integral part of the college, thus the name College United Methodist Church. This heritage of helping children was carried on later when the Orphan Asylum moved to St. Louis and continues today as Epworth Children and Family Services. https://www.epworth.org
The first church located on this site was called Jubilee Chapel and was replaced in 1912 with the present sanctuary which contains windows on the west side from the original Chapel. The beautiful stained glass in the sanctuary contains inscriptions honoring many involved in the history of the college. This church was founded on risk-taking, service, and relationship with God which continue to be core values of the church!
We are presently living into our new vision for College UMC developed in 2019, but carrying forward the heart for serving this community that began at our founding.