Vestavia Hills UMC celebrates 50th anniversary of sanctuary


On Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, the congregation of Vestavia Hills UMC gathered in front of their sanctuary to worship, to remember, and to look forward as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the construction of the church’s sanctuary.

During the afternoon gathering, they also opened a time capsule left in the cornerstone when the sanctuary was built. In that copper box the congregation discovered

  • The first church bulletin 
  • The first Christmas bulletin
  • The Resolution of the Quarterly Conference and Church Conference authorizing the building of the Sanctuary 
  • Copies of contracts with the general contractor, organ, stained glass, window, and furnishing contractors 
  • The groundbreaking ceremony program 
  • Sunday School information and a list of Church Officers
  • The 1964 Church Budget 
  • The August 1964 Financial Statement
  • Letters from the first 4 pastors of the church 

Senior Pastor Dr. Bill Brunson explains, “In his letter, Rev. Dr. L.D. Tyson offered eight different hopes for our Church. In the eighth, he said, ‘John Bunyan once said, 'A church is not measured in greatness by the beauty of its architecture or the ability of its minister but by the people who live truly and serve faithfully that for which it stands.' A great church lives only in the hearts of the people. A consecrated membership calls for a well-balanced church, carrying on the total program of the Christian faith, ministering to the needs and hurts of people wherever they may be found.’

We celebrate that the membership of this congregation has truly lived faithfully throughout the years and great things have been done.”

The congregation also took on the task to leave a time capsule for 2064. They copied and laminated as many of the 50-year-old items as possible and also added several items including

  • Bulletins from the September 21, 2014, morning and afternoon worship services
  • The August 2014 financial report
  • The 2014 church budget
  • The August 2014 VHUMC Foundation Statement
  • A list of current Sunday School classes, staff members, and lay leadership
  • A list of all the senior and associate ministers who have served the church
  • A list of all those present at the Sunday afternoon service. 

Rev. Bruson adds, “This church has a rich and vibrant history, and an amazing and powerful presence. But, I am most excited about the tremendous future that God has in store for us as we answer his call and follow his lead.”

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