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Orangevale Sun

From Methodist Church to Home Restoration

Nov 08, 2023 04:44PM ● By Kay Barnes, Orangevale History Project

On July 5, 1890, families from the Orangevale community felt a need for religious service, they met together at the Orangevale School to discuss.  A congregation started meeting at the school each Sunday with Rev, G. G. Walters coming from the Folsom Methodist Church. The little congregation was determined to have a church.  On January 3, 1895, electing a board which included William Andes, Amos McGee, L. H. Landis, C Steinman, and Mr. Bernath.

The church was finally dedicated at 9060 Central Avenue on September 2, 1906, after years of struggling to raise funds for the building. The two acres had been donated for the church by C Steinman in 1905.  The Folsom Telegraph noted the church as a neat modern structure and a credit to Orangevale.  Superintendent L. H. Landis organized the Sunday Schools and held the position for 45 years and his daughter Ellie taught Sunday School for 69 years.  Charter members of the Orangevale Episcopal Methodist were the Carmichaels, the Thompsons, the Wilkersons, the Canfields and the Landis families.  Many families joined them throughout the years.

The church was the social hub of the community hosting events which included parties, potlucks, women’s groups, and youth activities.

In the early years, the church was surrounded by orchards and open land with only one other home and the Presbyterian Church at the corner of Central and Pecan.  The steeple has a bell for calling church members to services and it still rings today.  Just imagine the congregation riding with their horse and wagons and parking along the road or the family walking to services several miles on the dirt roads.

The church continued services there until 1956, building a new sanctuary across the street at 9041 Central Avenue on five acres donated by Landis.  They continued to use the old church for activities until 1966 when it was sold to the Foursquare Gospel Church.  Foursquare held services there for ten years. Within the church was a private school for a few years.

Next the church became a residence for the Bell family who lived there for over twenty years.  Between 2004 and 2010 it had two other owners until it was purchased by the current owners in 2010, the Carey Family.  They lived in another home in Orangevale at the time and used the home as a rental.

Approximately three years ago they started complete restoration.  Major work had to be done on the flooring, walls, and structural supports.  Rooms were updated, stairs added, and kitchen remodeled.  They had window and door frames constructed to match the originals.  They left the original fireplace in the sanctuary (living area) in place.  A piano built before 1935 stands in the home and probably had been used in the churches.  We are thankful to the Carey family for restoring the church to its original architecture and retaining the history.

See the presentation on the church with pictures and stories on the Orangevale History Project YouTube channel under Social Hub to Renovated Residence.

Orangevale History Project meets the first Wednesday each month at 6:30 pm at the Chamber of Commerce Greenback Lane and Hazel Ave.  See us on Facebook at Orangevale History Project.