History of Harris Chapel United Methodist Church
Harris Chapel was established as a church in 1965 with eight dynamic charter members, Joseph Baxter, Mary Carlson, Leila Carns, Viola C. Jackson, Mittie Lightsey , Sarah McWhite, and James Jackson. The first elected officers are Carver Bryant, Thomacita Bryant, Clarence Hansberry and James Jackson. Alexander P:ierce was appointed the first Pastor in 1964 and served until 1967. Over the next fifty-five years, eleven pastors were appointed to serve, see list below. Each pastor led the congregation with grace, new ideas, and seriousness of purpose, programs and activities that made a difference in the lives of the members.
The church’s motto: Make Disciples for Christ has been the cornerstone for the progress of the church. In November, 2019, under the leadership of the eleventh appointed pastor, Rev. Stanley Melek, the church was blessed to celebrate its 54th anniversary (2019) with the theme, Heritage and Prosperity. This theme serves as a testimony to the fine work of everyone who has helped to sustain and promote the church. Pastor Melek’s vision is “To turn belief into action.” The original church is now the Fellowship Hall, where many of the ministries and activities of the church are held. There are several ministries that are active in the church, namely, Bountiful Blessings, a program where community members are provided boxes of food after the weekly bible study; the Care Ministry, which provides care for the sick and shut-in members; He-Brews Dinner Church, community members are invited to share in a free dinner, every Friday evening 6:30-8:00PM; The Prayer Line, (Monday through Friday 5:55AM-6:30AM) where members are encouraged to call-in for prayer and support; Sewing for Joy, a program sponsored by the United Methodist Women, to make uniforms for school age children. In addition, the donated Life Enrichment building, now houses, the God’s Little Lambs preschool.
Harris Chapel has a rich and wonderful history, a legacy of dedication and service. We honor and recognize the memory of those who have passed on as we stand on their shoulders of love and passion for the church. We continue to press forward, to trust God, expand our worship, praise and service beyond the walls of the church and fulfill the plans God has laid before us.
To God be the Glory!