Our History

In February 1861, a committee of Methodist initiated steps to build their first church in Welland.

A little white church on East Main St. opened in 1862. The congregation flourished and moved to King and Young St. on land donated by the Morwood family. Unfortunately, not one, but two fires in 1907 completely destroyed the building except for the masonry walls and Bell Tower. A rededication of the rebuilt church was held on May 8th 1908. Luckily the manse was not damaged in the fire.

In 1925, Central became a United Church with the amalgamation of the Methodist, Congregationalist and some Presbyterian congregations forming the new United Church denomination.

A cornerstone was laid in June of 1952 for the large two story addition attached to the original building. This included meeting rooms, classrooms, sanctuary, and washrooms and was called the Christian Education Building. Also added were washroom and the Hearth Room, now called the Saunders Room. The manse was also connected to the church at this time.

The major Sanctuary addition, which was completed in 1956, moved the organ pipes from the back of the choir loft to their current location and created a center aisle. Early in the 1960’s a manse was purchased on Church Street and the former manse was then referred to as the Church House. The Church House was used as a nursery and for Sunday School classes until the 2000’s. Today it is used by the Youth Group, known as MICE, for art classes and summer art camp.

About 1996 the fellowship hall was radically changed converting the rotting wooden floor to tile on concrete and relocating the Dorcas room. Six years later in 2002 all of the washrooms were replaced, an addition to the kitchen with a room above was added and the Chapel on the main floor which was no longer used was renamed The Northern Lights Room and converted to a Children’s Play room. The Ontario Early Years Center, a tenant at the time, provided the majority of the funding for this project.

As our 150th Anniversary project in 2012 the Sanctuary was again transformed to create a larger flat chancel area to help facilitate the flexibility required by today’s society. All furnishings are movable and the organ council was moved to the main floor to optimize sight lines for the congregation. Jean Saunders also gifted a grand piano to Central to further enhance the music program.

In 2014 two screens replaced the solitary centre screen, which blocked view of the cross, to supplement services. A new sound system has been added along with equipment to enable video of our services and zoom the sermons.
Central United continues to adapt to change and is an active, essential part of Welland. Our work continues within the church and the community at large.