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Our History

New Bern has been host to a Methodist gathering since 1772 when John Wesley sent Reverend Joseph Pilmore to the colonies. He preached to Methodists in New Bern on December 25, 1772. This date marks the founding of Centenary United Methodist Church. From that time circuit riders visited New Bern often. Bishops Asbury and Whatcoat preached in New Bern. Francis Asbury preached in New Bern fourteen times. Centenary Church is considered one of the oldest, if not the oldest, Methodist congregation south and east of Baltimore. In 1795 the Methodist Society purchased a lot on the corner of Hancock Street and Pleasant Alley and in 1802 Andrew's Chapel was built. This was the second church built in New Bern, antedated only by Christ Episcopal church.

The second Methodist church was built in 1843 on what is now 511 New street and the present Sanctuary was completed in 1904. An early morning fire on September 15, 1936 resulted in collapse of the Sanctuary ceiling and extensive damage throughout.

Catholic sisters living across New Street stood on the sidewalk praying that the beautiful stained glass windows be spared and they were. Repairs to the building and furnishings were made in time for the church to host the Centennial Session of the North Carolina Conference in November 1936. In 1966, the Sanctuary was renovated as it appears now.

Artistic History of Centenary
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Stained Glass Windows

Jesus in the Temple.

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Stained Glass Windows

The Prodigal Son.

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Stained Glass Windows

  • Parable of the Sower

  • Cross, Crown and Armor of God

  • Jesus Stand and Knocks (Revelation 3:20)​

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Stained Glass Windows

Angel representing Palm Sunday 

Child Jesus and Mary

Angel representing Ascension Sunday

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Létourneau Pipe Organ

Centenary United Methodist Church of New Bern, NC purchased a new Létourneau organ in May 2004. This exquisite organ, Op. 91, was made in Quebec, Canada and consists of 36 stops and 33 ranks, totaling 1861 pipes. The "state-of-the-art" organ is equipped with solid state combination action which includes two digital control panels with 64 levels of memory and a disk reader. In addition to its beautiful foundation sounds, the organ includes chimes and a zimbelstern. For more info click here.

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Columbarium Crosses

Steel Crosses designed, created and installed by Christian Artist and Centenary Member, Benny Thompson, in memory of Jack Huddle.

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Alter Memorial Kneelers

The needlepoint kneelers are an extraordinary addition to our church and significantly enhance the beauty and symbolism of our worship at Centenary. The kneelers are hand embroidered by church members that depict the most meaningful events of Christ's life. 


Centenary Columbarium Niches

July, 2014

New Bern’s Centenary United Methodist Church dedicated its new Columbarium and Memorial Garden Sunday after nearly five years of planning, design and construction.


The Rev. Susan Pate Greenwood, the church’s senior pastor, conducted a ritual of consecration following Sunday’s worship service in the small garden fronting New Street. About 150 people attended the event, which followed the 11 a.m. church service.

Be Inspired
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