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Our History

Centennial United Methodist Church, founded in 1907 through the consolidation of Asbury Chapel and Burns Chapel, emerged as a prominent institution under the leadership of Rev. J. Will Jackson and later Rev. Richard Davis. During the "Founding Years," spanning 1907 to 1925, the church experienced remarkable growth, saw the resolution of debts, and witnessed the construction of a new edifice under the guidance of Rev. Martin Luther Mackay. The "New Centennial," completed in 1929, boasted a neo-classic architecture and became a central hub for the community, hosting significant events and housing a Wurlitzer pipe organ. The ensuing decades, marked by the leadership of pastors like Rev. A. L. Reynolds Sr. and Rev. E. L. McAllister navigated challenges such as the Great Depression and World War II, culminating in Centennial overcoming financial hardships and building a strong foundation.

The 1930s through the 1950s emphasized youth work and ministry, with the Epworth League flourishing under Rev. A. L. Reynolds Sr. and later Rev. L. R. Grant. The following years, characterized by the tenures of pastors like Rev. C. Jarrett Gray Sr. and Rev. J. LaVon Kincaid, witnessed civil rights activism and community engagement, showcasing Centennial's commitment to social justice. The 1980s and 1990s, led by pastors like Rev. Cecil Neal and Rev. Amos Browne, saw renovations and community outreach initiatives, securing Centennial's presence in the changing landscape of Kansas City.

As Centennial entered the 21st century, Rev. Emanuel Cleaver III spearheaded initiatives to increase membership, make the church building ADA compliant, and create innovative worship experiences. His dynamic leadership set the stage for celebrating the church's 100th anniversary in 2007. Initiatives like the Capital Campaign Renovation Project underscored Centennial's commitment to inclusivity, with the installation of an elevator and accessible facilities. Subsequent pastors, including Rev. David A. Gilmore, focused on addressing the evolving needs of the congregation. Under Rev. Gilmore's leadership since 2008, Centennial continues to thrive, welcoming new members and adapting to the challenges and opportunities of the modern era.

In 2016, Rev. Jason Bryles assumed leadership, sustaining the church's vibrant community involvement, obtaining grant funds, and adapting to challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The church embraced live streaming, outdoor worship, and community partnerships. In 2022, Rev. Danielle Quinn became Centennial's pastor, ushering in a hopeful period marked by diverse ministries, community engagement, and a resilient response to changing circumstances. The church looks forward to revising and expanding its ministries in 2024 under the motto: "REACHING OUT... REACHING UP... and WELCOMING ALL!!!"

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