Centenary has been an integral part of Metuchen and its surrounding community for over 150 years. As a mission-oriented church we are linked from generation to generation by our good works and Christ-filled spirit.
Centenary traces its beginnings to 1866, when the certificate of incorporation for Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church (as it was then known) was signed. The Metuchen congregation took the name of Centenary because 1866 was the 100th anniversary of the first Methodist Society meeting in America.
Centenary was originally located at the corner of Main Street and Middlesex Avenue (the current location of the Bank of New York). By the mid-1950’s, Centenary had outgrown its location and the church began planning and raising funds for the construction of a new facility. A parcel of land was purchased on Hillside Avenue, and the new building, which Centenary currently occupies, was dedicated in October 1964.
Centenary is known for its strong mission programs, having positive impact locally and globally. In 1975, Centenary became the sponsor of seven Vietnamese refugees who were brought to America from a refugee camp in Southeast Asia following the fall of South Vietnam. Ten years later, the church repeated the process with two refugees from Poland. Other outreach efforts have included providing tutoring services for disadvantaged students, and food collections and meals for a local homeless shelter.
Currently, Centenary is an active participant in several mission projects, including:
- The Sandwich Making Ministry, which makes sandwiches to help provide needed meals for marginalized populations through New Dover UMC's “Sandwich Bag Mission;”
- Support of REPLENISH, Middlesex County’s Food Network dedicated to helping to address food insecurity;
- Support of Breaking the Chain Through Education to eradicate child slavery in Ghana;
- Support of Marisa Tufaro Foundation, which assists pediatric patients and other children in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area;
- Support of The Fuccile Foundation of Metuchen, dedicated to the service and support of. local families affected by tragedy;
- Annual participation in the Red Bird Mission – providing hats, scarves, mittens, etc. to the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky’s Appalachian region;
- Annual participation in the Hunger Walk, sponsored by the Metuchen Edison Interfaith Clergy Association;
- The Annual Advent Season Diaper Drive, donating thousands of diapers and baby wipes to the Maker’s Place (Trenton) Diaper Drive in recent years.
Centenary also dedicates special collections from Sunday worship services to benefit worthy causes in the local area and around the world.
Centenary is not only full of spirit on Sundays, but joyful and vibrant throughout the week as well. The Centenary Nursery School opened in 1967 as one of the first facilities of its kind in the area. It is now affiliated with the Metuchen-Edison YMCA and known as the Centenary Early Learning Center.
Centenary joyfully celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016, and now well into the 2020s, it continues as “The Friendly Church On The Hill.” In Second Timothy, the Apostle Paul writes that Christians in every age should see themselves as a “link” between two generations the one that came before them and the one that will come after them. Through our ambitious goals and acts, we are determined to pass on to the next generation a church that is as strong and committed to serving Christ as the one we inherited.