|HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH HOME
Written and delivered by
Pastor Bryan McGrouty
at the Dedication Service
of our Church building on
October 11, 2003.
Around 1866, a small group of believers, followers of the methodist persuasion, began occasional meetings in the Upland
Borough. They began meeting in homes and eventually grew to three different locations until the work was further
After moving to several locations, a "gracious revival" of religion broke out, resulting in the conversion of 125 souls to the
Lord. Shortly thereafter, another "gracious revival" broke out, adding another 100 people, and the need for a permanent
building. Exactly 130 years ago today, October 11, 1873, the cornerstone of this building was laid.
Originally a mission society, then an ME Church, then a merger with the Evangelical United Brethren, then becoming a
United Methodist Church, and today, Resurrection Life Church, this house of worship has seen many changes over the
years. One constant has remained, this building has always been occupied by people of faith who used this place to
advance the cause of Christ in this community. The members of Resurrection Life Church want to thank the congregation
of the Upland United Methodist Church for their faithfulness to the Lord and their graciousness to us. We have
appreciated your love for the Lord in desiring this building to continue as a church and look forward to building upon the
witness for Christ established in Upland.
My wife and I were called to this area from upstate New York in 1988. We assumed the pastorate of a small group of
believers having weekly home meetings and renting a music room at a local school for Sunday services. Similar to the
founding group of this building, we moved several times while establishing the work, and began actively seeking a building
of our own. Little did we know, it would take 15 years for a door to open for our congregation. During our time of waiting,
our little congregation has been busy pursuing the cause of Christ. We have supported missions, done feeding ministry,
sent people on short-term mission trips, and most recently purchased a home for a pastor and his family in Nicaragua.
During all that time, we always felt like "pilgrims and sojourners" in a land that did not belong to us. Many of you know the
story of how the Lord led us to this building, and paved the way for us to purchase it. We became aware of the
opportunity of Resurrection Sunday. God opened many doors for us, and provided the right people at the right time to
make this possible. I have no doubt in my heart the Lord has specifically fashioned this congregation and myself to
occupy this building at this time for His purposes.
We believe the church is the most effective vehicle for change in a community. A vibrant church, actively serving God
and meeting the needs of a community can strongly influence and change the spiritual atmosphere. We believe
converting people to Christ is the answer for every social and economic problem faced by our society. Our vision is to
establish a culturally relevant congregation that leads people to a saving faith in Christ, and brings them to a place of
maturity in their faith. Believing each person has a specific call, we seek to facilitate the attainment through discipleship,
training, and obedience to God's Word. We believe, as evidenced by the existence of this building, that the Lord desires
a continuation of the work started here over 137 years ago. Though the faces of the congregation have changed, I
believe the Lord can bring forth a "gracious revival of religion" again in the borough of Upland. Please join with me as we
seek the Lord for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit upon the community.