by Sandra Kupsky - Church Historian
When people gathered to worship outside at the farm of Henry Livengood in 1848, there were two babbling springs on the property between the rocks and under the roots of a large maple tree. This water furnished an ample supply for all church occasions that included camp meetings and they were a place of respite. Thus, the founding of Maple Springs United Methodist Church. Our church name reminds us that Jesus is truly the living water for all who follow him.
You can still see the springs – there is path at the southwest corner of the parking lot, near Craven Hall. There is an outdoor worship area with benches, a podium and a cross beside the springs.
Maple Springs first land title was a five acre property dated May 7, 1850. The first structure on the property was a modest log structure, built very close to the current church location. A new frame church was built in 1892, a few feet from the log church. Members of the building committee performed much of the carpentry on the building.
As the church grew and needs of the congregation changed, it was decided to move the existing church building to a new location on the property in 1927. Many upgrades were made to the building and a basement was added. The decorative glass windows from that building are in the current sanctuary lobby. The cornerstone was laid October 16, 1927. A list with 114 members was placed in the cornerstone.
By 1948, there were 239 members and additional space for meetings and education were needed. An education building was constructed – having 18 classrooms, a kitchen and 8 auxiliary rooms. This building is still in use today for Sunday School, the traditional music choir, a library and staff offices.
By 1954, the church’s continued growth created the need for a new sanctuary. Ground breaking was September 18, 1955 and the cornerstone was laid September 16, 1956. The new building had a large sanctuary, Pastor’s study, Parlor, large fellowship hall and kitchen, the church office and additional classrooms. All of these facilities are still in use today.
In the early 1990s, the church determined that it needed new facilities to attract young families. After much dedicated work by the building committee and a commitment to financing the project by the church, Craven Hall was completed in 1996. This facility serves as a contemporary worship space and a recreation space and includes a stage, a basketball court and professional kitchen. The Cokesbury room is used for many church functions and meetings and on Sundays is home to our Chinese congregation.
Another important part of the Craven Hall project was to add classroom space. On the first floor, the Maple Springs Preschool operates during the week and on Sundays there are Sunday School classes and Nursery care. There are beautiful classrooms and two playgrounds. The second-floor houses Sunday School classes, a space for our Youth Group and several offices.
Upgrades were made to the sanctuary and Craven Hall in 2012. New flooring was installed, the paint refreshed, better lighting was added, the sanctuary pulpit and altar area were redesigned and a new organ and grand piano were purchased. The sound systems were also enhanced.
In 2022, the Craven Lobby was upgraded with a fresh new look. The Craven Lobby is the heart of the church during the week and is where you will find a wonderful group of volunteers that greet guests and answer the phones.
Maple Springs is blessed to have wonderful facilities that have a long history (since 1850!) of being a platform for our ministries. Maple Springs Life is alive and well in our mission to become Rooted in Christ, Grow in Christ and Bear Fruit for Christ.