Categories: All Other Blogs

About the Window in the Overflow room


The EPWORTH LEAGUE, which set a pattern for church youth organizations, was founded at Cleveland’s Central Methodist Church on 14 and 15 May 1889. Within 10 years it claimed over 1.75 million members in 19,500 chapters internationally. Prior to 1889, as many as 5 young people’s organizations existed in the Methodist Episcopal church, among them: the Methodist Alliance, claiming 20,000 members in 1883; the Oxford League, organized at the Methodist Centennial Conference, with a large chapter at Central Methodist Church; and the Young People’s Christian League, among others. After discussions of a merger into a single body, 27 persons gathered at Central Methodist to form the Epworth League, adopting a modified version of the constitution of the Oxford League, and the motto of the Young People’s Christian League, Look Up, Lift Up. The league, which soon spread worldwide, divided its social service into 6 departments: Spiritual Life, Social Work, Literary Work, Correspondence, Mercy and Help, and Finance. Local chapters organized Fresh Air Work (day camps for city children), literary events, lecture series, and fellowship gatherings. When Central Methodist Church was
renamed Epworth Memorial Church in 1891, Epworth League chapters across the country contributed 6 panels of stained glass to the church. (Epworth Memorial later became a part of EPWORTH EUCLID METHODIST CHURCH.) After denominational mergers among Methodists in the 1930s, the Epworth League became known as the Methodist Youth Fellowship; it survived in 1994 as the United Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Pastor Meredith Brown
Pastor Meredith Brown

REV. MEREDITH MANNING BROWN, Interim Pastor Rev. Meredith Manning Brown is an experienced pastor and ministry leader, focused on innovative congregations and spiritual entrepreneurship. With decades of ministry leadership experience, Meredith has led multiple new church planting efforts, pastored through several church revitalization and growth projects, and served in senior ministry staff positions in large and small congregations across the United States. Most recently, Pastor Meredith served as the Lead Planting Pastor for the new Evergreen United Methodist Faith Community in Lacey, Washington, an innovative, neighborhood-based, progressive, intergenerational community focused on connecting with people who don’t know, don’t like or have had enough of church as usual. Through her coaching and consulting ministry ( Pastor Meredith shares her experience and perspective to support leaders seeking to integrate their spiritual practices, their missional callings, and their household relationships into their busy lives as innovators and leaders in the church, businesses, and public life.
 Pastor Meredith is a United Methodist Elder with membership in the New England Conference. A native of Austin, Texas, she is a proud graduate of Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana where she completed a B.A. in religion, a B.M. in sacred music, and a Certificate of Church Careers. She holds a Master in Sacred Music degree and a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology. Pastor Meredith lives in Springfield with her delightful husband, two active teen-aged daughters, and a lazy housecat. She is also a happy experimental baker, loves to go adventuring with her family, and is the holder of the Brown Family Tournament of Games and Round-Robin Classic record for the most yahtzees rolled in a single game.