Members and guests of Loranger United Methodist Church recently celebrated one hundred years of community involvement during Sunday worship service. Five former pastors were recognized during the well-attended service, which was followed by a catered banquet.
Memorabilia from the past 100 years was displayed in many classrooms along with items from current mission and youth projects. A live oak tree, representing the expectation of 100 more years of service, was planted on the church grounds.
Established in 1915, the church was first lit by kerosene lanterns and a “barn-like” shed behind the church was constructed to accommodate horses, recalled 93-year-old Aaron Lester, a church member.
During the Great Depression, canning classes were taught in the basement of the original building and high school graduations were held in the sanctuary. Long before the State of Louisiana began any kind of school lunch program, Mrs. L.M. Cook ran a feeding program in the basement of the church for students attending the Loranger school.
Church outreach efforts include volunteering for Grace Camp and the Tangipahoa Food Pantry, said Rev. James Moore, pastor. The church’s Monday Morning Crafters group, which is open to all women in the community, has distributed 316 knitted and crocheted hats to four area hospitals for chemotherapy patients. Volunteers sew pillowcases for homeless veterans in Albany, and provide school uniforms for students in need. Every summer, more than 100 community children attend Loranger UMC’s Vacation Bible School, while youth service camps and Mission trips enrich the lives of local teens.