The Magnolia United Methodist Church was originally built in October 1856. In 1941, the church was given a complete renovation by painting the walls and installing new carpet. Tragically, there were only two more services held in the original building after the renovation was complete: Thanksgiving service and worship the following Sunday. On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the wailing of the fire siren awakened the people of Magnolia. The church was on fire. At 11:00 a.m., the bell fell from the flaming steeple with a final anguished clang. The present church was completed in April of 1943 and the Ethel Mensch Collins Educational Building was completed in 1960.
In November of 2016, Magnolia and Hope United Methodist Church voted unanimously to merge together into one new church. This decision was predicated on the desire for a greater missional impact in Magnolia and Kent County. On May 7, 2017, Magnolia United Methodist Church officially became Orchard Church. For over 150 years, Orchard Church has been shining the light of Christ to the surrounding community. Our story is not yet finished. We anticipate the future as God continues to call us to make disciples that transform the world.
Why Orchard Church?
When Magnolia United Methodist Church and Hope United Methodist Church merged in November of 2016, the leadership embarked on a journey of discernment for our vision and a new identity for our community. After several months of prayer and discernment, we chose Orchard Church as the name of our church, with the vision of Growing Deep, Branching Out.
Orchards are significant in and around Magnolia. Delaware was once a great producer of peaches, and Fifer Orchards continues that tradition. In Magnolia, the Lindale House still stands as a testament of one of the last peach barons in our state. The land surrounding our community was once filled with orchards.
An orchard is devoted for the cultivation of fruit to nourish the people. Likewise, Orchard Church is dedicated to the cultivation of spiritual fruit in our community for the Kingdom of God.
We are proud to be part of the Magnolia community, and proud of the heritage of the great cloud of witnesses who have gone on before us at Magnolia Church. Our prayer is that God will allow this Orchard to grow to be a blessing to many.