100th Anniversary Celebration


It was a great time together as church family to praise the Lord our God!


History of Marsh Corner Community Church

As we take a few moments to consider the history of our church, we see that it has been shaped by the vision of each generation concerning what God could do in and through His people.


Marsh Corner Community Church had its beginnings with the Sunday School movement of the early 20th century.  Several attempts were made to establish a Sunday School in the area of west Methuen.  For a period of years prior to 1910, a Sunday School affiliated with the First Methodist Church of Methuen met and held classes in the area.  In 1913, Mr. H. G. Wellington, district organizer of the American Sunday School Union, canvassed the community to find people who would help establish a Sunday School.  Through Mr. Wellington’s efforts, a Sunday School began meeting in 1914 at the Marsh Corner Schoolhouse with Josephus Matthews elected to serve as the Superintendent.   Over the next few years, the Sunday School grew and in 1918 became organized as the Marsh Corner Union Sunday School Society with the purpose of establishing and maintaining a place “for the public worship of God and for reading and studying the Bible.”  The town of Methuen sold the land and schoolhouse to the Society that year, having built a new school building adjacent to the property a year earlier. 


By 1922, leaders of the Marsh Corner Union Sunday School began to discuss holding regular church services.  A committee was formed which surveyed the community and found strong support for the idea and hired Reverend John T. Hooper to preach for a few Sundays beginning on December 17, 1922.  An early history of the church records the challenges faced that first Sunday: “On this day, with the wind blowing exceedingly hard and the snow falling fast, with the electric cars failing us at the given time of starting the services, our Pastor being obliged to walk from the Junction to the church, we held our first church service, with about forty in attendance.”   Attendance increased each Sunday and on January 1, 1923, a resolution was adopted to “form a church to be known as the Marsh Corner Community Church…believing that the Kingdom of Christ can be more speedily advanced in this community by uniting all Protestant Christian believers in their worship, fellowship, and Christian work.”  That year, the Marsh Corner Union Sunday School Society was absorbed by Marsh Corner Community Church, which took sole charge of all religious work in the community.  People were invited to join the church after affirming publicly their acceptance of Jesus Christ and pledging to live a Christian life. 


The former schoolhouse was used as the Marsh Corner church building until the late 1960s.  In 1924, the Church recognized the need for more room and better conditions to carry out the work of the Church.  At that time, the building was redesigned by Lawrence architect T.E. Martin.  The building was raised, a new cellar added, and the entry portico was built.  A cornerstone for the new foundation was laid by Alvan T. Fuller, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, during a ceremony held on May 4, 1924.  Services were held in the new basement until work was completed upstairs and a special service of dedication was held on December 28, 1924.  This original church building is known today as the Children’s Ministry Center and is used for Sunday School and other children’s programs. 


After Rev. Hooper’s death in 1927, the church was pastored by Rev. William J. Callard for almost three decades.  For a number of years the church was affiliated with the Conference of Union Churches of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  During this time, the church became spiritually complacent and by the mid-1950s the church was in need of “re-awakening.”  The Lord was gracious and saw fit to bring to this church Pastor William Berkheiser.  He was a man with a vision to see people who were very religious become aware that God wanted more ~ He wanted a relationship with them through faith in Jesus Christ.  It was a tumultuous time as many trusted Christ while others were offended by the simple call to repent and experience the grace of God through the Savior.  The Spirit of God moved in a special way and the church was transformed into an active, Christ-centered church with a passion to reach the lost.  Soon the church was also sharing in the work of evangelism in many parts of the world through its prayers and gifts.  The Lord blessed the church through this period with spiritual and congregational growth.


In the 1960’s the church continued to grow under the leadership of Pastor Miles Gelatt.  He was a man of God with a vision to reach the lost through a bus ministry and visitation evangelism.  The Lord gave increase and soon the congregation had outgrown the original church building. With concern for the future, the people committed themselves to the construction of a new sanctuary and office wing.  It was an ambitious undertaking, but the Lord blessed their faith and sacrifices, and the building was ready for use in 1968.


The church continued to grow into the early seventies and much success was realized particularly with inner city youth through the bus ministry, Sunday school, and day camp programs.  In 1977, the original church building was completely remodeled into a children’s educational building and the nursery facilities were expanded.


In 1979, the Lord called Pastor Dell Hyssong, Jr. to assume the reigns of leadership.  During his tenure, there was a deliberate effort to provide ministries for edification of believers in various stages of life.  Nursery programs became learning-centered, the AWANA and youth ministries expanded, an elective Sunday school curriculum for adults was developed, young adult fellowship, men’s fellowship, women’s fellowship, and senior saints ministries began.  There was a vision to reach beyond this local community, to the Merrimack Valley and beyond ~ and the Lord blessed.


In 1984, an educational wing with a fellowship hall was added, with immediate impact upon youth and adult ministries.  The nursery facilities were improved and enlarged once more as family ministry was emphasized.  Staff was increased and a second worship service was added.


In 1990, the Lord called Pastor Steve Jeanes, who had served as an associate to Pastor Hyssong, to lead the church.  The 1990’s saw a renewed emphasis of the personal responsibility of every believer to make disciples through a faithful life and loving witness.  Once again, the Lord blessed.  The church continued to develop ministries that targeted the life-stage needs of people and provide biblical instruction and relational support.  We saw the Lord building families and touching the hearts of our youth.  We have seen our students reaching students, neighbors reaching neighbors, friends reaching friends, and family members sharing Christ with their loved ones.


In the late 1990’s, the ‘Building on Faith’ campaign was used of the Lord to greatly expand the usefulness of our facilities.  The congregation heartily endorsed the plan, recognizing that only through the grace of God and the sacrifices of God’s people would our dreams become reality.  The church people sacrificially gave more than $800,000 beyond their regular offerings, which allowed Marsh Corner to complete the next phase of our master plan.  The lower level of our educational wing was completed providing modern nursery, pre-school, and youth facilities.  A new lobby and entrance area, an elevator, and an enlarged office/administration center were also created.  These facilities were dedicated in a service of celebration on June 11, 2000.


In 2004, the Lord called Assistant Pastor Daniel Bowman to Marsh Corner and in 2006 he was called to be the church’s senior pastor.  2006 also saw the first short term mission trip sent from the church when a group of 18 people from Marsh Corner served in Panama for ten days.  The church continues to sponsor short-term mission trips every two years.  In 2007, the church adopted a new constitution which created a board of elders that has responsibilities for leading the church.  In 2012, the Lord called Pastor George Stephens to serve as Senior Pastor of Marsh Corner Community Church. 


We look back with thankfulness to the Lord ~ who has made all this possible ~ and we look to the future with trust in His provision as we keep our eyes on Him, and continue to minister to the needs of people.


Revised in 2013



Timeline of Pastors

Rev. John Hooper  |  Senior Pastor |  1922 - 1927

Rev. William Callard  |  Senior Pastor |  1927 - 1955

Rev. Warren Nelson  |  Interim Pastor |  1955

Rev. Willam Berkheiser  |  Senior Pastor |  1955 - 1961

Rev. Wyman Ritchie  | Associate Pastor |  1961  - 1963

Rev. Miles Gelatt |  Senior Pastor |  1963 - 1974

Rev. Richard Jones  |  Associate Pastor |  1973 - 1976

Rev. Robert Flatt  |  Senior Pastor |  1975 - 1978

Rev. Dell Hyssong, Jr.  |  1978 - 1990

Associate Pastor  |   1978 - 1978

Senior Pastor  |  1979 - 1990

Rev. Stephen Jeanes  |  1980 - 2006

Associate Pastor  |  1980 - 1990

Senior Pastor  |  1990 - 2006

Rev. Bean  |  Associate Pastor  |  1986-1987

Rev. Micheal Sperring  |  Associate Pastor  |  1994 - 1996

Rev. Michael J. Conley |  Associate Pastor  |  1999-2003

Rev. Daniel Bowman  |  2004 - 2010

Assistant Pastor  |  2004 - 2007 

Senior Pastor  |  2006 - 2010

Rev. Christopher O'Malley  |  Associate Pastor  |  2007 - 2008 

Rev. Daniel Courter  |  Interim Pastor |  2011

Rev. George Stephens  |  Senior Pastor |  2012 - current

Rev. Jeremiah Stephens  |  Associate Pastor  |  2013 - 2023



"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus."

Romans 15:4-5

Sanctuary Renovations - March 27, 2022