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Free Methodists to celebrate 100 years

Church and city history interwoven


BARSTOW • The Free Methodist Church of Barstow will honor the history of both the church and the Barstow area beginning Sunday and throughout its 100th year.

The festivities will kickoff with a playful skit during the church’s regular service, as the congregation recognizes some of its original members.

“We’re going to give a little history and then say ‘oh really.’ We’re going to really play it up and get the audience involved,” Lay Pastor Judy Sheffield said.

Sheffield, who feverishly researched the church’s history since she began preparing for the anniversary, uncovered more information regarding early members and their roots to the city.

“They have fingerprints all over the desert. It’s really been interesting to do this research; I would never have dreamed I would learn so much about people,” Sheffield said.

According to Sheffield, D.C. Henderson, who immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland in the late 1800’s to work for the railroad, was the husband to an original member, Mrs. Henderson.

Henderson and his wife were also parents to a son, Hinckley, who is said to be whom the town of Hinkley is named after.

Sheffield said she learned a lot of Barstow’s history from the book, “Once Upon a Desert.”

The church, which began meeting at a home in 1903, moved to a hall in Old Town around 1912, until the Southern California Conference appointed a pastor and the church officially became the Barstow Free Methodist Church in 1913, Sheffield said.

The church then moved to 316 North 2nd Avenue, until the early 60’s when they moved to their current location on the corner of Yucca Street and Kelly Drive.

The building is also home to the Barstow Christian School.

Sunday services are at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and a larger event to commemorate its 100th anniversary is scheduled for May 24 to 26.

For information about the Barstow Free Methodist Church visit:

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