APPLETON, WIS. (WFRV) – Appleton’s First United Methodist Church is celebrating 175 years of service.

The church celebrated its anniversary by opening a time capsule. Pastor Markus Wegenast says opening the capsule allows the youth to learn more about the church’s history. 

Bibles, newspapers, and more were found in the time capsule. Appleton mayor, Jake Woodford, says the church plays a significant role in the community. 

“Methodists subscribed to the belief that the whole of the universe we inhabit is of worth and merit in the sight of GOD, that GOD delights in our thoughtfulness respect, and care for both each other and creation and I cannot think of a more “Appletonian” sentiment than that,” explained Woodford. 

Pastor Wegenast says the church is grateful for those who support it. 

“It has just been a very humbling realization that we are the oldest church in Appleton and that we have been a part of this community from the very beginning and from here we go forth in trying to make a difference in our community and our world,” said Wegenast. 

The church will open the capsule in another 25 years, they plan to place items such as a COVID test and mask to highlight more recent time periods.