In June 1870, H.P. Farnham and wife sold to the trustees of the United Brethren Church about 1 1/2 acres of land for $22.50. No records are available, but judging from recollections of the descendants of the builders of the Center Chapel, it is believed that the building was erected in the early to mid 1870s. It was a neighborhood project and was constructed by volunteer labor and donated materials Previous to the erection of this building, worship services, Sunday School meetings, debates, singing school sessions, spelling bees, and lyceums were held in the Green schoolhouse.
At the completion of the building, the Methodists and United Brethren held church activities there. For some years, the members of the two denominations worshiped jointly. Later, as their membership increased, the groups met separately. Each denomination had its own pastor.
In 1889, the Methodists moved their worship services to a building in Morley and in 1896, built the present Morley First United Methodist Church. The United Brethren group continued to worship at the Center Chapel until mid-1910 when they dedicated their new church in Morley, the present Faith United Methodist Church.
In 1896, this small country church was well established and had a faithful attendance at its evening services and Sunday School Class Meetings. Cyrus Lamb was Sunday School Superintendent and President of the Young Peoples' Christian Union. George Smith was laity pastor.
The rostrum was rebuilt and a new carpet was added in 1905. A box social was held to help raise money for these expenses. The church was reshingled in 1908 at a cost of $58.00. All labor was donated. Reverend Sammy Weaver preached there several years. Clifford Pieper also preached there. In the mid-twenties prayer meeting was held on Wednesday evenings.
According to news clipping, a thriving Sunday School was held there for a number of years. Inspiring Memorial Day, Christmas, and Children's Day programs were presented to large interested audiences. Great credit for these accomplishments was due to the devoted efforts of Mrs. Nina Willison, Mrs. Myrtle Bixler, and others of the neighborhood.
In June 1933, a most enjoyable and rewarding strawberry-and-ice-cream social was held on the church lawn. Harve Northey, who lived nearby and was a staunch supporter of the organization, donated his lovely home-grown strawberries. There was no limit to the servings of berries. Eleven gallons of ice cream were served, with a net proceeds of $13.00 to benefit the cemetery.
The original Center Cemetery was located west of the Center church. It is uncertain just how far the original cemetery extended to the west. Senior citizens believe that the northwest portion of the present cemetery was a first addition. A later addition was purchased from W. W. Bixler and his wife, Myrtle, August 13, 1923 for the sum of $200.00. In April 1970 another addition, approximately seven-tenths of an acre, was purchased from John Rickels at a cost of $500.00.
March 22, 1933, the Center Cemetery Association accepted the transfer of the church building from the United Brethren Conference to the Center Cemetery Association. Records state that a cemented drive was constructed through the cemetery in 1962 at a cost of $884.36. The church building was reshingled in 1965 costing $564.86.
In 1966 a new fence was built along the north side of the cemetery and in 1970, along the south side. The corner posts were donated by Harlan Tallman.
In the summer and fall of 1970, considerable repair work was done on the building. Two coats of paint were applied by hand. The cost of this material and labor was met by the Cemetery Association and generous donations from interested people, far and near.
At the meeting of the Center Cemetery Association in 1929, the wage for sexton Frank Hughes was set at 30 cents per hour. Mr. Hughes had served as sexton for more than thirty years. At his retirement, his son, Albert (Allie) assumed these duties. At Allie's death, friends and neighbors, Ivan Duncan, Harlan Tallman and Avert Cook prepared the grave by hand. They received $50.00 for their services. This they donated to the Center Cemetery Association.