Munsey church

This weekend, Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church will host events that both celebrate the 150-year history of the church, as well as its future.

For over 150 years, Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church has been an active presence in Johnson City.

The church has had three sanctuaries, all at the corner of East Market and South Roan streets, has held countless Vacation Bible Schools, worship services and been in ministry to the community for decades.

It houses Tennessee’s longest active accredited preschool, and has celebrated births, baptisms, weddings, and celebrations of life.

Munsey has been involved in global ministries for decades and currently support ministries in Kenya and the Dominican Republic, as well as sending teams yearly to Mexico for a medical clinic and the Czech Republic for softball camps and Vacation Bible School.

Once known as the church with the swimming pool, Munsey and its members have always been a church that when it discovers a need, has strived to find a solution. The theme for the church’s sesquicentennial celebration is “150 years and Our Story Continues!”

This weekend, June 25 and 26, Munsey will host events that celebrate the long history of the church, as well as its future.

On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., there will be an old-fashioned ice cream social, music from King’s Cadence gospel quartet, the Munsey bluegrass band, the Rev. Charles Maynard will share stories, and the church will bury a time capsule to be opened in 25 years. There will be old fashioned games for the children, and guests are asked to bring a lawn chair. This event will be held in the lower parking lot along South Roan Street.

On Sunday, the church will welcome its new senior pastor, Dr. Kip Laxson, who will be preaching in the one blended service that will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.

Sign up to Johnson City Press Today!

Top stories, delivered straight to your inbox.

The worship service will have music from the sanctuary choir, Journey praise band, and King’s Cadence. Following the worship service, there will be a catered lunch and special recognition of key individuals who have impacted the church.

Laxson is coming from the North Alabama Conference, where he served five congregations as pastor, and as a district superintendent. He is a native of Athens, Alabama, and a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Divinity and the Episcopal School of Theology at the University of the South, where he received his Doctor of Ministry degree.

He is also a national consultant for church growth and revitalization. Laxson and his wife, Tamra “Tami” McKenzie-Laxson are celebrating their 36th year of marriage. They have two adult children, both married, and one grandchild.

Also joining the ministry team at Munsey is the the Rev. Beth Sullivan. Sullivan grew up in Hixson, Tennessee. She has been serving as an associate pastor at Burks United Methodist Church in Hixson and has been a pastor in the Holston Conference for 10 years.

She received her undergraduate degree from UT-Chattanooga and her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology. Sullivan’s first Sunday will be July 5.

“Our Staff Parish Committee has enjoyed meeting with Dr. Laxson, where we were able to discuss his leadership style, learn about his personal growth and revitalization through these last few months during his leave, and hear his passion for leading people to Christ through his role as pastor. We are very excited for the opportunity to welcome Rev. Laxson to the Holston Conference and to Munsey,” Jeff Clements, staff parish chair, said.

Munsey welcomes the community to the 150th Celebration, especially to the celebration worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 26. For information, visit

Try the Johnson City Press app today. Download here from Google Play and the App Store.

Recommended Videos

Recommended for you

Trending Recipe Video