200-year-old pulpit in Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Methodists are celebrating 200 years of their denomination in southeast Missouri with a pulpit that also dates two centuries.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the Rev. Jeff Long of Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau will deliver his service from the pulpit on Sunday.

The first Methodist class west of the Mississippi was organized near Jackson, Mo., in 1809. At about the same time, a carpenter in England was putting together the pulpit.

It circulated in England before arriving in the U.S. in 1967. It spent time in storage, then was given in 1992 to the Rev. Robert Souders, now of Caseyville, Ill. He preached from the podium until his retirement last year.

His replacement didn't want it, so Souders gave it to Long and his church.

Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.