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United Methodist Church in Glenwood City celebrates 125 years

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY – The United Methodist Church in Glenwood City will celebrate its 125th anniversary by showing off its new and improved look.

Over the past year, the Church received a revamp to the kitchen and lower facilities, along with a new addition. The front entrance was completely redone and bathrooms were replaced with handicap accessible bathrooms upstairs and downstairs. An elevator that serves as a handicap lift was also installed.

On the outside of the building, a new roof was put on and new gutters were added as well. There are currently some final touches being done to the outside with landscaping.

Helping to bring this new addition and revamping to life were committee members Chris Schone and Tim Buttles.

The two gentleman have helped with the project along with the contractors that were hired. The project has been talked about for many years, but it was last October when it all came to be.

According to Schone, the project cost around $225,000 and through various fundraisers, the Church has been able to raise all but around $50,000 of the cost thus far.

To celebrate the addition as well as the 125 years as a parish, there will be a dedication this Sunday, September 28 at 2:00 p.m. with the open house starting an hour prior at 1:00 p.m.

There will be regular worship still at 9:45 a.m.


The Methodist Episcopal Church opened with members and their regular pastor, Reverend Howard Robinson in October of 1889.

In 1890, Rev. Robinson was succeeded by Rev. J. F. Ziegler and in that same year the parsonage of Elm Street was purchased.

It was then in 1893 and under the pastorate of Rev. Geo. W. Pepper that the current location on Oak Street was purchased.

As of 1900, there were 150 members and there were about 150 in the Sunday school program as well under the pastorate of Rev. Tomlinson.

In 1913 a dedication was held to recognize the latest remodel that had been completed throughout the church, which included a basement and Sunday School rooms.

Then in 1933 tragedy struck when the church was completely destroyed by a fire.

Helen (Canfield) Best remembers watching the fire from across the street while on the R.A. Cleveland property, which is now Dolly Donovan’s home. Helen recalls going through the debris later on and finding pieces of the stained glass windows.

Construction of the new church was the responsibility of pastor, Rev. Halberg. The new church went up in 1935 with the dedication on Sunday, January 20.

It was mortgage free, which was truly a remarkable feat due to it being at the time of the Great Depression.

The church’s structure has received few modifications and basically has looked the same until this year when an addition was made to the East side.

Enhancements over the years have included vinyl siding, carpeting, stained glass windows, a Hammond organ and the Pastor’s office.

Out of five churches that once all had open doors in downtown Glenwood City; Trinity Lutheran, Our Savior’s Lutheran, Swedish Congregational and St. Paul’s Lutheran, the United Methodist Church is the only one that still remains.