The History of the Lakeville United Methodist Church by historyman


									                                          The History of the
                      Lakeville United Methodist Church
                                                        July 12, 1997

                                                    By Elizabeth A. Vance

                                     Girl Scout project for “Duty to God” award.

In 1839, Rev. Harris, from the Plymouth Circuit, traveled from home to home preaching to a small group of followers. The
trustees at that point were: John and James Moon, Hubbard Henderson, Martin Page, and William Biglow. Five years later
this small group built a church for themselves from hewn logs on the southwest corner of SR4 and US 31.

In 1858, the church purchased a lot on the east side of US 31 in Lakeville for $10. They built a church here that would be
used for a century. The building had two doors facing the street, one at the north end and one at the south. The men used
the south doors while the women used the north doors. The men and women each sat on their own sides of the sanctuary, as
well. After church, the men would wait outside the north doors for their ladies. By 1880 the congregation reached 50

In 1905 the separate doors were closed and centrally located double doors were added. Pews and Chancel furnishings were
purchased from the old First Methodist Church in South Bend. In 1923, $6,000 was spent to enlarge and remodel the
church. These enlargements consisted of adding a full basement and a front section, and stucco replaced the wood siding.

In 1939 the church reached 100 members. Improvements continued to be made to the building, such as a back stairway from
the basement, the purchase of chairs and carpet, and redecorating the walls. Later, the basement was remodeled with sinks,
drains, tables, restrooms, cupboards, and an oil heater. On October 5, 1939, Rev. P.J. Hamilton led the church in a
celebration of its 100 th anniversary. Some members at this time included Mr. & Mrs. Charles Lineback, Mr. & Mrs. Annis,
Mr. & Mrs. Earl Riddle, Mr. & Mrs. Ivo Foeckler, Mr. & Mrs. Ed Kershner, Mr. & Mrs. Ed Hawblitzel, Mr. & Mrs.
Ellsworth Annis and Miss Edna Hupp.

Later in 1939, three churches, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Methodist
Protestant Church united to become the Methodist Church. This union lasted 29 years.

By 1945 the congregation had grown to 150 members. The next year Lakeville Methodist Church and Maple Grove Church,
who were being served by the same minister, voted to merge and build a new church together. Seven acres were purchased
just north of Lakeville for $3,800. This land was to be used for a new church and a parsonage. Later, a contract for the new
just north of Lakeville for $3,800. This land was to be used for a new church and a parsonage. Later, a contract for the new
parsonage was signed at $22,000. To raise funds for the new project, October was named the annual month of campaign for
the Building Fund Drive. This was led by James Culp, and by 1951, the parsonage was free of debt.

In 1955, Maple Grove Church decided that they wanted out of the merger, so they were released and reimbursed for their
contributions to the building fund, which amounted to $3,265.72. The building of the new church went on without Maple
Grove, and on October 28, 1956, members met to discuss the new church building. By November of 1956 a proposal of
fundraising was submitted and a contract was signed. On December 12, 1956, a loyalty dinner was held at Methodist Church
in North Liberty. Total pledges then were $63,981.00, in addition to the Building Fund, which amounted to $60,000.00.

On March 29, 1959 (Easter Sunday), a groundbreaking ceremony was held. On November 29, 1959, the last service in the
old church took place. This was a solemn ceremony where the key to the old church was given to one of the oldest members
of the church, Mrs. Clara Rensberger. As they left the old church, the key to the new church was presented to her son,
Gerald Rensberger. The congregation stood on the church steps and sang, “All Hail the Power of Jesus.” They then walked
one-half mile north to their new church. On December 6, 1959, the first service was held in the new church. Later that year
the Lakeville Masonic Temple purchased the old church for $13,000.

On January 10, 1960, a Service of Consecration was held with Bishop C. Raines presiding. Telegrams of congratulations
were read from Dwight D. Eisenhower (the president of the United States), John Brademas (Member of Congress), and
Harold W. Handley (Governer of Indiana). Rev. William A. Haines was pastor at this time.

In 1968, dedication services were held for the church. The debt of $215,000 was paid off one year ahead of schedule.
Special services were held on March 24, 1968 with Rev. Charles W. Cook as pastor. That spring in Dallas Texas, the
Methodist Church and the Evangelical Brethren Church united to for the United Methodist Church. James Culp was a
delegate to the uniting General Conference and voted in favor of the merger.

Because of a generous contribution by one of the members, a new parsonage was erected north of the sanctuary in 1986. The
old parsonage was bought by a member of the church and was moved to a new location and renovated. In 1989 the church
celebrated its 150 th anniversary. Several special programs were held that year, leading up to a special service held on
December 3, 1989. Bishop Leroy Hodapp presented the sermon and District Superintendent Walter Mayer also participated
in the service. In 1990, a contribution made to the church allowed us to add four new classrooms onto the church.

The Lakeville United Methodist continues to grow and change. The membership has grown to 292 people, and will hopefully
continue to grow in the years to come.

                          The works of the following individuals were very helpful in writing this paper.

                    Georgiana Lineback Buehrer for her summary of the history of the church after 25 years.


                        Helen Irene Vance for her summary of the history of the church after 150 years.


 The pictures of the different churches were taken from the aforementioned summary of the history of the church 25 years.
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