During this time period there were two major anniversaries celebrated. The first was on October 10, 1948. The church celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the church building which was constructed in 1898. The Rev. N. De M. Darrell, a former pastor, then living in Minneapolis gave the morning message. Of course, there was a ‘potluck’ that followed with members being asked to bring extra due to the many guests at the celebration.
The second major anniversary celebration was on October 28, 1956 and was the 100th Anniversary. Several guest pastors and church officials took part in this service. Frank Williams was the pastor during this time period. The morning service began at 10:30 am and included a history of the church. Dr. Paul Hayes, Southeast District Superintendent, was the guest preacher. Dr. D. Stanley Coors, Bishop of Minnesota, was able to come in the afternoon to preach at the 3:00 pm service. The Rev. John Mettam of First Methodist Church, Rochester also spoke that afternoon.
During that celebration fourteen people were recognized as belonging to the church for fifty or more years. One person had been a member for more than seventy years.
There was also a 7:30 pm service which highlighted the Methodist choir plus it allowed visiting pastors to take part in the service. All in all it was a great day for celebrating one hundred years of ministry.
An interesting note is that during this time period things got started a little later in the morning. Church school was at 10:00 amand worship was at 11:00 am. Also a strong ministry was with the youth and they meet every Sunday at 6:30 pm. The choir also met at 8:00 pm on Saturday. You can tell that the center of social activity was centered around the church during this time period. There were a lot of programs within the church. There was a very strong “Epworth League” which provided spiritual atmosphere and a social gathering.
Other interesting notes are that at the 100th Anniversary it was stated that over one thousand, five hundred and six people had at one time or another over the one hundred years been members of this church. Also seven hundred, fifty-three probationers had been on the rolls during that time. Nine hundred, sixty-two persons had been baptized, with the first baptism being on October 28, 1875. The date of the first wedding was on November 29, 1857. It was also reported that on July 3, 1870 two couples were united in marriage at the same ceremony and the pastor received $2.50 from each couple.
A new parsonage was proposed in March of 1960. There was a resolution to sell the old parsonage, to purchase an extra ten feet of land, and to proceed with plans for a new parsonage. Soon after this the old parsonage was sold and removed and the present parsonage was built.
During this time again five pastors were appointed to this church. They were:
The June issue of our newsletter will continue with the “First Methodist Church” of Chatfield. We will cover the years 1965-1980. We hope you find these writings as a way to look back at the ministry and service this church has been involved with over the years.