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The following information was gleaned from a pamphlet entitled Children's Society of Christian Service.
March 1942.

The Story of
My Church

In the earliest days there was no organized Methodist Church in Halstead. From 1870 to 1875 the group of people who later organized the Methodist Church went out to a little Quaker settlement about five miles north of town. Here they worshiped with the Quakers who held their meetings in the pioneer sod houses and box shanties. After the Fairview District built their first schoolhouse, the Quakers and Methodists met there jointly for worship.

Congregation Organized

Some time in 1873 or 1874 Mr. and Mrs. Cherlton Brown, Mr. and Mrs. George Sweezy and Mrs. R. McDonald, sister of Mrs. Sweezy, met in Cherlton Brown's shanty on his homestead one and a quarter miles southeast of town. There, with Rev. John Harris in charge, the Halstead Methodist Church was organized.


This new congregation met for a while in the homes and in the Sweezy Hotel - later in the Mennonite German school building which was located across the street north from where the church now stands. (Corner of Chestnut and 3rd Streets.) This building has been remodeled and is now the home of Misses Molly and Dora Ahrens. (229 Chestnut Street.)


First Building Erected

By about 1878 the membership had grown sufficiently to undertake the erection of a building. Accordingly, a small brick church was built right where the present church now stands (corner of Third and Chestnut Streets). It was an oblong structure with the pulpit in the west end and a balcony in the east end. There were colored glass windows, a center aisle and an organ. The bell which called its worshipers to church was given by Mr. Murat Halstead and serves the congregation to this day.

In 1887 the brick church was showing signs of breaking. It had not been well built, for it was hard to get bricks that long ago. However, it was the best building in the country at that time.

So by 1887, when the congregation had grown still larger and needed more room, the brick church was torn down and the present building erected. However, before the construction was completed, or the money collected to pay for it, a large colony of the membership moved to California, and for a while the church experienced a gloomy period.


The Quakers Come In

In 1896 the little Quaker settlement north of town disbanded and moved their membership to the Halstead Methodist Church. They were accepted by letter of transfer from the Sterling Quarterly Meeting of Friends. This letter, giving the names of the members transferred, is still on file among our church records.

German and English Churches Merge

For many years the German Methodists of the community had a separately organized congregations known as This Community Trinity Methodist Church. At first this was a strong and zealous church, but as the years passed there was need for a separate language group. And, as the size of the congregation became smaller, the need of a separate building grew less. So on September the 10th, 1928, during the pastorates of W.W. Owen in the English Church, and J.J. Hammell in the German Church, invited the members of Trinity to transfer their membership and become one church.

In October 1928 a joint committee from the the congregations met to consider the matter of a merger. In its report the committee submitted the rules to govern merger, and suggested that these become effective September 1st, 1928. The recommendations were duly accepted by both groups and the union accomplished on that date. Rev. Hemmell became assistant pastor to Rev. Owens. Since that time there has been one congregation of Methodist in Halstead.

About a year later, August 9, 1929, a meeting was held to arrange for the sale of the property of the former German Church. Subsequently  the church building was sold to the Lutheren Congregation who now worship there. (Corner of 3rd and Santa Fe Streets.) The parsonage was sold to Rev. Hemmel, who has resided there as a retired minister since that time.

The Present Situation
Now, in March 1942, our church is out of debt. Its pulpit, pews and fine pipe organ are in good condition. The three upstairs classrooms, the basement (recently named Fellowship), the Sunday  School rooms downstairs and the kitchen are well equipped for use.

During the last two years the church has been entirely redecorated upstairs and down, newly painted on the outside, floors refinished and a new carpet laid. It is now a modest, clean, well kept building worthy to be a place of worship for these three united congregations and the individual people of various other denominations who have come into the fellowship of our church.

Children's Society of Christian Service
was organized October 21, 1940.

First sponsors were:
Mrs. Adrian Combs
Mrs. Clarence Dugan
Mrs. Mylo Rand
Miss Marcille Rutherfors

Twelve Charter Members:
    Norma Lee Hansen
    Glennis Louis Ropp
    Danny Ray Lockwood
    Elmer Dean Moulds
    Georgie Elmer Ropp
    Earnest Wayne Alison
    Darlene Rae Dugan
    Shirley Marine Bookwalter
    Harriet Hand
    Mary Niles
    Sara Margret Randall
    Mary Edna Corey

Present officers

    President: Arthur Choate
    Vice-President: Mary Margaret Freeburg
    Secretary: Verna Lee Talbott
                                  Treasurer: Wayne Alison