Today we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of worshipping in our new church. This land was purchased in July, 1957 and the ground breaking service was held Sunday, April 10, 1960. The first worship service was held in the new building March 19, 1961. Formal dedication services for the church and parsonage were on Palm Sunday, March 26, 1960, with Bishop Harold R. Heininger presiding. Rev. J. Murray Haworth was the pastor.
Our first building, known as Leuder Memorial Chapel, was erected at the corner of Center and Edmund Streets in the summer of 1923. The cornerstone was laid July 1, 1923 by Rev. H. H. Thoren, Presiding Elder, who also officiated at the dedication on December 9 of that year. The Leuder memorial fund provided financial aid, and in 1923, the conference voted to establish the mission. The work was begun by members of the Groveland congregation as a mission Sunday School prior to 1923. Sunday School met in the afternoon.
A study class was held on Wednesday evening. Church history shows our members worked “to spread the Gospel” in 1926 as diligently as in 1966.
In 1926, the Christian Endeavor was organized. The Ladies Aid met every week to sew and do other work to help the church. Three weeks of evangelistic meetings resulted in 18 new members.
September 5, 1930 “Quarterly conference was opened with devotions and a splendid talk on ‘The Church in the Changing World1 was given by the Presiding Elder, Rev. L. C. Schmidt.”
In 1933, Rev. Paul Church reported “We have a fine spirit in the Sunday School, excellent cooperation with all officers and teachers.”
In 1934, the first Daily Vacation Bible School was held.
In 1941, the pulpit and altar were moved to the south end of the church, and three rooms were added to the west side of the building. Most of the work was done by men of the church.
We observed our twenty-fifth anniversary on October 27, 1948. Dr. W. E. Grote spoke at the morning service, Rev. LaRoy Huntley in the afternoon, an Rev. L. M. Philips at the evening service. , .
In 1950, the wall separating the auditorium and the three rooms a e 1941 was removed and rolling doors installed.
A parsonage was built at a cost of $10,600, and a dedication service was held on May 4, 1952. Rev. Clyde Galow was our first full-time minister.