History of the Loup City United Methodist Church

 

What is now the United Methodist Church in Loup City was called the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1939, when three branches of Methodism in America united to form the MethodistChurch. Further Consolidation occurred in 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren Church united with the Methodist Church resulting in the United Methodist Church.

 

The first religious service in Loup City was held in the fall of 1873 at the Rosseter Hotel. The sermon was preached by Rev. William Willard, a Methodist Episcopal minister who rode fifty miles on horseback from Kearney. A Sunday school was organized at that time also. Rev. Willard who was sixty years old continued as supply pastor until 1876.

 

In 1876, Rev. Charles A. Hale was the supply pastor who came to LoupCity from Comstock. The schoolhouse, built in 1874, served as the place of worship. During 1877-1879, the newly organized Congregationalists and their pastor, Rev. Abram Maxwell, shared services with the Methodists. In 1879, Rev. Thomas Aikman was appointed supply pastor followed by Rev. Leslie Stevens who later died on the mission field in China.

 

On May 28, 1881, at the quarterly conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held in LoupCity, three Trustees were elected to “receive and hold property for the use of the minister and members of the MethodistChurch”. On March 1, 1882, the Methodist Episcopal Church, Loup City charge, West Nebraska Mission was organized with C.A. Hale, E.W. Lupton, W. Benschoter, S.S. Wox, George H. Scott, O.B. Willard, Joseph Clark, and John R. Baker as trustees. In 1883, lots 10, 11 and 12 in Lalk and Kreichbaum’s Addition (6th and L Street) in LoupCity were purchased and a building 18 ft. by 45 ft. was constructed of lumber hauled from Kearney. Rev. Asbury Collins the supply pastor from Kearney was chiefly responsible for having the church built. Articles of Incorporation of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Loup City were signed, May 7, 1884. In 1885, a parsonage was built at the sight of the present Fellowship Hall and the first resident pastor was Rev. Rueben Randolph. Resident pastors continued until 2004.

 

Through the years the original building was repaired and renovated. The building was damaged by a storm, and in July 1906, extensive repairs and additions were made with the original building being moved 24 feet west and the east wing added. Large windows and a basement were added at that time. During that summer a new parsonage was built across the street south of the church. In the 1940’s, the Wiggle Creek Church south of town was disbanded and the members transferred to Loup City. In 1963, the County Fair concession stand was acquired from the Presbyterians. In 1982, a Fellowship Hall was built adjacent to the church. In 1996, the old church building was torn down and replaced by a new church building attached to Fellowship Hall. It was completed without borrowing.

 

About 1970 the Loup City and Litchfield Methodist Churches formed the Loup City-Litchfield Parish with the same pastor serving both churches. In July 2012 the Loup City-Litchfield Parish joined with the Ansley Methodist Church to form the Ansley-Loup City-Litchfield Parish called ALLParish. A pastor and certified lay minister serve all three churches.

 

Through the years the members of the Methodist Church have been active in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Methodoers, UMW, Wesleyan Guild and Faith at Work. Many have also been involved with community activities such as scouting, social services and inter-faith ecumenical programs. Several persons have become lifetime or short-term workers in the Christian ministry.

 

Pastors who have served the Methodist Church in Loup City:

 

Rev. William Willard  1873-1876

Rev. Charles A. Hale  1876

Rev. Thomas Aikman  1879-1880

Rev. Leslie Stephens  1880-1881

Rev. S.S. Pennepacker  1881-1882

Rev. Wesley Wilson  1882-1883

Rev. Asbury Collins  1883-1884

Rev. Rueben Randolph  1885-1886

Rev. Joseph Gray  1886-1888

Rev. T.H. Dry  1888-1889

Rev. B.F. Peck  1890

Rev. L.W. Chandler  1891-1892

Rev. J.Q. Helm  1893

Rev. L.J. McNeill  1894

Rev. D.L. Mason  1895

Rev. John F. Webster  1896

Rev. Walter E. Mathews  1897-1899

Rev. John Madely  1900-1904

Rev. W.S. Cowell  1905

Rev. George H. Wise  1906

Rev. J.O. Hawk  1907-1908

Rev. W.C. Harper  1909-1910

Rev. D.A. Leeper  1911-1912

Rev. L.V. Slocum  1913-1915

Rev. V.R. Beebee  1916

Rev. Rev. L.V. Slocum  1917-1918

Rev. E.H. Maynard  1919-1922

Rev. Allan Chamberlain  1923

Rev. L.V. Hassell  1924-1925

Rev. E.C. Staley  1926-1927

Rev. Raymond Rush  1928

Rev. W.E. Birmingham  1929-1932

Rev. George M. Carter  1933-1935

Rev. E.R. Peterson  1935-1938

Rev. Charles T. Hawes  1939-1842

Rev. E.F. Luscher  1943

Rev. E.V. Ahrends  1943

Rev. M.M. Long  1944

Rev. Grier Hunt  1945-1947

Rev. David Scott  1948-1950

Rev. Culver G. Warner  1951-1952

Rev. William A. Albright  1953-1959

Rev. John Zemanek  1959

Rev. Dwight W. Kemling  1960-1968

Rev. Earl H. Reed  1968-1977

Rev. Connie J. Buehler  1977-1983

Rev. Sharee Kelly  1983-1990

Rev. Ralph Erts  1990-1996

Rev. John Dale  1996

Rev. Heidi Revelo  1996-2001

Rev. Cynthia Alstadt  2001-2004

Rev. Barbara Spangler  2004-2012

Rev. Joel Plisek  2012-   

CLM Stacy Erstrom  2012-