Church History

History of Our Church

Lena United Methodist Church, founded in 1852, has a story that covers a period of more than 158 years. The Lena Methodist Episcopal society was first organized December 10, 1853. The first meeting was held in a log barn on the Luman Montague farm near Lena. 


The first church building was erected in 1857 on Lena Street, and dedicated in 1858 by Peter Cartwright. It was a brick building, and cost about $3,000 beside the cost of labor. In 1889 this building was sold to the German Lutherans. It was eventually remodled and occupied by the St. John's Lutheran Church.


On September 15, 1889, a new building was dedicated, at 118 W. Mason Street. In 1911, a pipe organ was installed. This structure was remodeled and re-dedicated January 1, 1928. It was our church home until it was completely destroyed by fire on December 22, 1948, just a few hours before the Children's Christmas Program.


The Amity Lutheran Church (Good Shepherd) of Lena showed us a truly Christian spirit by sharing their church with us for over two years. Groundbreaking ceremony was on October 2, 1949 and the cornerstone laying ceremony was on September 17, 1950. The culmination of prayers, labor, effort and pledges of many people led to the joyous consecration day on September 23, 1951. Work on the education wing began in 1964 and it was completed, paid for, and dedicated in 1974. In 1991, the Neebel house, south of the church, across the alley was purchased and in 1992 was paid for in full. The house was razed and a parking lot built in 1992.



History of the UMC

On April 23, 1968, The United Methodist Church was created when Bishop Reuben H. Mueller, representing The Evangelical United Brethren Church, and Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke of The Methodist Church joined hands at the constituting General Conference in Dallas, Texas. With the words, "Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and now in The United Methodist Church," the new denomination was given birth by two churches that had distinguished histories and influential ministries in various parts of the world.


Theological traditions steeped in the Protestant Reformation and Wesleyanism, similar ecclesiastical structures, and relationships that dated back almost two hundred years facilitated the union. In the Evangelical United Brethren heritage, for example, Philip William Otterbein, the principal founder of the United Brethren in Christ, assisted in the ordination of Francis Asbury to the superintendency of American Methodist work. Jacob Albright, through whose religious experience and leadership the Evangelical Association was begun, was nurtured in a Methodist class meeting following his conversion.




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